Two weeks in politics: The RNC and DNC, side-by-side, by AJ Chavar/The Washington Post
What a long and crazy two weeks it has been! A good chunk of the Washington Post video team (including director of video Andrew Pergam, technical director Meghan Sims, segment producers Theresa Poulson and Jason Aldag, video editors Jayne Orenstein and Kristen Boghosian, and videojournalist AJ Chavar [hey, that’s me!]) has been on the road for two weeks, first covering the RNC in Tampa, Fl., and then the DNC in Charlotte, N.C.
The video above, though I may biased in being its creator, is one of our “must-watch” videos from the conventions. I spent the in-between moments during both conventions shooting, planning, sequencing and reshooting scenes for video diptych at the top of the post. Planning for the project started almost three full months ago, when we were first formulating our ideas for covering the conventions. I was inspired by a number of things while shooting, but it is no secret to fans of their work that a big influence on this video was the Everynone video “Symmetry:”
My hope was to expand on their split screen concept and tell more of a direct, linear story about the political conventions, showing how very different, and how very similar they could be.
Before even arriving in Tampa I had a short shot list, a skeleton file in Final Cut Pro that cut the screen in two and was filled with dummy footage, and some music selected. I felt that I was somewhat underprepared, but this turned out to be a good thing. Every day I pushed myself to find more and shoot more because I was worried about undershooting—there were no second chances!
(shot list, RNC)
Over the weekend, in between Tampa and Charlotte, I took all of my RNC footage and began to edit it down and sync it with the music. This took a few hours spread out over the course of a day, and let me go into the DNC with much more focus—I knew what scenes I had to find compliments to, so I had a checklist. At this time, I also asked Jayne Orenstein to start pulling clips of politicians from both conventions and matching up their hand gestures.
By the last day of the DNC everything was completed and in place except for the final shot of President Obama. It went surprisingly smoothly. I watched the President’s speech from the Washington Post workspace, waiting for him to formally accept the nomination. By the time he had ended his speech, the video was done and on its way to our video CMS.
But of course, we did simply TONS of video from both conventions, and you can find all of it, and new political video reporting daily, on our website. For all the video from the RNC, just click here. Those playlists include a ton of Post-original content, including analysis and takeaways from our top political reporters and bloggers, as well as the footage of all the major speeches, and original reporting by our videojournalists. And don’t forget the same playlists for the DNC, here.
(two weeks worth of press credentials)
You should definitely check out the “Say What” player, spearheaded by Kat Downs. It allows you to watch full speeches with embedded transcripts, and see where both Post reporters and Twitter decided to weigh in.
Overall, here at Post Video, we’re trying to give you the most complete, and completely unique coverage of politics. You can always let us know how we’re doing by getting in touch with us on twitter.
-AJ Chavar/The Washington Post