Bloomberg News

Obama Enlists Guggenheim for Campaign Film

February 24, 2012

Singer John Legend, lfet, and director Davis Guggenheim on the set of "Waiting for Superman." Photograph: Paramount Vantage/Everett Collection

Singer John Legend, lfet, and director Davis Guggenheim on the set of "Waiting for Superman." Photograph: Paramount Vantage/Everett Collection

With Hollywood gathering this weekend for the 84th Academy Awards, President Barack Obama has recruited Oscar-winning documentary director Davis Guggenheim to again produce a short film for his campaign.

Obama’s re-election staff in Chicago spent $162,834 on the film last month, according to the January Federal Election Commission filing. Currently in post-production, the film focuses on the president’s first three years in office, according to a campaign official.

The film will be less than 30 minutes long and released in weeks, though the exact date hasn’t been decided, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The campaign is still considering how it will be used, the official said.

This is just the latest involvement with Obama’s campaign for Guggenheim, who directed “Waiting for Superman,” a documentary about the U.S. education system, and won an Oscar in 2006 for “An Inconvenient Truth,” which chronicled former Vice President Al Gore’s drive to raise awareness about climate change.

In 2008, the filmmaker directed a biographical film about Obama for the Democratic National Convention. He also was involved in a 30-minute advertisement that the campaign ran on three major broadcast networks in the closing days before the election at a cost of more than $3 million.

The money spent last month covers the major cost of the film’s production, though the campaign isn’t ruling out additional spending for the film, the official said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julianna Goldman in Washington at jgoldman6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net


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