This video was created for the Bush campaign as a memorial to President Ronald Reagan upon his passing. It uses photos of President Reagan as well as sound-bites and sound-bites from President George W. Bush. It was featured on the homepage of GeorgeWBush.com as part of the campaign’s remembrance and celebration of the life of President Reagan. The video won both a Pollie award and the Golden Dot award for best online video.
Man in the Arena was created more with a feeling in mind rather than a definitive script or concrete theme. It’s an abstract visual and audio celebration of what it means to be a leader. It took a full week to complete. The backbone of the video started with the music, selected after listening to hundreds of tracks. From there inspirational sound-bites were gathered of Winston Churchill, Teddy Roosevelt and of course John McCain. Celestial imagery was added to bring an expansive, larger than life ethereal quality to the video. Man in the Arena went viral once it was released, and remained the number one most viewed McCain video for several months. It was picked up in thousands of blogs, many of which tried to decode the meaning behind the piece, including Time and Ann Althouse. The video had over half a million views.
Courageous Service was one of the most important videos or ads produced for the McCain campaign. In the late summer/early fall of 2007 the McCain campaign had very little money and had been beaten up in the press. It was time to get back to basics — blocking and tackling — and that meant it was time to tell John McCain’s story. Previously the campaign had shied away from fully embracing the Senator’s amazing story, but starting in the fall of 2007 that was no longer the case; his courageous service would become the cornerstone theme of the campaign moving forward. With almost no budget, I managed to be a one man band: interviewing, shooting and editing. The result was a 12-minute bio film that cost the campaign $5,000, whereas a similar project on Bush-Cheney ‘04 cost $100,000 to make. Courageous Service became a central feature of our Web site for not just the primary but the whole campaign. It also became part of the field program with DVDs made available at events in Iowa and New Hampshire. The video was viewed over 800,000 times and generated a great deal of earned media including this article in the Concord Monitor.