Creative studio Nice Shoes acted as a post production partner to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign team, delivering spots right up until Election Day
Creative production studio Nice Shoes announces today its creative involvement in Joe Biden’s presidential election campaign. The studio formed a small, dedicated team of artists and producers to handle post production for the crucial final stretch of the Biden campaign, beginning with a series of films at the Democratic National Convention and continuing right up until Election Day, delivering over 20 spots along with variations and cutdowns.
The 2020 US presidential election has been an explosive topic of conversation in the media with both Biden and Trump going all out on their content strategies. Unlike many other political races, the two candidates were not only communicating with potential voters, but battling against the onslaught of content from each other AND each other's supporters 24 hours a day. The Biden campaign required partners who could deliver a high volume of content on fast deadlines in order to be nimble and respond to any topic that came up along the campaign trail almost instantaneously.
Based on years of successful collaborations, Daniel Maughan, executive producer at Biden for president, selected Nice Shoes to be one of their post partners to handle the high volume of work the campaign needed to produce.
Nice Shoes’ head of production, Jason Farber: “These spots are real time products of the moment, which we were able to execute swiftly - we made sure we had clear communication with the Biden campaign so that we could make sure our artists and resources were always at the ready. All of our artists are able to work remotely, but all of our servers are in the office. When we’re colour grading for example, if Sal is working on something all day, I can have Lenny jump in at any time and continue. It is the same for Dan, when he is editing, he can quickly jump in to do any title overlays, animations, editorial or some rough audio mixing. Our remote pipeline allows us to be very nimble and versatile.”
Chloe Sedelmaier, head of sales at Nice Shoes: “We’ve known Daniel for so many years, but, something that he mentioned to me when we initially started the conversation, was that it wouldn’t be like anything we’d done before. That it would be around the clock and shifting in hours. We said ‘no problem,’ and we’ve been completely malleable to what they need us to be. Daniel has been working with the team full time around the clock and it’s been a gratifying experience, how everyone has come together to make it work, and produce content that has made a difference.”
Nice Shoes editor Dan Suter was continually fed new footage and briefs to prep a library of ready to air spots on a variety of topics. Dan said: "This was a real exercise in assembling compelling edits on a tight timeline. We had access to so much Biden archival footage, current campaign footage, and pretty wide access to stock libraries for additional footage, music, and news clips. While some briefs called for more specific footage, others were fairly open-ended. You are really working all of your muscles as an editor, in making and refining those selections, shining a light on the many stories, large and small, that all tie in to the overarching narrative of the campaign. And it's amazing how seamlessly the process worked with our team, and our contacts at the campaign, all working remotely. This certainly demonstrates the potential for creative collaboration across timezones in the future."
- Above: edit by Dan Suter, colour grade by Lenny Mastrandrea
For senior colourists Sal Malfitano and Lenny Mastrandrea, the fact they were already working remotely was a huge benefit in helping craft the right narrative.
Senior colourist at Nice Shoes, Sal Malfitano, added: “As colourists we look at the story they’re telling and try to find out the right way to support that through colour. Biden’s campaign elicits optimism, concern and a lot of warmth, so we worked to accentuate that in the footage. As Dan mentioned, we were also working with different formats, and archival footage from throughout Biden’s career - we needed to make sure that it all felt fluid and cohesive. And, that our work complemented the stories we were telling.
- Above: colour grade by Sam Malfitano
Lenny Mastrandrea, senior colourist, added: “Despite the fast pace, you’re telling people’s stories and that requires careful attention. The stories aren’t always happy stories. People have lost jobs, family members, and businesses are closing. They're sharing how they’ve been impacted by the previous election, or may be affected by the coming one. We had to take the care to make it look natural, while emphasising the warm tones in the footage to play up the hope and empathy the campaign wanted people to feel.
Working from our homes and not having to travel to the office, we were accessible instantly and at any time, which was a huge advantage. Having our entire infrastructure accessible remotely allowed us to fulfil any demands the campaign threw at us. It was great to be able to approach this project with a confidence in a tried and true solution, and instil that within our partners at the Biden campaign as well.”
- Above: colour grade by Lenny Mastrandrea
Malfitano concluded: “The whole process was pretty seamless, we were like an extension of their whole post spot making machine, really. This is where our remote pipeline was most beneficial. Political advertising is a specific thing, it has a short time frame and it aims to elicit a reaction in real time. The Biden campaign needed partners to help them produce meaningful responses to an ever-evolving narrative.”