It’s early days in this election yet. The campaign has seen the emergence of online candidate videos in a bid to attract potential voters. From the shambolic to the downright surreal, here is a review of some of the more notable offerings to date.
1. The Healy Raes – Episode 1 (Independent – Kerry).
Vote rigging reality TV star, and famous politician’s son, Michael Healy Rae released a campaign song and video on youtube in the opening days of the campaign.
The accompanying video shows him posing with a big gun and GAA players, and he never takes his hat off. Sure qualities that we all desire in our local representatives.
The song is absolutely pants as you’d expect, and the Youtube comments underneath the video are disabled.
That’s all you need to know.
2. The Healy Raes – Episode 2 (Independent – Kerry).
Danny Healy Rae looks like he crawled out from under a bush to take part in this second visual offering from South Kerry’s empire of flat cap wearing twats. In a departure from the original, the tone is decidedly sombre. Stylistically speaking the sequel is a more straightforward affair.
Michael still has his hat on. All will be revealed in episode three…
3. Martin Heydon (Fine Gael – Kildare South).
Martin really pulls out all the stops in this campaign video. Looks like he hired a Delorean, got customised license plates printed and employs motion graphics in a multi-camera production that comes in at just over 3 min. Darren Scully is in the video, not representing Blacks of course, but Brown, Doc Brown that is.
Much like Fine Gael’s time in power, this video treats the electorate like idiots. The plot spoonfeeds viewers a future vision of Doc Brown’s Ireland under a stable Fine Gael Govt.
This big budget production does show some originality, yet is let down by an ultra simplistic storyline and over-acting by our xenophobic friend, Doc Brown.
4. Gary Gannon (Social Democrats – Dublin Central).
In a one take video that shows some solid acting by all involved, Gannon and co avoid the gimmicks and choose to highlight issues from their manifesto.
It’s a professional production that gets its point across in a prompt, non patronising and timely manner. Although we suspect the style and tone of the video has been ripped off from Dave Tynan’s Just Saying.
With acting skills like that, it’s a dead cert young Gary is gonna go far in politics
5. Kate O Connell (Fine Gael – Dublin Bay South).
This bizarre video wouldn’t look astray being cut in with The Hardy Bucks. Kate lays down why the voters of Dublin Bay South should vote for her.
The video is terribly composed and the sound of her voice is clipping to say the least. The music is terrible aul shite and tellingly she stares off camera like she can’t face looking you in the eye.
What leaves a lasting impression on the viewer is not just the terrible production values, but the raw and blatant sense of entitlement that she reveals during these two minutes.
She describes watching politicians and says “I felt they didn’t seem to know what they were doing, I just assumed you wouldn’t put yourself forward unless you do”.
It’s easy for us to fill in the subtext on that.
Did you think “fuck it I’ll have a slice of that pie too” so councillor?
Jerry O Sullivan (Independent- Cork North West).
At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss Jerry O Sullivan’s video. It appears he simply stuck his phone out the window while driving to make the piece.
Yet upon further examination ,there is something deeper at play: for example when he mentions houses, he drives past a house, when he mentions families, he drives past a church.
Not only this, he also manages to get all of his campaign manifesto into one neat rhyming scheme.
The wordplay is spectacular, the bridge in particular where he sings “bottom of the ballot paper, top of the pole” displays a fine command of the English language.
The viewer will be slightly confused when the song ends and there is a quick cut to a seemingly unrelated scene of a man playing bagpipes.
This style is reminiscent of early Soviet montage theory which leaves the viewer attempting to find meaning from the juxtaposition of the two scenes to reveal the signified within.
If this campaign is to remembered for anything, it will be for Jerry’s video.
A complex and enduring classic.