Interactive video portraits of election candidates

Posted by ryanjackson on Jun 20, 2011 in portrait, video |

During the last federal election the idea was thrown around of interviewing all of the candidates and putting the videos online.

The problem with just throwing up entire interviews is that few people will watch the videos and the ones who do will be bored waiting to get some tidbit of information. Say you interview four people, seven questions, one minute each = 28 minutes of video. That is an eternity! Would you watch 28 minutes of video of your four local candidates in hopes of hearing one or two things that interest you?

A new philosophy I’ve been following is “Think Backwards”

Typically in the media we capture and present video and then expect viewers to consume it as we give it to them. But imagine you just moved to Edmonton. You want to vote but you don’t know your local candidates or how they compare on certain issues that matter to you.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could watch four similar interviews at the same time and quickly jump to the information you want?

Well myself and data journalist Lucas Timmons did just that!

Watch an interactive video presentation of the federal election candidates in Edmonton-Centre.

I interviewed all the candidates and asked them the same seven questions. Lucas used the YouTube API and made hotlinks to each answer.  You can quickly jump to the information you are most interested in. You can watch one minute or 28 minutes. You are in control.

My big idea was to interview all of the candidates in all of the ridings but there simply wasn’t enough time so I only did Edmonton-Centre and Edmonton-Strathcona.

I wanted to have a consistent look and feel to the videos. I decided on a simple white background and black and white tones so that the video would only show the candidate and not have distracting backgrounds. The other advantage of shooting this way was that I could also do nice still portraits of each candidate after the interview was done.

Federal Conservative candidate for Edmonton-Centre Laurie Hawn poses for a photo at his campaign office in Edmonton on April 13, 2011. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal).

Edmonton-Strathcona Federal Conservative Candidate Ryan Hastman poses for a photo at his campaign office in Edmonton on April 21, 2011. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal).

Edmonton-Strathcona Federal Liberal Candidate Matthew Sinclair poses for a photo at the Journal office in Edmonton on April 22, 2011. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal).

Federal Liberal candidate for Edmonton-Centre Mary MacDonald poses for a photo at the Edmonton Journal office in Edmonton on April 13, 2011. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal).

Edmonton-Strathcona Federal NDP Candidate Linda Duncan poses for a photo at the Journal office in Edmonton on April 22, 2011. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal).

Federal NDP candidate for Edmonton-Centre Lewis Cardinal poses for a photo the Edmonton Journal office in Edmonton on April 13, 2011. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal).

Federal Green candidate for Edmonton-Centre David Parker poses for a photo at NAIT in Edmonton on April 13, 2011. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal).

Edmonton-Strathcona Federal Green Candidate Andrew Fehr poses for a photo at the University of Alberta in Edmonton on April 22, 2011. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal).

I had to be careful to ensure the framing, light and sound was consistent. I wouldn’t want to make any candidate look better or worse than the rest.

David Parker was at NAIT so we used a pulldown projector screen as a white background

I interviewed some of the canidates in the Journal studio which already has a nice white background

This was my basic setup. Three 500-LED video lights, a reflector and a white background.

I was able to fit my whole video studio on one dolly cart.

Each minute of video took about an hour to render in Final Cut Pro.

Reply

*

Copyright © 2016 Ryan Jackson Photography All rights reserved. Theme by Laptop Geek.