MIPCOM NEWS: US prodco National Geographic Television (NGT) has secured exclusive access to Barack Obama, to film the US president’s daily life over a four-month period for a special to air on a US network in 2010, C21 can reveal.
The 60-minute documentary, entitled The White House: Through The Lens, is being made for public service network PBS, and will air in November 2010. NGT is here in Cannes looking for coproduction partners for the project, with five minutes of early rushes to show.
NGT has been in talks with Obama’s team since last August – before he won the US presidential election – to secure access to film the world’s most famous politician. It last month got the green light, and only last week begun filming inside the White House. It will now film for the rest of the year, through Christmas and until January 2010.
Talking to C21 at Mipcom, NGT’s exec VP of editorial and new business development, Maryanne Culpepper, said: “We started talking to the administration before he was elected in August last year, and we got permission last month.
“We did our first shoot last week and I have about five minutes of rushes. It’s amazing footage – he goes to New York, then he’s having lunch with Bill Clinton, then he’s running down the corridor with his dog in the White House. It’s fantastic.”
As part of the deal, NGT has ‘all pass’ access to record a week in the life of the US president. The prodco will have access to the Oval Office, Air Force One, Marine One and the First Lady, and is working with Obama’s official photographer, Pete Souza, to tell the story.
The production is the first time President Obama has granted extended access to a prodco to spend time filming him and his family, with the nearest thing being a one-day special that NBC’s news division produced, entitled Inside The Obama White House, which aired on the US network in June this year.