Candidate Video Statement rules for 2010 Montara Fog Videos, race for San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

Candidate Videos FAQs 

How does this work? It's simple. Just schedule a time (avoid 2:00 to 3:30) and a place (anywhere on the coastside) and I'll be there to shoot. A five minute video typically takes thirty minutes to shoot--I'll reserve up to an hour. 

What should I say in the video? Anything you like. I advise most candidates to stick with the basic three questions: Why are you qualified for this position?, What are the major problems facing [your government body]?, How will you address those problems? Feel free to do anything you want but remember to keep it compelling. This is your chance to speak directly to the voters. 

I'm not good on video... No one really is. The trick is to prepare and practice. Write out what you want to say, in full text or bullet form. Practice in front of the mirror or in front of friends. Break what you want to say down into segments to make it easier--don't try to do it all in one go. When we do the shoot I'll give you plenty of chances to "redo" each segment (that's why shooting can take up to an hour).

I want to say nasty things about my opponent. Is that o.k. ? I'd rather you didn't but you can say anything you want in your video. I generally think negative campaigning is bad for our society but pointing out failures and flaws in the opposing campaign has its place. What I ask is that if you make any statement that I might consider controversial you also have to provide me with documentation to substantiate your claims. I'll look at your evidence when I'm editing. If I am convinced by your evidence then it stays in the video. If I still have doubts I'll cut it out without further discussion or notification to you. I'll publish the remainder of the video. Sort of risky, huh? 

Do I get to help edit or review the video after the shoot? No. If you have questions or concerns let's talk about them before we shoot. 

Can I have a look at what other candidates are doing? No. All videos for an election will be published as a group. This will be the first time that any of the candidates see any of the videos. It would be grossly unfair to get a preview of another candidate's video before making yours. 

Are you going to edit the video? Yes and no. Mostly "no." I'll edit only for these specific reasons: 1) The total finished time exceeds five minutes, 2) I select one take over another take covering the same material, or 3) I delete a portion due to unsubstantiated attacks on another candidate. Thus, the video will be essentially uncut, with no editorial management by me. 

What about lighting and sound? Early morning light is attractive, as is an overcast sky. Mid-day, overhead sun is ugly. Indoor locations, with a large window nearby are always good choices. Ocean waves are loud and hard to filter out. Most candidates choose a simple indoor location (we can use my home if nothing else works) but I encourage you to be as creative as you want to be. Just remember we have to get it done in an hour at most. Contact me with your ideas and we can talk about them. 

Can I use the video for other purposes, like on my campaign web page? Absolutely. I will own the copyright to the videos but you are free to use the video, or a portion of it, for your web page and in other ways as part of your campaign. If you want to use an opponent's video in some way that will probably be o.k. but please contact me first and tell me what portion you want to use. My only restriction is that you do not take anything out of context. I believe in strongly defending my copyrights so please don't take a opponent's video and creatively edit it to make him say things he didn't really say. You'll look stupid when I show the uncut version and you might get into legal trouble to boot. Play nice. 

I have more questions! Perfectly fine. Just contact me at I'm juggling several candidate videos at once (in addition to my regular responsibilities in life!) so if I don't respond right away or don't fully answer your questions then ping me again--don't be shy!