The Golden Age Of Green Screen
Just when you thought the bloggerminions of Andrew Breitbart had finally broken the the “too stupid to breathe” barrier and mankind could go no further, another one huffs a can of Krylon, and “Breitbart Big Exclusive!!1!“:
President Obama delivered his weekly address to the nation from Detroit, Michigan this week after visiting workers at a GM assembly plant. When the video hit at Breitbart.tv, our tip box suddenly became very active with people claiming that the President was actually sitting in front of a green screen and the background image was really a composite image of an assembly line.
O’Connor cites “several experts in the field” who are the kind of people who get their information from Big Government, so you know they have to be a brain trust, but I wanted independent validation of this Very Important Story Upon Which The The Next Election Would Hinge. So I turned to Big Brain Bryan over at PJ Media who is, as he grudgingly admits, sorta of a right-wing Haskell Wexler/Gordon Willis/Caleb Deschanel (but without the hot daughters). Bryan holds up his fingers like a frame, screws one eye closed, studies the footage and….:
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.
As Charles Johnson points out, there does seem to be some photographic evidence that Obama was not on the moon landing sound stage at Area 51 so, yeah, there is a bit of “fail” involved here, just not the one Bryan envisioned. Quite frankly, I’m surprised that Preston (with apologies to Rick Santorum) screwed the pooch on this one as it is well known that, during his time at Hot Air, he was one of the early innovators in blog videos having pioneered the extremely popular gravitationally-challenged catholic schoolgirl cheerleader genre.
Nope. Still hasn’t gotten old. The classics never do….