WASHINGTON — A 23-year-old video editing ace who supported Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary is the man behind the summer movie blockbuster-style trailers for Tim Pawlenty.
Pawlenty advisers confirmed to MinnPost this afternoon that the young man responsible for the videos is 23-year-old Lucas Baiano. Baiano’s role in Pawlenty’s videos was first reported earlier today by the Huffington Post’s Jon Ward. Efforts to reach Baiano have so far been unsuccessful, but I’ll update if I hear back from him.
Lucas Baiano, a 23-year-old former Hillary Clinton supporter, is Canadian-born and dresses in perfectly-starched white shirts, slim-fitting sports jackets and tight designer jeans.
His job is to make Pawlenty appear larger than life. And he’s good at it.
“Lucas can make rather emotionless things emotional, so good for the rap on Pawlenty!” emailed veteran GOP admaker Fred Davis, who produced Carly Fiorina’s memorable “Demon Sheep” ad last year.
Baiano’s 90-second video for Pawlenty’s book tour, released in January, bears all the distinctive trademarks of Baiano’s style: stirring music that builds and builds; sound effects more often heard in feature film previews; perhaps most distinctively, a cinematographic style that mixes off-center head shots with herky-jerky behind the scenes moments, spliced with the clever use of iconographic historical footage, all edited so that the images come flying at you at a breakneck speed, providing an energy that combines with a more rhythmic overall pacing.
In short, it could be a political ad, but it could also be a trailer for something like “Independence Day.”
Baiano made a three-minute mini documentary for Clinton’s primary campaign, but was working for the Republican Governors Association in the 2010. His most notable video there was the Remember November spot that blasted President Obama over spending and the health care bill. It was called a “remarkable bit of political messaging” by TIME Magazine’s Michael Scherer, but opponents criticized the spot for seemingly invoking the British would-be-terrorist Guy Fawkes.
Baiano’s most-watched video for Pawlenty, titled Courage to Stand, has been viewed more than 150,000 times on YouTube. It got major play in the national media (as well as here at MinnPost), spawned several T-Paw movie posters that themselves went viral and, in perhaps the ultimate compliment, inspired a parody ad from Stephen Colbert.
A senior Pawlenty adviser said his camp is “very pleased with the feedback we’ve received.” Asked if more videos will be forthcoming, the adviser replied, “I won’t speculate on whether we’ll do more. Folks will just have to stay tuned.”