Feingold, Back in the Day

by Daniel Foster

I’d say Russ Feingold’s new ad — meant to remind people, as Politico’s Jonathan Martin puts it, that Feingold hasn’t “gone Washington” — is effective. But it might have been more effective if the Senator hadn’t green-screened in the house at the end. The second half of this ad could have been shot in the Senate cloakroom or some quiet corner of Old Ebbit’s Grill.

I’m not crazy, right? They couldn’t spring for an on-location shot here?

UPDATE: I just got off the phone with John Kraus, senior adviser to the Feingold campaign, who told me the footage of the senator in front of his house is the real deal.

“All I can tell you is we had him shot in front of the same house he’s always lived in,” Kraus told me.

I’ll take him at his word, and I don’t want to get conspiratorial here, but it just looks to me like there is stuff going on — with the foreground-background split, with scale, with some matte lines around the senator — that make it look bizarre. Shouldn’t Feingold have the same diagonal shadow that hits the house behind him? Shouldn’t he be walking on more or less the same plane as the sloped driveway? The second, tight shot of Feingold doesn’t look particularly fake, just the initial as the initial wide one.

Perhaps there is a second cameraman in that grassy area…

Anyway, maybe a reader with a background in video editing can offer an opinion.

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