How do you tell a visual story about someone listening? That was the challenge facing us here at Solidarity Communications when we started working with Omar Montgomery, candidate for Aurora mayor. Aurora is a neighboring city of Denver, Colorado.

Every person we talked to in the pre-production phase and during the interviews emphasized that one of Omar’s best qualities is that he listens. You don’t see many commercials where the main character is mainly listening.

Political ad interviewPolitical ad interview
Omar listening... even during his interview.

To bring this quality of Omar’s to life, and to show why it was such an important characteristic for an elected official, we focused on who he was listening to. We followed him all around his district. We broke Ramadan fast with families. We hung out at a barber shop. We went to a backyard get-together with his friends and neighbors. We went with him to the Pride parade. Omar’s campaign video became a beautiful tapestry of the people who make up Aurora-- the people he was asking to represent. It was a lot of work and a pretty intense video production, but it was worth it. People really opened up in front of the camera. Maybe it helped that we were women filmmakers. More likely it was because Omar is truly an amazing listener.

Omar’s election is in November 2019. We wish him the best of luck and thank him for the journeys he took us on.

On June 4th, 2019, Chris Hinds won a historic race for Denver City Council. With 9,730 votes and 28,883 campaign video views, Chris beat the incumbent.

When we first met with Chris to develop the concept for his campaign video, he made it clear that he did not want to be known as “just the guy in the wheelchair.” Yet, at the same time, we all knew that uniqueness in a crowded race was a huge benefit. So we crafted a script that showed that what made him unique also made him relatable.

Most voters don’t need or want pity. They just want their hard work to lead to a middle class life. In other words, they want accessibility to a middle class life. They want what Chris wants.

In Chris’ district, two things were inaccessible to many: housing people can afford and transportation that gets people where they wanted to go in a reasonable amount of time. So those were the issues we focused on. We showed that the problem isn’t the person, it is the system, and that the system can be fixed so that folks are able to live their full lives and the community can flourish.

Using the frame of accessibility not only highlighted Chris as the memorable candidate, but more importantly, it described abstract policy in a way that made sense to people. It resonated with them.

The current City Council dias isn’t wheelchair accessible. Simply by being elected, Chris is forcing Denver to be more accessible. They are going to have to build a wheelchair ramp at City Council. And once they do, Chris is going to use it to increase accessibility for everyone in Denver.

Updated: May 21

Young boy teaching woman how to flossYoung boy teaching woman how to floss

We are thrilled to announce that our video for Tay Anderson, candidate for Denver school board, was awarded the "Most Inspirational Campaign Video" award by Run for Something. Run for Something is a national political organization that supports young, diverse progressives running for office.

The film hack we learned during this shoot was how to keep a five year old focused on set. In the scene where little Tay is watching President Obama's inauguration, we actually played Fortnite on the TV and then green-screened in the actual clip during post production. In return, little Tay taught us how to 'floss.'

Tay Anderson (the real one, not the little one) is still in the middle of his campaign. His election is on November 5, 2019. Be sure to check out his website and lend your support.