Was it a Serious campaign? Satirical Web series used by Norfolk County Fed Candidate

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Dear Silo,

Dustin Wakeford’s web series is finished and is now made into a mini-film.

Independent’s Day, was entirely shot in Norfolk County using 50 actors, 8 crew, and 20 locations by the production company Howl At The Moon Films. The series included 9 episodes that led up to the election. It was all shot mostly using a DSLR for High Definition footage.

Independent Day Mass Hysteria

It was a ton of fun and we were flying by the seat of our pants a little. There wasn’t much time to get things set, especially with the early election call, (which we were not expecting) so we kind of started in a running position. I loved this script right away and it was an exciting project to be part of. Dustin has taken his 20+ years of experience working on Political Campaigns (at the age of 20 he became the youngest head of a riding in the old Progressive Conservative party) and his love of film and pop culture to become perhaps the first candidate in Canada to use a satirical web series as part of his campaign strategy. Younger voters definitely enjoyed connecting with him in this way and speaking for myself, the more entertaining things are, the easier they are to pay attention to.

Here is what Dustin had to say about his reasons to pursue such an unique media piece:

The seed for the project (or experiment if you prefer) was planted in my brain during a political event (a rally) I attended during the 2011 federal election. I’ve been around politics all my life, and I’ve always known there was an element of sorcery about it. It’s always been staged and faked with smoke and mirrors. But as I sat there that day I realized that it had become so artificial that it might be interesting to try launching a completely fictitious campaign because in actuality that’s what all campaigns have become anyway – completely fictitious.

In today’s politics the line between the real and the unreal has become hazy at best and non-existent at worst. That has become unacceptable to me and so this project became both a means of protesting the status-quo of our current political system as well as a sad and satirical commentary on its current state. On the surface the entire thing seems obviously comedic but rest assured that the underlying purpose and message of it is deadly serious.

I tried very hard to emphasize to voters (especially young and first-time voters) the importance of casting a ballot. The modern trend towards lower and lower voter turnout needs to be reversed. Otherwise we may very well find ourselves in another generation or two with a society where the entire electorate has become completely disengaged politically. And history has taught us that when that happens the most tyrannical governments and policies thrive. Apathy is a very dangerous thing. I once heard it said that ‘apathy is the glove into which evil slips its hand.’ (On a positive note however voter turnout rose considerably in this past recent election… nearly 5 points here in Haldimand-Norfolk and an even greater increase nationally.”

More filming is happening in Norfolk County these days. Stay tuned.

Tanya van Rooy, Filmmaker

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