J-Chillen’ with Mr. President

On March 20th, the Huffington Post conducted one of the billions of interviews we’ve seen Barack Obama do.

However, this interview was  just a little different than the rest.


At the beginning, we see the president walk in with the interviewer into a room with just a desk and a fireplace. Obama fumbles for the chair and comments on the fireplace.

The interviewer asks, “Mr. President, how ya doin’?” And Mr. President responds, “I’m doing good man.”

*Note this is a quote summary. Look at video for direct quotes”

Now I hope all of you can pick up that this is just a little different than Obama’s press conference interviews where he walks in, camera snaps echo off the walls, commotion fills the air, and Obama walks in with his head down, racing towards a podium….instead of casually strolling to find his chair.

The Huffington Post demonstrated what a simple camera and setting can do to the viewers perception. Just with the way the video is filmed and a fireplace crackling in the background, the public can feel connected/feel like they’re sitting with someone like, I don’t know……the President of the United States.

The interview was filmed like a movie. Rather than the two traditional shots of the interviewer asking the question and then the interviewee answering, the Post filmed multiple angles of Obama, shots of the interviewer from behind Obama’s shoulder while he was asking the question, and had the shaking camera work.

These simple camera techniques again showed the realness of the interview and universally made viewers feel like they were in the room.

President Obama was laughing, picking up with coffee to sip during the interview…..I mean we might as well told our parents we were having coffee with the President.

The Huffington Post’s video work and interview style is just an example of media’s “personal level” trend.

In SnapChat stories, viewers can feel like they’re there, whether it be behind the scenes at the Oscars or at Holy Moly in India. Apple’s FaceTIme feature can connect two people from opposite sides of the world immediately. And the Oculus Rift (the new virtual reality device I blogged about some time ago….go find it if you are curious) is made with the intent of “feeling like” you’re in an experience that you’re physically not in.

This personal level/false presence trend is becoming more prevalent in our media society and I believe existing technologies, social media portals, etc. and new ones to come will gear themselves towards this idea.

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