TAKING YOUR CAMPAIGN TO THE NEXT LEVEL
If the team evaluates that you should be adopted as a DemsForAction endorsed candidate, this will trigger the involvement of our media production team, who will arrange to have a brief chat with you to explain what we are offering by way of ongoing media support. We will setup a shared google document which will be for your media scripts and production ideas and will also give you a link to a secure media folder to enable you to upload any media content, such as campaign graphics, image stills and any other media content you want us to look at as part of our production process. All images uploaded MUST be hi resolution, low resolution images are generally unsuitable for video. We realize that old family photos will not be Hi Res and we have no problem with that, we just need all current images to be Hi Res.
With regard to still images, these will be critical to our production process, so if you don't have any you feel are suitable, we recommend getting someone with basic photography skills to do some head shots, some looking directly into the camera, then left and right of the camera. Also we like some quirky angle shots. Shots from weird angles, is probably the best description. Just post all up to the media folder for which we have provided a link and we will take care of the rest. We use industry standard software for all imaging and production tasks, so rest assured we are very adept at getting the best from images.
We will point you to some optional tools to help you get the best experience from our media services. This includes things like advice on the value a green screen can bring. For those unfamiliar, a green screen is a screen you can stand in front of when you record your piece to camera. The green color is a very specific green and it allows us in post production to cut you out from the background.
Lighting is also important as it helps bring a professional edge to the look and feel of your recording. A donut light as shown here is a sound investment. For those using a mobile phone to record, these lights often come with a stand and a holder for your phone. We discuss audio later in this article.
Please note, these are optional suggestions and do NOT affect the service we are offering to you as a candidate. They are simply suggestions you might want to consider.
You will then be asked to create a script for a 20-30 second piece to camera for your first Ad.
Great pieces to camera are an art form and can take a little practice, so try not to get frustrated as you learn the art. The key is DON’T RUSH to fit everything in, learn to write more effectively so you can deliver your message in a concise dynamic way. It can take a little time, but our team is here to help you with that. It’s all about light and shade. The message should appear effortless, well paced and conversational. Your audience needs to relate to what you are saying and believe that your message was written specifically for them.
Shari and Brian from our team will work with you to refine the script, in preparation for recording your piece to camera. Once you are happy you are ready, you will be asked to record a test piece using your script and upload it to a folder we will provide to share media.
At this point the production team will step in to evaluate, offer pointers and prepare you for the final recording of your message. By this time we will have been working in the background on the visual look and feel of your first Ad. Martin will then pick up the ball and will liaise with you during the edit process to ensure our vision matches your expectations. It is important that you make yourself available during this critical phase, simply because production resources are time sensitive and expensive to us as an organisation.
Once we are close to finishing your Ad, we will provide a proposed delivery date. (normally within 48 hours max). On the day of delivery, it is essential that you are available as we provide the draft piece. This enables you to check the content and check it is fit for purpose.
As part of the production process, we will integrate graphics styled around your Ad to use once it has been released. These will punctuate key messaging from within the Ad, so you have some visual continuity once it has dropped. Continuity is the key for branding and name recognition, so once we feel the time is right, we will then approach you with thoughts on your next piece.
All Ads are provided ‘clean’ to candidates with only campaign branding. While the rights to the visual content remain with Dems For Action for licensing purposes, you can consider it YOUR property for the purpose of distribution. Once you have released your Ad, we will do a follow up release (normally around 24 hours later) with DemsForAction branding in the top right hand corner. This is designed to get you wider reach, as we push it through known good amplification channels. It helps provide your message with a second lifecycle to a wider audience. We will also provide you with some tips on how to get the most from promoting your video.
As an endorsed candidate, you will then have access to our production services for the duration of your campaign. It is a measure of our commitment to you and your campaign and we are happy to provide you with an endorsement logo for your own use. We take our endorsement responsibilities seriously and as such, we can provide ongoing advice and assistance to get the very best from any media content we supply. We also ask that you respect the value of our brand. Any posts that include our branded content must NOT violate our rules on not tagging your opponent etc.
Despite what anyone tells you, presentation IS important. As a candidate you are a public figure and how you look is important. Of course this isn't about looking like a film star, it's about looking your best. That doesn't mean as a woman you have to power dress. Casual but smart often gives an impression of you being approachable and easy to talk to. Of course, there is always a time for power dressing in certain circumstances, but feel free to ask the team for advice if you are unsure. For guys, we would again suggest that you lose the tie, open the top button if you are wearing a shirt.. Again, casual but smart should be the rule of thumb.
We would add that there are also times for dressing down. Media is a sophisticated communication tool and we have the experience to provide the best advice based on the message you are trying to deliver.
Tips for recording your piece to camera for your first endorsed Ad
By taking time to build a relationship with you during your initial Ad, we hope that this will cement the foundation for content moving forward. We will make recommendations as to the time between Ads. Our political strategists will constantly be monitoring your campaign to ensure we are maximizing the benefit. As you reach political milestones in your campaign, we will be there to help promote them.
Coffee table discussions
All campaigns have to maximize campaign budgets, so you need to be agile in developing a media strategy. We are unique in that our production services are totally FREE to candidates, but we can only do so much to keep content flowing and it's important to develop innovative ways of creating media that will benefit your campaign.
Same rules apply in terms of setup. Make sure it is well lit. No need for a green screen in this setting as we want to capture the setting you have chosen to use. One key pointer here is how you record the audio. You can now get cheap external microphones for both phones and cameras so you can get closer in on the conversation
The examples shown are NOT brand recommendations, but rather examples of what is out there in the marketplace. We always advise you read the specifications and read reviews. Each of these examples had 4 star reviews on Amazon.
Obviously wireless mics give you more flexibility in terms of setup so it's a case of working out which is the best fit for your particular setup. Although the TESTEL example is a clip on mic, it will also stand on a table with a little imagination. It provides 360 degree coverage so, should be suitable for a coffee table setup. One great way of doing that is to hold coffee table discussions, either as a one on one, or you with a small number of constituents. You create an intimate discussion that can be framed by a camera and be left to run for the duration of the conversation. If the shot is framed carefully, it can provide free media that we guarantee will deliver some very useful messaging moments. We can dice and slice this content and wrap it in a visual package so you can use it on your social media streams.
Unlike when you recorded your evaluation piece, your first endorsed Ad needs to be given a little more thought. Recording in 'Landscape ' (with your phone on its side) is our preferred recording option unless otherwise specified by the team. You will see in this example that the subject is positioned to the right. This enables us to overlay messaging or a background into the open space.
You will see some really great candidate videos out there that have been directed and carefully produced. These tend to be expensive as it involves planning, lighting sound recording etc.
We can't emphaze enough, the importance of using a plain background or green screen. If you use a plain well lit background then this enables us in post production to remove that plain background and replace it with an image or even video content.
The point we're making here, is if we have a well lit well recorded piece to camera, it provides us with more flexibility with the final product.
You will see that the second picture is a little more zoomed in, some prefer a more closeup shot, but you really should go no further than shown here. We can always zoom in during post production.
The key is to get the best well lit raw recording you can get with the equipment you have. From iPhone 10 upwards, the back facing cameras are highly suitable for the task. You SHOULD NOT use your front facing selfie camera to record, as this is a much lower resolution camera.
Trash in trash out
At the end of the day, we can only work with what you deliver. Just like recording studios can't make a tone deaf singer sound like a pop star, we can't work miracles on poor presentation or articulation of your argument.
Before you record your final piece to camera, we will ask you to do a test piece, just so we can evaluate the lighting, the sound and the delivery of the message.
We will always be honest with you and try to provide constructive and helpful suggestions to get the very best out of your delivery.