Many months back I gave some play to a “Remember November” video that had been launched by the Republican Governors Association. I was impressed with both the quality of the thing–all menacing, with quick jump cuts, tricks of light–and the apparent reference to Guy Fawkes, the 17th Century British terrorist who has become a darling symbol of activists on the left and right.
I learned the story behind the video a few weeks later. It was the work of a Canadian-born filmmaker, Lucas Baiano, then just 21-years-old, who had spent much of the 2008 cycle volunteering his talents for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Everything about the story seemed a little remarkable: A 21 year old? A Hillary Clinton supporter now working for Haley Barbour’s outfit?
When I finally met Baiano he told me he had originally had no idea that people made the connection between the “Remember November” slogan and Guy Fawkes. He had seen the slogan on a sign at a protest, and thought it had a great ring to it.
Now the Baiano story is getting even more remarkable. Sensing a talent in their midst, the RGA has had Baiano film two documentaries for them, both intended to nationalize the 2010 gubernatorial contests. The trailer for the first video, A New Jersey, which will run over 20 minutes online, was released Wednesday night. The film will also be screened at E Street Cinema in D.C. on September 8. The second video documentary will be about 45 minutes long, and the RGA plans to charge people online to watch it, a risky plan that flies in the headwinds of just about everything we think we know about viral video. But Baiano’s work is certainly distinctive. As he told me in a story up at Time.com, “For anybody who says the left owns new media, I am here to assist in leveling the playing field.” See the trailer for the first new video here.