Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Political campaigns should"buy local" for visual media production

In today’s economic environment in Maine, the economic impact of film production is imperceptible because of factors beyond our immediate control.

What does have an impact is visual media production.

Back in the 80’s and 90’s many Maine visual media production companies were supported by companies producing corporate videos, infomercials, national commercials and local commercials with substantial budgets.

Today that has all changed. Technology and the internet have made the production and distribution of visual media available to everyone. Companies no longer have the same advantages of the past where expensive equipment and relationships gave them the advantage they needed to run profitable companies.

The process has made the production companies that have survived, leaner and more creative in their visual media endeavors.

This fall we are in the middle of a heated gubernatorial campaign. What also heats up during campaigns is the production of visual media. Like a farmer who tends his crops all year waiting for the fall harvest to make his money, political campaigns invest in visual media that becomes part of the local producers harvest.

Back in August I contacted all the candidates running for Governor and asked them who they hired for the visual media production.

When I called the Moody for Governor Headquarters, Jason answered the phone and explained to me that Black Fly Media is doing their visual media production. Nice. This is a great local company. Please click on the link to get more information and consider them for you local production needs.

John Morris from the Lepage for Governor Campaign called back and told me that Sunderland Weston in Bangor was producing their visual media and that they had a consultant in Portland hiring local producers. He assured me that everything they are producing is done locally.

David Loughran from the Mitchell for Governor Campaign wrote back to me, “We are using The Campaign Group (http://www.campaigngroup.tv/index.html) to do our television ads. It is the same firm the campaign used in the primary. Their experience in political campaigns and their expertise in the creative arena are both impressive.”

The Campaign Group has offices in Philadelphia and California.

In addition, the Mitchell campaign has hired gum spirits productions to do some local production. They do terrific work.

Abby Cutler from the Cutler for Governor Campaign wrote,

” As for our production companies, we use Devine Mulvey (based in D.C.) for our T.V. spots. At least five of their crew is from Maine, including their PAs. They also make a point of buying all crew lunches and breakfasts from local companies.”

“We've also used Sally Levi (formerly at Lone Wolf, now a freelancer) to shoot a couple of gubernatorial forums and some outros, and Michael Babyak, who has shot some interviews for us and also does some editing for the campaign.”

Abby also took the time to meet with me at the Cutler campaign headquarters.

Kevin Scott called me back and I had a nice conversation with him. He hadn’t hired anyone for visual media production. I’d suggest we find someone to produce a safe driving video for him.

Of the five candidates two buy local, two import and buy local and one doesn’t have the funds to produce visual media.

What I would like to see in the next election is everyone buying 100% local. For example, I did some research and, as of the end of August, the Cutler campaign had paid over $70,000 to Devine Mulvey. While they are hiring local crew, most of that money goes out of state.

The same is true for the Mitchell campaign.

I know that there are resources right here in Maine for all Maine political campaign visual media production. Please be aware of that as you watch future campaign commercials.

Oh, and you’ll never see visual media littered on the side of the road after a campaign!