87 long, dark nights for America: The faintly hypnotic quality of failed candidate’s B-roll footage
Eighty-seven long, dark nights to go.
Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “I am truly enjoying myself while running for president. The people of our country are amazing – great numbers on November 8th!”
Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “We need to make sure every American has high-speed internet access. And we will.”
And what are you doing before bed this Saturday evening, Windram? Watching the almost bizarre B-roll footage of failed Presidential candidates?
An oversimplified explanation of B-roll footage is that it is supplemental footage that a crew films, a more precise explanation can be found here.
In our current Super PAC-era of American politics, however, B-roll footage is something a little different, a cute circumvention of campaign finance laws. While a Super PAC can be set up to support a specific candidate by making and running expensive ads for them, they are prohibited from actively coordinating with the candidate or the candidate’s campaign team. But if a campaign team were to upload to the web hours of professionally shot B-roll footage of their candidate, well, there’s nothing wrong in the Super-PAC taking this footage and using it to make ads in support of that candidate. It’s democracy at its finest.
And it’s fascinating; being both clearly stage-managed and yet making everything so trivial and banal that you think you can almost catch a glimpse of the real person behind the spin and fabricated persona. It is mundanity under an ambient beat, and as such is embarrassingly hypnotic – a sort of wonk’s lava lamp. You could play these videos on a never-ending loop as a modern art installation. It almost, almost, makes you long for the days of Rubio, Cruz, and Kasich. Those days feel like they are from a whole different eon rather than a few months ago. Watching them you can’t help but feel that the unsuccessful candidates are the lucky ones as they have been freed from the purgatorial life of a national campaign.