The Investigation Into Donald Trump
In late 2018, the WSJ investigations team was deep into an excavation of how Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign silenced women who were accusing him of affairs. After publishing reports throughout the year, the team wanted to connect the dots for readers — and connect the effort to Trump himself. They asked my video team to help make the case.
This was a challenging story for video. We had no recordings of the major events, there was a big cast of characters, and the experienced print reporters weren't trained for presenting on camera. But I also knew the explanatory and visual power of video could make this investigation compelling and clear.
I led a brainstorm with a group of producers of how to crack the story. We found a loft space to lay out our reporting visually, both with the reporters arranging materials on a table like lawyers submitting evidence and a giant timeline rendered in motion graphics. We buoyed our reporters’ authority by interviewing them conversationally so they could speak naturally rather than reading prepared scripts. And we organized the film's narrative around what was happening in public as well as in private so that viewers’ memories of big news events could help them track the timeline.
I oversaw conceptualization and post production, and supported the team for production. The resulting short film was recognized as part of WSJ's winning submission for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.
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