YUSU Elections 2014 was produced by Thomas Cheyney and Lloyd Wallis. Neither had ever produced anything for YSTV before (and as of writing, neither have tried to since), so with everything considered it all went okay. Things were done quite adventurously this year with lots of things being different. This also means we learnt lots of things not to do.
One of the most intensive weekends that YSTV has in its yearly cycle, over the weekend of 8th/9th February 2014 almost every single one of the 51 candidates running this year came into a 15 minutes slot to record their manifesto. Tom did most of the filming, with help from Liz Williams and occassionally Lloyd. Meanwhile Lloyd spent most of his time editing the manifestos on his personal desktop, which, like Tom's had been moved in for the occassion. Why, you may ask? Well, because we decided to be a little adventurous.
- For the first time in many years, we decided to make use of our green screen for the manifestos. The screen was replaced with a two-colour background which corresponded to the colours chosen for the position in the YUSU branding (e.g. red and a slightly darker red for president, purple and a slightly darker purple for activities).
- For the first time we are aware of, two cameras were used in the filming - the DSLRs of both Tom and Helen Hobin.
Over the weekend, Lloyd and Tom encountered multiple bugs with After Effects, Premiere and Media Encoder, which each did something else wrong depending on whether you exported it from one of the producer's desktops or the edit PCs. The result was a somewhat interesting workflow that involved Adobe After Effects in Render Farm mode running on the edit PCs and then plugged into the final output on Tom's. Naturally, as soon as around 45 of the manifestos were done, solutions were found to all of the problems.
Through Tom's incredible amount of preperation, as well as test runs in the form of the YourUnion 60 Second Manifestos, most of the content was ready by Monday afternoon with time for a nap on Saturday night.
Two weeks later once voting opened, the 2014 60 Second Manifestos had accumulated over 25000 views between them. By the close of polling, 7 of them had entered the YSTV Top 20 of All Time, although of course none came close to knocking off [REDACTED].
- Regardless of how long the candidates took, each video was edited to be precisely 69 seconds long.
- The backing music used for the manifestos was an edited version of Here We Are.
- Candidate for YUSU President and NUS Delegate (as well as then-Academic Officer) Dan Whitmore has two outtakes available as part of our Results Night coverage.
- One candidate requested that their 60 Second Manifesto be taken down, and another failed on all three attempts but never responded to an offer to try again.
- This was the third consecutive year that Student Trustee candidate Harry Toynton needed to film a manifesto. It was the first year where we did not have to given in and edit together parts of all three of his takes, thanks in part due to threats that Lloyd would remove his clothes if he messed up again.
- Successful candidate for Student Activities Officer, Chris Wall, was also nervous when filming his manifesto at 11pm on Sunday evening, having just got back from Somerset. Lloyd again threatened to remove clothing, at which point the candidate just got aroused instead.
- Candidate for Senate Rep Stephen Harper did two serious and somewhat successful takes at his manifesto before instead deciding his third take would be best (and he won too).
- Candidate for NUS Delegate Lloyd Wallis was also one of the producers. For purposes of Fairness, Transparency and Occountability, Lloyd had no involvement in the production of NUS Delegate videos, and did not see any of the content before it went live (despite it actually being on his computer). He originally intended not to produce one himself, but then thought "Why the hell not" and did a really bad job of it.
Full-Time Officer a.k.a Fairness, Transparency and Occountability Debate 2014
After completely filling V/045 and getting the hashtag trending nationally at the election debate in 2013, YUSU held literally nothing back in its 2014 resurrection, held in the Roger Kirk Centre and chaired by none other than Greg Dyke himself. Well, except a decent PA system, but we'll get to that.
Like last year, YSTV broadcast the entire event live from the location. After somewhat last-minute providing speakers to the room last year, YUSU also expected us to do the same this year. With nine presidential candidates in the final debate, some microphones needed to be... well... the candidates were warned about the electric shock risks. The room also had two wireless microphones provided by AV in the room.
As with 60 second manifestos, some new ideas were tried out:
- A polling web page was created, which allowed both the physical and online audience to use a smartphone-optimised web page to show support for their favourite candidate throughout the debate. The results were shown live on the screens around the room, as well as using graphics on the live broadcast This saw 1500 interactions during the broadcast, with the data used in our results night coverage.
- This year, two presenters were used as comperes to fill the time between the debates. A small studio was set up on the balcony in the room, which was also the location of the control room. This is the first time this has happened in memory.
- This was the first Outside Broadcast that made use of Kenobi. Other than a minor issue where a PCI card fell out of the computer, it all Just Worked. Kenobi went on to win Best Technical 2014 at NaSTA for its efforts.