New Tory Labour… is it!

This entry was posted on
Friday, September 22nd, 2006
2:05 pm and is filed
under Flash Music Video, Games and Objects.

I’ve been promising you some Flash fun (of the political and non-political variety) for some time now. The non-political material is right around the corner… the first version of the new political material goes live today:

Click here to see the first New Tory Labour flash-video that I’ve produced for the Liberal Democrats.

The Liberal Democrats initially approached me about doing a music video along the lines of the stuff I created for Backing Blair with a primary focus on Tory/Labour policies and promises on the environment.

Early ideas I floated included:

1. A new song politely-titled: ‘Forget you and your first class ticket to nowhere’.

2. Another new song; a lilting, boppy Caribbean-influenced summery number that was pro-warming, on the basis that we’ll all be able to enjoy many summery days in our new seaside homes… in the Scottish Highlands.

3. A re-recording of ‘Up, Up And Away’ by Fifth Dimension with an animation tracking the ascent of man and climate change throughout this period. This had a nifty punchline at the end, where you could ‘play again’ or ‘play again with nuclear waste’. If you clicked the latter, the video would re-play with modern nuclear waste buried under The Great Pyramid of Giza… and staying radioactive up until the present day and well beyond.

[Psst! during music research for this project, a new idea for an independent video occurred… more on that later.]

But the strongest idea departed from a one-off model, and instead presented the Liberal Democrats with something serialised and versatile:

New Tory Labour - Teh HeroThe Concept

Instead of a song, I would commission a jingle, with a strong intro, 60-second instrumental and a sting at the tail. During the instrumental, a central character would put the case for ‘action’ on the environment from a Tory/Labour perspective. This would allow the Lib Dems to take matters issue by issue (or absurdity by absurdity) *and* have room to expand beyond the environment if they chose to do so.

The Character

The ‘hero’ of the piece is a cheesy (and really quite scary) Frankenstein creation made up from bits of David Cameron, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

The mouth is based on the eerily-named Preston Blair phoneme series by Gary C. Martin.

Mouth movements have been enhanced by further manipulation of the chin, cheeks, eyes and eyebrows (right down to a tell-tale twitch that occurs whenever our hero tries to maintain his cheesy grin for more than 3.5 seconds).

The Setting

I began with a blackboard in the background, but the ‘roll-down’ method allowed for faster (and more dramatic) use of images.

All images are drawn by hand, eliminating the need to get permission for use of photos etc.

The Jingle

The choice of tune for the jingle was obvious (New Tory Labour = Shave and a Hair Cut) and Nicolas Bulostin delivered just the right level of cheese.

The use of a simple piano arrangement for the ‘sting’ was an accident; I used this to time the final animation while waiting for the finished sting and fell in love with it.

New Tory Labour - Teh LogoThe Branding

Initial logos (you can see some rejects here) started out with mixes of blue and red, including many early treatments playing on the Conservatives’ pre-broccoli attempts to take control of the magic squares.

The chosen logo represents New Tory Labour (or, if you prefer e-stylee; ‘newtorylabour’) aiming for that precious centre ground.

The Execution

There’s very little tweening or automation involved; the core of each animation is built frame-by-frame, beginning with the head (lip-synch and expressions) and then expanding on body/graphic movements.

Yes, it’s a lot of work… but it’s fun work and it delivers a tasty result.

[Psst! And, as an added bonus, local smear-merchants Dennis Paul and Mike Chambers are going to go totally spare about it, despite my making the following ab-so-lute-ly clear at the time; “I have done creative/production work for the Liberal Democrats in the past (and plan to do more)…”]

Search Engines

There’s a focused search engine strategy on the first video especially; most people who are in the know (i.e. not including certain Google “maximisers”) will be able to spot it. It’s a tall order, but I’m hoping for results comparable to that for ‘leo blair’.

So, that’s about it… here’s that link again:

Click here to see the first New Tory Labour flash-video that I’ve produced for the Liberal Democrats.

Remember folks; if you like it; share it.

The more you share it, the more likely it is that I’ll be asked to do another… and another… and another.

Cheers all.

About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
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