Video: Harry Shearer's New Video Spoofs Donald Trump

Video: Harry Shearer's New Video Spoofs Donald Trump

A new video depicting Donald Trump performing a song in praise of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is today revealed as being the work of The Simpsons and Spinal Tap star Harry Shearer.  Son in Law is the first track to be released from Shearer’s forthcoming album, The Many Moods of Donald Trump, a cycle of satirical songs inspired by the last four years of US politics and in particular the often mercurial behaviour of the current occupant of The White House.

The video of the track uses ground-breaking motion-capture animation to portray the US President lionizing his senior advisor and husband of his daughter Ivanka.  At one point it shows the spookily real Trump with his hand casually hovering over the nuclear button on his desk in The Oval Office, whilst extolling the virtues of his daughter’s curves.

Harry Shearer says, “You can't fire family, but you can sing about them.”

Written by Shearer, the old-style New Orleans R&B song has The Simpsons star on vocals in an eerily accurate impersonation of the President of The United States.  He is joined by a band of top New Orleans musicians who include David Torkanowsky of The Astral Project and Stanton Moore Trio on piano and organ, The Metres star George Porter, Jr. on bass, Raymond Weber of Dumpstaphunk on drums, leading saxophonist Brad Walker, Scott Frock of Delfeayo Marsalis’ Uptown Jazz Orchestra, on trumpet, and one of New Orleans’ top trombonists Jon Ramm.  The track is mixed by long-time Harry Shearer musical collaborator C J Vanston at The Treehouse North Hollywood and produced by David Torkanowsky.  It was recorded in New Orleans and Los Angeles.

The video is conceived and produced by Harry Shearer with Matt Hermans and Cameron Smith of The Electric Lens Company in Sydney, Australia.  The motion capture cinematography is by Matthew Mindlin. 

Matthew Hermans explains the process, “Using Unreal Engine and motion capture technology to record the body, hands and face we turned Harry into an all singing, all dancing virtual Donald Trump. The performance capture was done remotely during the international lockdown and required a custom pipeline to link Sydney and Los Angeles with a low latency connection. This capture data was combined and used to drive an avatar who appears in a virtual Oval Office – accurately modelled to reflect the Trump Administration’s current decoration scheme. Deep Fake technology was used to create the photo realistic face. A world’s first accomplishment to have a CGI face be replaced by a machine-learning, A.I face trained for weeks on footage of Trump speeches. This algorithm learns the subtle movements of Trump’s face and recalls these details based on the motion capture input and was the key to getting the performance translated from Harry to Trump!

The Many Moods of Donald Trumpis released by Twanky Records in October 2020.  It follows Shearer’s other satirical albums which include Songs Pointed and Pointless (2007), Songs of The Bushmen (2008), Greed and Fear (2010) and Can’t Take a Hint (2012).

Watch Harry Shear's New Video Below



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