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August 28, 2012

RNC Podium in Multi-Screen: 11th Hour PR Mojo or Metaphor for Man You Can’t Piece Together?

• Screens are the backbone of the set. There are 15 LED screens total, 13 of which are on the stage. Screens
are stacked in the space to create sense of depth.
•They can form an unbroken panoramic image or be used individually to crate a collage effect.
•The podium has a total of 2,402 square feet of LED screens, compared to standard 40’’ TV of 6.3 square feet
•Screens are framed in 6’’ wood frames to keep screens from merging into one flat visual plane
•There are almost NINE MILLION total pixels in the screens and arena ribbons.

–from: RNC Fact Sheet: Stage/Podium Facts and Figures (via NYT)

“Even the frames are designed to give it a sense that you’re not looking at a stage, you’re looking into someone’s living room,” said Russ Schriefer, one of Mr. Romney’s senior advisers who is running the convention planning for the campaign.”

– from: G.O.P. Packaging Seeks to Reveal a Warm Romney (NYT)

Necessity being the mother of invention, it looks like Mitt’s story and vision will be supplemented by the digitial extravaganza of “MittVision.” Considering convention-by-video montage, here are three questions to keep in mind over the next three days:

First, would we have seen this kind of whiz bang, anti-ADD, eyeball-seducing set-up if Romney happened to be more interesting, or is “MittSurround” essentially an ingenious complement to a charismatically-challenged guy when politics today is so heavily dependent on personality and the ability to entertain?

Second, could you think of a better strategy for piecing together “one overall Mitt” when he’s otherwise presented himself in so many different political fragments? (Okay, that’s not really question.)

Third, beyond all the great possibilities for the photojournalists to have fun with these panels (my favorite so far is Charles Dharapak’s Texas delegate “big sky country“), what do they put on the ceiling monitors if New Orleans is deluged?

UPDATE: Reading David Brooks’ savage mocking of Romney and how to present him in Tampa, it feels more-and-more like the arrangement of separate screens is a revealing metaphor, that they only way you can get at him is in grab-bag snippets or cut-and-paste.

(photo: Shawn Thew / EPA. caption: A video of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Rmoney plays on the multiscreen after Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus closed the days session at the Republican National Convention in the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, Aug. 27.)

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