Tag Archives: Pete Souza

Sarah Palin Documentary: Coming to a theatre near you

Oh great, there is a Sarah Palin documentary coming out.

According to the source, among the people who appear in the untitled movie are Palin’s parents as well as numerous ex-aides. Many of those people, the source added, describe her not as the likable repository of aw-shucks wisdom Palin likes to present but a more ruthless politician who has trampled over opponents and is now a potential presidential candidate.

Working with a minimal crew and in a gonzo style, Broomfield is known for his unusual access to  subjects, securing candid interviews in his films about Heidi Fleiss, Kurt Cobain and rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. At times controversial for his unorthodox and energetic style, Broomfield has nonetheless received a bevy of documentary prizes and received a lifetime achievement award at the BAFTA Awards, Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Potential U.S. distributors will soon be contacted about Broomfield’s Palin film and could see a full version within a few weeks, said the source. The film could then play fall film festivals such as Toronto, with a distributor getting the opportunity to release it into the teeth of the 2012 election cycle, in which Palin is expected to be a key player.

I don’t really care that much about what Palin or her colleagues at Fox News say (when you go to the circus, does anyone care what the clowns say?) but the article made me realize that for all of the access a presidential or Prime Ministerial biographer has, it is almost always in print.  While Pete Souza and other Presidential photographers have great access, I would love to see a President or a Prime Minister give access to a trusted film crew over the length of their administration.  My first thought was that it would change the dynamic of what was being said in meetings and you probably are right but it’s been done in campaigns for years and it’s not like everyone doesn’t know that everyone else in the room isn’t going to be writing a book anyways.

The tale of two Flickr accounts

Take a look at both Barack Obama and  Stephen Harper’s Flickr accounts.  I was absolutely amazed at the difference in them.  The Whitehouse acct is full of thousands and thousands of photos of Obama in a variety of contexts.  The Situation Room, playing with his kids, playing practical jokes, preparing to confront the GOP, shooting hoops, skipping rocks, meeting world leaders, talking with national security advisors, and engaging with peopleStephen Harper doesn’t even have a pro account and the photos that are posted there are of political fundraisers and funding announcements.

Now if I am Stephen Harper (and I am not, he’s a tactical genius while I can tell you what Reggie Lemelin’s GAA was in 1982 off the top of my head), I would be telling my official photographer to be uploading everything to Flickr (and use a version of Flickr’s Whitehouse inspired photo license)   From breakfast with Laureen, to my walking my kids to school, giving John Baird parking money (in case you forgot, Baird often escorts Laureen Harper to cultural events that Stephen doesn’t like attending) cabinet meetings, impromptu road hockey games, buying a burger at a Senators game, visiting with voters, having lunch with the Obamas, practising with his band in the basement of 24 Sussex, playing golf with John Turner… whatever it is, I would use it to show Canadians who he really is.  I don’t know if you remember this classic bit he did with Rick Mercer…

Some more of this and less attack ads could actually remind Canadians that he is likeable.    Of course I realize he may be already doing this and deep down he is an unengaged partisan who works by himself late at night in his office (according to the campaign ads).  I never said my idea was without risk. 

If nothing else, make sure you check out this photoset by White House photographer Pete Souza of Barack Obama’s 2010.

The President’s Photographer

I watched The Presidents Photographer last night on PBS.  It features Pete Souza, Barack Obama’s official photographer but tells the stories of 50 years of White House photographers.  It was an enjoyable hour of television and if you have some free time when it is on, make sure you watch it.  It’s not only interesting but a lot of fun.