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August 30, 2010
Interview: Ladd Ehlinger, Jr.
Ladd Ehlinger, Jr., is a filmmaker who recently directed this ad which I'm pretty sure you've seen:
...which vaulted Dale Peterson from a barely-noticeable 5% up to 28%, and knocked out the front-runner (who Peterson especially opposed).
He also just directed the Young Mattie Fein ad.
This past Tuesday I interviewed him by chat. I have made a few minor changes to the chat, such as when I am unclear about what Ladd means and prompt him to explain. Like, in that case, I delete out my prompt and just include his fuller explanation. There was also cross-talk, him answering one earlier question while I was on to another one; in these cases I've separated out the conversations and put stray sentences into the answer where they should have been. I also deleted a couple of digressions. And of course I've added some links and stuff.
Otherwise, this is pretty much how the chat went.
First off: Online political ads seem to have departed far from regular tv ads, since they're all "push," and online ads have to be sought out, or need "pull." Obviously you get that.
Exactly. No one has to watch your stupid ad online.
The danger is not as great as you might think. I wouldn't recommend someone doing what I do who has a sure shot election and twenty million dollars of brainwashing money. But for everyone else, especially the citizen candidate, it makes sense. Someone who's never run for anything before? How else will they get name recognition? Dale Peterson, for instance, had never run for anything before.... And he wouldn't take money from the sleazy special interests like Alfa Insurance.
I interviewed him when I did a radio show. Back when I was doing one.
1) Stop concentrating on the sure wins.
2) Stop thinking a district is lost
So that's just off the top of my head.
On your first and second points, the RNCC is putting money into the most likely pickups, and not so much in the next thirty seats, which is a weak strategy, a limit-our-wins strategy... You would say I guess they should stop doing much about the top 30 and just assume those are in the bank and go hard after 31-70?
Waxman. They can all be taken out.
I have been saying that this is a wave election, and in a wave, there are going to be two or three "golden" "virtually unopposed" candidates who don't even know they're in an election who wind up Nov 3 without a job.
Do you know how someone becomes an "NRCC Young Gun?" The NRCC has this silly "Young Gun" thing where you get access to "big donors." First you have to raise $250,000 to be "spotlighted" on their website as a "big donor."
You know what? If you're elected as the Republican nominee, then by God, the Republican party should get off its damned ass and at least assign an intern to you.
Someone needs to say that to all of them, and damned loud.
Defined? thematically, or rejecting a system of finance and distribution...?
Then decided to make Hive Mind, which is, basically, Limbaugh versus collectivist nude zombies. A post-apocalyptic film. From there I started doing ads for candidates I agreed with philosophically.
what was your first [commercial]?
L Oh, Les Phillip. Great candidate. GOP Congressional District 5, Alabama.
Wow, hah. You like have done them all!
He lost the election mostly because his GOP opponent made a deal with Democrats to cross-over vote for him.
I don't think the main media universe has much longer to live. So it doesn't matter. Everything is fracturing and falling apart. The smart money realizes that and is doing what it can now to build a brand before it's impossible to do so any longer.
It'll devolve into national tribes. Online tribes. Like your website. And then no one will make any money anymore.
Well, it's a case of the cool kids in high school... they eventually get fat, turn into drunks, and get DUI's when they get older. That is their collective media career destinies.
so she did a good combination of Teri Garr and Madelien Kahn.
Yes, we also considered High Anxiety, but fewer know that one than Young Frankenstein. Also, there is the ryhming quality with her name, "Mattie Fein" and "Frankenstein."
One can imagine sequels.
Ah good segueway So there are two audiences for these ads: First are the gatekeepers, sort of, online writers and stuff, and they are a determinedly geeky bunch and are looking for anything funny or different to link. But the second audience, the broader one, is not that geeky, and maybe not that on board with internet memes and movie references? Is there a balancing act?
Remember that we are now dealing with tribes of interest on the Internet, not zombies to brainwash. Anyone who hasn't seen Young Frankenstein or a John Wayne movie or whatever, they're not going to get the video and just move on. Bt those who do, will get it to the others that do, and so on.
So it's now not a question of trying to please all of the zombies... but attract the right tribes.
I thought it was way too slow and poorly made. It went viral because it was making a political point that struck a nerve with conservatives who wanted someone to say it. Went viral despite it being, basically, bad filmmaking.
Ah... you should check them out. They look like the trailers for a Tom Clancy movie about berserkerdemons.
Let me just ask for a little prognostication: What is the turnover in House and Senate this year? And if it's different -- what could it be if the GOP weren't too busy stepping on its own dick?
Not quite sure what the final result will be. Depends upon how many commercials I can do.
Well that's a good final answer. Thanks so much for your time, Ladd. And nice to meet you.
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Movable Type 2.64