Durham’s city council meetings are making waves with an epic introduction video that kicks off the proceedings in a unique and engaging way. The video, lasting about two dozen seconds, features vibrant colors representing Durham’s flag, a catchy beat, and individual clips of each council member in action. Mayor Leonardo Williams and other council members strike poses against the backdrop of Durham, creating an energetic and distinctive start to the meetings.
Nathan Rittenhouse, the media production specialist for Durham’s city government, initiated the idea after drawing inspiration from other cities’ council meetings. The first version of Durham’s introduction video premiered in March 2019, receiving positive reactions from both council members and the audience. Rittenhouse’s goal was to educate residents about their council members and districts in an entertaining way.
The video captures council members in various poses set to lively music, creating a fun and engaging atmosphere. While some council members may initially feel shy on camera, they ultimately appreciate the final product, realizing the value of connecting with residents in a unique and memorable manner.
The introduction video not only adds an element of excitement to the beginning of council meetings but also serves as a way for residents to get to know their elected representatives beyond the formal setting of the dais. Council member Carl Rist, a first-term member, appreciates the simplicity of the video as a means of bridging the gap between the council and the community.
Rittenhouse, who shoots multiple options for each council member in front of a green screen, ensures that the final product aligns with the personality and preferences of each member. The video, lasting only about 23 seconds at the start of the meetings, serves as a creative reminder of the democratic process and the opportunity for residents to actively participate in governing their city and making it better.