September 28, 2007

Bradley Whitford On YouTube; Playing The Digital Advocacy Game [8:20 am]

Bradley Whitford states his case on YouTubepdf (note that he says some are some surprisingly harsh things - “You can’t out-hypocrit a Republican.”)

Whitford, a Democrat best known for his role as the president’s deputy chief of staff on “The West Wing,” decided to put together a short video for the Courage Campaign opposing a California proposition that would alter the state’s electoral map and would likely benefit Republicans.

There was no set designer, no fancy music, no high production values, no crew. Courage Campaign Chairman Rick Jacobs arrived with a camera at Whitford’s house last week. By Monday, their video, which calls on voters to fight the Republican-backed initiative, was up on YouTube, collecting a steady stream of hits.

“I think there was one cut in it,” said Whitford, who called it one of the easiest productions he’s ever done. He joked, “During the entire video I was wearing neither socks nor shoes.”

Consider the possibilities for actors with a message:

[...] In many respects, YouTube has become the Wild West of digital communication. Anybody can post, but being discovered is usually a matter of luck. Politically active stars have a clear advantage: They’re bound to get noticed simply on name recognition alone. More interesting, they can do so almost totally beyond the reach of campaign finance and contribution laws, as well as candidates and parties themselves.

“It’s a full-service way of expressing yourself on camera politically,” said Whitford, one of the first stars to capitalize on the new medium.

Note: the campaign to change how California allocates electoral votes is having its own problems — GOP electoral initiative dealt major blows - pdf

Related: Law Firms Go a Bit Hollywood to Recruit the YouTube Generation

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