Did Hillary Use a Green Screen to Fake a Rally?

There’s been many conspiracy theories floated about Hillary Clinton in the run up to the 2016 US Presidential Election, but one of the more dramatic is the claim that a recent campaign event was somehow faked using a green screen.

So, did Hillary fake this with a green screen as some would suggest? No! Of course not – why would she do that?

If you watch the source video on which this claim is based you can see some pretty good evidence that this isn’t fake – namely that Hillary walks into the shot and then up on to the podium.

If this were a green screen fake then this shot would be much more complex than a basic green screen shot. It would now involve fairly complex camera match-moves, foreground extras, detailed background plates and a carefully constructed green screen stage.

But what about the mysterious “green screen glitch” that’s demonstrated in the initial video? How could that be explained… Well, if you watch a few seconds further there’s a really big clue.

glitch-1

In this image we can clearly see the top of Hillary’s head repeating down the frame, but the background is undisturbed.

This is the result of a codec error during transmission. The image has broken partway through the frame and that horizontal section of the image has been repeated the rest of the way down the frame. If the background weren’t such a perfect vertical stripe we’d see the same there too, but because there’s no other detail it looks as if the stripes are continuing unchanged. They are not.

So this is exactly what’s happened just a few seconds earlier, but the image broke slightly higher up the frame, and instead of the top of Hillary’s head being repeated we just see the top section of the flag backdrop being repeated all the way down the screen.

If we compare the “missing Hillary” frame with the next frame from the video we see that in fact the background isn’t unchanged. The bottom left corner is the most obvious area of change – it shows that the image isn’t just the same.

compare

There are other points made in an effort to support this idea of a fake event, but none stand up either. And there is ample photographic evidence of Hillary being at a Greensboro event – none of which fits at all with the green screen claim.

MORE: Waving at the Wall, and Cellphones

The two other main points of “proof” that are being repeatedly presented that this event was fake are:

Hillary was waving and pointing at the wall!

wall-point

Clearly she’s lost her mind! Or maybe… maybe it’s an optical illusion of sorts? Yeah probably that. Often in these sorts of video people really struggle to understand the nature of lens focal length and how it changes relative distance in videos. On a “long” lens elements in the foreground and background appear to be much closer together.

focal-length

The flag Hillary is standing in front of is probably around 25 feet behind her. Yet it appears she’s standing just in front of it. And, if you look at other photos from the event that show a wider look at the staging it’s very clear who she was waving and pointing at… these people:

crowd-bg

The other claim then is that the images visible on the crowd’s phones don’t match the scene.

ry1tu9f

This is again just an artifact of the telephoto lens – those people appear to be very close to the front, but they are not. Also their phones, compared to the camera we’re looking through, have a much wider field of view.

Photos from within the crowd looked a lot more like this (photos by Reddit user Realist_Trap):

yw1uawz

What consistently amazes me about claims like this is how flimsy they are, and how people who often describe themselves and “free thinkers” and “independent researchers” make no effort to challenge their own conclusions.

It would have taken only minutes for any of the people who thought they saw something a little unusual in these images to find various other videos and images that would, at the very least, challenge their initial conclusions.

Even if they couldn’t explain what they were seeing themselves, it should be enough to make them question their initial conclusions and seek more information.

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