Steve Harvey Interviews President Obama

A couple of months ago, Bruce and Gonzo worked on a piece for The Steve Harvey Show, filming at the iconic Ben’s Chili Bowl in DC for a segment called The Great American Food Fight:

The results were great: Ben’s Chili Bowl won, and the folks at The Steve Harvey Show were happy with what we did and asked us to be a part of Steve’s interview with President Barack Obama. So, on December 13 Gonzo, Bill Donald, Kevin Raullerson and Tom O’Connor headed to the White House to meet up with Dean Lent, Grant Weiss and Bryan Willman out of Chicago from The Steve Harvey Show (and Steve himself, of course…) to film a sit-down interview with President Obama in the White House.

The day got off to a rough start…

Visual Edge - Broken Cart

And that’s before they even entered the White House. The guys ended up splitting some of the gear up, used the cart as an upright dolly to transport the rest and made it inside without any further adventures.

The shoot had two components to it. The first was Steve interviewing President Obama, and that was scheduled to go for about twenty minutes, which is a very generous amount of time. The second part of the shoot was to be surprising a group touring the White House by having them greeted by both Steve and the President. Each part of the shoot was to have three cameras on it, a mixture of EX3s, EX1-Rs and PMW-200s, all matched to the custom profile developed in-house at The Steve Harvey Show. Gonzo, Tom and Dean took the interview; Bill, Kevin and Grant took the tour.

Dean, who was the DP on the shoot, had asked us to bring the lights that he wanted for the interview, so we provided four KinoFlo Diva 400s, which he then paired off and covered with white muslin to create nice big soft keys for Steve and the President. After looking at the room he then decided that he wanted to add some additional pop in the background, and used two 1×1 LitePanels that we brought along just in case. We were all Boy Scouts: BE PREPARED. 🙂

Visual Edge - Steve Harvey set-up

My apologies for the mooning.

We had been given a generous amount of time to get in to the White House and set up, so everything needed minimal tweaking after the President and Steve sat down. However, they are considerably more photogenic than their sit-ins…

Visual Edge - Gonzo_Kevin


Visual Edge - Steve Harvey_Barack Obama

The interview went off great, with most of it actually ending up on air, and it generated a fair amount of press when it aired on NBC affiliates on December 20. You can see Part 1 and Part 2 below:

Once the interview wrapped it was time to grab the surprise of the tour:

The day was a roaring success, and we couldn’t be happier to have been a part of it.

Thanks to everyone from The Steve Harvey Show, in particular Justin Thaler and Dean Lent; Steve Harvey; President Obama and the always excellent team at the White House; and to my fantastic crew. This was a really fun shoot to wrap up 2013.


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