On August 21 at 4:42 p.m. local time, Eleven Films, the movie studio that James and Tiffany Dugger run from the family room of their 1,400-square-foot house in Portland, Oregon, tweeted out its latest ad: “The #BlueWave2020 Trailer.” The two-minute-and-19-second spot features clips of Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and John Lewis; food lines; Black Lives Matter protests; Marines raising the flag over Iwo Jima; first responders raising the flag over Ground Zero; an astronaut jumping on the moon. It was not actually a trailer—“We just make them look like trailers,” James Dugger said. “We’re always asked, ‘When is the movie coming out?’ And we always say, ‘You’re living the movie.’” It was meant to inspire, to rally the troops in advance of the final stretch of a long and tortuous campaign.
Before making viral videos full-time, James was a kombucha rep and Tiffany was a massage therapist. They were also progressives, and, in 2013, they created Eleven Films. In the beginning they made movies about the Portland protests. Then two weeks before Election Day 2018, they released “The #BlueWave2018 Trailer.” It blew up, and suddenly the entire Democratic Party was watching. A few months later the Duggers quit their jobs and became full-time filmmakers.
They expected the “#BlueWave2020 Trailer” to rack up 5 million views. Eleven Films had released a slew of videos in 2020 with millions of impressions, including “Midnight in Washington,” which trended number one on Twitter and has been seen more than 22