The PJ Tatler

Did Obama Shoot His Weekly Address in Front of a Green Screen?

If he did, it only matters because he claims that he’s on site in Detroit. Since he said that, if he’s not, then the president lies in the opening sentence or two of what should be an apolitical address. It’s not a campaign speech, but a president addressing the people.

That said, here’s the video, followed by my opinion of whether it’s fake or not.

I’ve been doing green screen video effects for about 15 years, starting at NASA and then for Hot Air. So I’ve done hundreds of productions using green screen technology, in a variety of settings and using a variety of gear. And in my opinion, the president’s video was shot using a green screen.

There are a couple of giveaways. One is the lack of real depth of field in the shot. The background looks flat and unreal, kind of lifeless — like a photograph. No light flickers, no movement at all. If he was really in the factory, a competent lighting director would probably light him and it to show some separation and depth, by having the factory be noticeably darker than the foreground subject. There are also digital artifacts around his shoulders and head, the kind of artifacts one tends to see in even the best green screens. You can see them in the close-ups, mainly around the left side of his head. It looks like they used virtual set tech to get the long shots and close-ups to look believable, but it’s pretty much a fail.

This wouldn’t be a big deal, except that he says “I’m here in Detroit visiting workers at a GM plant.” There are no workers in the shot, and he’s not at a factory. So like his jobs bill that he’s selling in the video, the video itself is a fraud.

How fitting, that a friend of a Weatherman would resort to the schtick of weather men.