Well, that’s one PEB which works better on radio.
When I heard the audio on GMU this morning, I thought it worked well – this wasn’t leadership-led, and the narrator was able to do the introductions, get round some of the candidates and mix it up a bit.
So I checked out the video version online this evening and the pictures don’t really add anything. The message is all audio. For example, Mike Nesbitt is filmed outside his constituency (in BIA?). And while not hugely important, I don’t think its wise to have a ‘Way out’ sign sitting almost directly above a candidate’s bonce. Strangford’s a rural constituency, how can you not have Mike getting some dirt under his fingernails at an agri-business? That would surely help to shed his urbane, surburban image and locate him directly in the constituency (Mike lives in East Belfast).
Lesley Macauley is filmed outside her constituency (somewhere round Dee Street in East Belfast). Harry Hamilton looks like he was filmed at Weaver’s Court in Belfast (though I might be wrong on this).
And is having Trevor Ringland on a rugby field in a Lions top not simply reinforcing a stereotypical (one-dimensional) impression many people may have of him? We already know about the rugby background – how does passing a ball with teenagers add another layer to what we know about this candidate? He will draw votes from the same well as Naomi Long – what dynamic device in this PEB helped position him for this?
Overall, it’s too Belfast centric. It needed more variety.
Why are candidate messages all straight pieces to camera? Why no walk and talk? Why no pan-NI landmarks to illustrate breadth and scope of vision / reach? Why no intercuts to images that support the statements (eg. Harry talked about the economy – erm… can we see what kinds of businesses you hope to particularly appeal to?)? No clever editing devices?
How did the visual narrative add to the spoken narrative? Put simply, it didn’t. Some good messages did came through, though Cameron’s excellent script overshadowed everyone else’s in my humble opinion.
No, not disastrous, but not memorable. A televised PEB is not just another platform to deliver the spoken word. Gotta say – bit disappointed really.
PS. Candidates of course cannot be filmed in their own constituency. My thanks to the nice UCUNF chap for pointing that out for me. Nevertheless, this needed shots from other constituencies IMHO. You could still do Mike at an agri-business, or Lesley in the City of Derry etc etc…
PPS. I looked over this post and perhaps I was overly critical of the UCUNF broadcast. It wasn’t terrible. My expectations for an excellent PEB were raised by how well this translated onto radio. Hence the disappointment.