Academic journal article Journalism History

30 Second Democracy

Academic journal article Journalism History

30 Second Democracy

Article excerpt

30 Second Democracy, a film by David Vainola. Released by First Run/Icarus, 1996. Films in VHS format 51:25 minutes. Color.

It appears that the purpose of this film on video is to dissect the development of the thirty-second political advertising spot. It also attempts to contrast the development of political commercial advertising as practiced in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The film fulfills its first purpose well. However, while the film does a credible job in citing a sampling of political advertising spots from all three countries, the second purpose is too vast a topic to be covered in a comprehensive manner in a little over fifty minutes.

The strength of the film rests with its coverage of the development of the thir-second political commercial spot. This coverage of the development of the thirty-second spot, from the economics, to the message design, to the rise and liability of negative political spots, enables the film to excel in its well executed presentation. This section can provide a useful tool for use in a number of communication and political science courses.

The film uses a minimum of off-screen narration, provided by the director, co-producer, and co-writer, David Vainola. …

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