the white house
My role as the Principal Presidential Videographer, and the Office of Digital Strategy, was created by President Obama as part of his mandate of transparency and inclusion. Our work aimed to connect people with purpose by meeting people where they are, which is online, and give unprecedented access to the experience of citizenship. It was, as I have mentioned elsewhere, the best job ever. It was also, by many measures, extremely challenging. The next iterations were the best jobs ever 2.0, first as Senator Warren's Senior Advisor for Video & Senior Road Videographer during 14 magical months of her presidential campaign, then as Director & Cinematographer for Mobilization Ads in Pennsylvania for Biden for President!
President Obama's Principal Videographer at the White House - Filmmaker Hope Hall
Filmmaking Conversations with Damien Swaby
Filmmaking Conversations with Damien Swaby is a small fraction of the critical conversations currently taking place across the indie film community. The podcast reaches out to the next generation of filmmakers, who continue to look for inspiration and guidance.
Beauty and Hope with Hope Hall
She Geeks Out Podcast
Hope Hall was President Obama’s second-ever & first female Principal Presidential Videographer in the Office of Digital Strategy (as she calls it, "the best job ever"). We talked about her journey toward having this incredible opportunity and what she's doing now. We were inspired by her vision of the world and we hope you will be too!
Through the Lens of Hope: Obama’s Videographer Debriefs
UC Berkeley Alumni Magazine
For the last six years, she’s been Barack Obama’s presidential videographer (think of her as the national fly on the wall). She doesn’t shoot videos for the official record; that’s the job of the White House Communications Agency, which documents every public event in which the President participates. Her assignment is to film the President in his more informal moments...
The Final West Wing Week: "Obama, Farewell"
The Obama Administration's final - and 388th - episode of West Wing Week. It speaks for itself.
The President Takes a Surprise Walk
The President was heading over to the nearby Department of the Interior and decided to break with tradition and take a Springtime walk. On the way, he got a chance to meet with all sorts of folks, who weren't expecting to meet the President of the United States of America.
West Wing Week's 5th Anniversary Episode
We’d had a lot of fun with two previous, special editions — the 100th and 200th episodes — of our weekly series, but for this third and final big marker, we wanted to go for broke.
It’s special for a number of reasons: The first time I filmed in the President’s official vehicle “the Beast;” the first time the President himself both narrated the episode, and hosted each day with direct-to-camera, spontaneous explanations of what was happening; and one particular first that is better watched than described. (Spoiler alert: The week covers a certain holiday for fools and pranksters that happens every spring.)
Signs of Hope & Change
This throwback gem was crafted to premier at a very special time and place in history: preceding Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, on August 28, 2008. It was also my very first assignment after I joined the campaign's New Media/Video team, and hopefully augurs a stint as a music supervisor someday, a long-standing dream of mine. We traveled the country filming these incredible, hopeful folks. It's still one of my very favorite videos...
"What's the Secret to Still Dancing at 106?"
Watch 106 year-old Virginia McLaurin fulfill her dream of visiting the White House and meeting President Obama. It really doesn't get any better than this, in terms of being at the crossroads of so many historic trajectories. By many measures, this was the most successful piece of content our team posted during both terms, in terms of both reach and engagement.
The Bear is Loose
The President took a surprise walk, and brought us with him, resulting in one of the most watched videos of his presidency. Bears just need to get loose sometimes.
President Obama Visits Stonehenge
There were very few times during his Presidency that President Obama really had the opportunity to just revel in a quiet moment in a monumental place. It was a combination of the power of where he was, plus the logistics required to make it possible for him to visit, that added up to a powerful few minutes where he could take in the wind, the lichen, and the momentous history of those powerful stones. It’s a rare occasion to experience something quiet and internal alongside someone who is normally — by nature of the position he is holding — at the epicenter of the noise and thrum of history.
Our last, and perhaps most epic, contribution to the President's toast and roast at the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner.
Greetings from the President: Hola, Alo, Namaste!
Stronger bonds between nations sometimes begin with a simple hello. Take a look back at the past 8 years of President Obama greeting people from around the world. As my dad used to say, "Smile, and say hello."
Obama plays Daniel Day-Lewis in hilarious movie spoof
This one still astounds me, all these years later.
Life Lessons from POTUS
A highlight from the President taking questions from White House interns, a ritual I looked forward to three times a year.