“The Swamp” Online Series

LAI Video was excited to partner with CRTV (now BlazeTV) and Update Media Group on the third and fourth episodes of “The Swamp” — a ground-breaking new documentary series on Facebook that follows the political madness through the eyes of four freshmen House Republicans, giving viewers an uncensored behind-the-scenes look at the political machinery on Capitol Hill. The Emmy-winning series was created and executive produced by Matt Whitworth.

Casting Troublemakers

The district attorney. The engineer. The prosecutor. The veterinarian. “The Swamp” follows four political outsiders, all of whom have attained private sector success before running for office. Before being sworn in, these guys were sick and tired of the broken system. As public servants, they’re even sicker and tired-er of the broken system that they must now navigate. They’re determined to make a difference and to do so transparently—with a camera crew capturing their disgust, triumphs and failures in realtime.

Shadowing Subjects While Shining A Light

Given unlimited access, our team talked with the congressmen as they hustle in and out of meetings, walk through the underground tunnels of the Capitol and make appearances in their home districts. As producer, Ellyn led a lean crew on standby, waiting to craft each episode’s narrative as the news stories broke. Like the video ninjas that they are, Jun, De’von and Anthony worked around the Capitol’s physical media restrictions while getting as much content as possible to allow for a variety of storylines to transpire in post-production.

Reporting the News vs. Being the News

Jun cut the dense, nine-minute episodes that explore the inextricable tie between fundraising and policy-making — how some powerful lobbyists set the agenda by using campaign dollars to prioritize specific committee assignments. Tiffany’s motion graphics underlined the series’ off the cuff and even badass approach to exposing big, revelatory stuff. But in the middle of this “follow the money” arc, one of our protagonists, Representative Tom Garrett, found himself in the news. Episode 3 ends in a cliffhanger, as Garrett shifts from rogue outsider to embattled politician, allowing the two-parter story to unfold into an unexpected but essential question — can Washington outsiders change the system without being consumed by The Swamp?