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.
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.