So close…

So I had a post planned about my favorite Super Bowl ad, but then I saw this video, and I wanted to talk about it:

This video is close to being good, really good.  It’s premise is brilliant, and you can see that the folks who created it really had a good time with it.

So close…. But in the end it falls short. Why?  Two reasons: 1) It’s too darned long.  I get the joke, the joke is funny, I don’t need three minutes of the same joke — it’s a like a Saturday Night Live skit that’s overstayed it’s welcome. I forced myself to get about a 1:30 into it, but after that, I realized they weren’t taking it in new directions or really giving me new information, just rehashing jokes I had already laughed at.  It really needed an editor or someone to say, we should leave the audience wanting more.  It’s just too thrilled with it’s own cleverness.

And, 2) I’ve made this point before, but humor comes from playing the reality of an absurd situation, not from playing the absurdity of it.  The b-roll here tries too hard.  I’m with the video when the “lobbyist” is on camera, but every time we cut to b-roll of him with his “matched’ politician, it loses me, it’s just a little too goofy. To use a phrase I’ve used recently, the tone of the b-roll doesn’t match the tone of the sit down section, and it throws me off.

One thing I had to learn as a writer was when to edit myself.  I wanted to get so much into a sentence, a paragraph, a document, so I added that extra line, one more phrase.  Experience has taught me that less is usually more, and sometimes that means sacrificing something you really like to make the whole better.

That’s the problem with this video.  If it was a minute, it would have been hilarious even with the distracting b-roll.  If it had been a minute with better b-roll or no b-roll, it would have been brilliant in execution and concept.  (BTW, it’s not lost on me that this is an attack on Senator Lisa Murkowski, and I like the fact that the attack is so subtle, it helps the attack to “stick” in my mind.)  But, as this video stands now it’s clever, and so close, but ultimately falls short.

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