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First Cameraman: Documenting the Obama Presidency in Real Time Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 21, 2012
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—David Axelrod, Former Senior Advisor to President Obama and Senior Strategist, Obama for America
—Richard Ben Cramer, author of What It Takes and Joe DiMaggio
—Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of the City of Chicago and Former White House Chief of Staff
—Chris Matthews, Host of Hardball and The Chris Matthews Show and bestselling author of Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero
—Dee Dee Myers, former White House Press Secretary and author of Why Women Should Rule the World
About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
First Cameraman is an engaging read in which each chapter opens with a quip similar to the above. The purpose is to whet the reader's appetite about the content forthcoming and to key said reader into what are most likely to be the funniest bits in the chapter (even if they are in a footnote).
So what is First Cameraman about? Well, not exactly what I thought it was about. I was looking forward to a series of "Behind the Music" moments about our 44th president. While there were a few of these throughout the text, that really wasn't the purpose of the book. The book is really about the history of film-making as it pertains to a political context. It speaks to what is unique about this challenge and how the present-day technology contributed to the evolution (the maturity, even) of this medium in a White House context. The author is humble but does credit himself (and his instrumental team members) with enacting this change. In fact, there isn't enough early (pre-Obama campaign) biographic information about the author and the reader is left feeling a little cheated out of background context that would have made it easier to identify with his story.
Format-wise, the book contains scores of footnotes, none of which are bibliographic annotations. Rather they are most usually the anecdotes - many quite lengthy - that would be better highlighted in the text itself. I find footnotes distracting from the flow of the story but other readers may enjoy the way the notes provide a means by which to procrastinate from the main text, if only for a few moments. My advice for the sequel - no footnotes.Read more ›
My Mother always used to say, "Me, Me, Me is Boring, boring boring." Now this book is obviously by and about Arun Chaudhary the first official "First Cameraman." Obama soon nicknamed the young videographer "Funny Man."
This book failed to provide the expected insights into the real Obama by a young man who had incredible access to the President. There is a photo on page 242 of the author standing behind the official White House still photographer Pete Souza who is taking photographs of the President. That picture was interesting to this reviewer because I'd recently reviewed Pete Souza's coffee table book "The Rise of Barack Obama." Frankly it did a much better job providing insights into the real Obama, who was only a freshman Senator at the time Souza was doing the photographic coverage making up that excellent collection of photographs. (Please feel free to read that Amazon review as well.)
"'Arun," I got used to hearing, "you have the best job in the world, you lucky SOB!" And I humbly acknowledged that official White House videographer--the first in history, thank you very much! --was definitely one of the top half-dozen jobs in Washington? Let's call it the third best at the White House. (Trip director Marvin Nicholson gets the number one slot, and chief official White House Photographer Pete Souza runs a close second.)'"
The book's 307 pages are divided into three major parts containing 18 chapters plus an introduction and conclusion, notes and an index. Part I `MIRACLE WHIP AND OTHER SURPRISES has chapters with titles such as "Where Are the $@#'n Balloons?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great, light read, accentuated with a heavy dose of comedy that gives a definitively unique look at the inner workings of the White House and a Presidential campaign. Read morePublished on September 24, 2013 by Eric
I'm the type of person more likely to watch a film, than to make one. While interesting, this novel was somewhat boring. Read morePublished on May 21, 2013 by Kate
Interesting book about the realities of videographing President Obama 24/7, but too much time spent talking about all the decisions Arun had to make, as if he was the most... Read morePublished on November 2, 2012 by cbb6561
"First Cameraman" is a confusion of language that masks major faults that the book reveals. Much is made of the importance of sound in the recordings but little is made of the... Read morePublished on August 25, 2012 by Robert Kiger
This is an amazing book that really shows how much new media evolved under the Obama campaign, much due to Mr. Chaudhary's role. Read morePublished on August 22, 2012 by Kate