First Cameraman: Documenting the Obama Presidency in Real Time

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Macmillan, Aug 21, 2012 - Political Science - 320 pages
10 Reviews

The first official White House videographer chronicles his time capturing behind-the-scenes moments of the president and his administration

From the early months of the 2008 campaign and through the first two and a half years of the Obama administration, Arun Chaudhary had a unique perspective on the president of the United States. "I'm sort of like President Obama's wedding videographer," he explains, "if every day was a wedding with the same groom but a constantly rotating set of hysterical guests."

Some of the moments Chaudhary captures are small, like the president throwing warm-up pitches deep inside Busch Stadium in St. Louis before the All-Star game. Some are intensely emotional, as when Obama comforts a grieving teenager whose father had died in a devastating tornado. And some are just plain bizarre—like getting thrown out of the Indian parliament by his belt, or being trapped in a White House bathroom while Obama conducts a YouTube town hall on the other side of the door.

Film and politics have been intertwined ever since the first Edison reels rattled in projection halls a century ago. But with the advent of new technologies and a new public that is hungry for images of their leaders, Chaudhary has been in the right place at the right time to participate in the interplay of film and politics at the very highest level. His entertaining and eye-opening book—which includes stories and images of key players such as Barack and Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton, among others—gives readers a unique view of their government and their president in these historic and challenging times.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - akreese - LibraryThing

First Cameraman is an account of the author’s time as a videographer, both on the campaign trail with Barack Obama, and later in the White House. A good deal of the book is devoted to the development ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - iBeth - LibraryThing

I expected to love this book and also to recommend it to my daughter who is interested in filmmaking. Unfortunately, it was a little too much of a fevered love letter to Obama . . . and I say that as ... Read full review

All 10 reviews »


Title Page
Where Are the n Balloons?
Upping the Ante
What Sticks to the Wall
Its a Fine Line Between a Robot and Doing
Whoa You Guys Take This Seriously
Old and Tired Wins the Race
YouTubeology and Other College Majors Parents
The Holographic Presidency
The Presidents Weekly Internet Radio YouTube
The Haircut Strike
What the Hell Is the White House Videographer?
Government Pretty
Reinventing the NewsreelWest Wing Week
The Two PsPropaganda and the Press

Greg Craigs Phone

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About the author (2012)

Arun Chaudhary served as the first official White House videographer from 2009 to 2011 and was also a key member of Obama's new media team during the 2008 campaign. He previously worked in film in New York and was a member of the NYU Graduate Film Department faculty. He received his MFA in filmmaking from NYU and his BA in film theory from Cornell University. Chaudhary has been profiled by The New York Times, the BBC, National Journal, Politico, Fortune, and many political websites. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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