A Day in the Life of Calum Youngson, EMEA Creative Director, Kinection, Bloomberg Media
Monday 20th Feb
I’m woken by Alexa, who’s fast becoming an extremely reliable and valuable living companion. I exchange pleasantries with my new automated sidekick and she helpfully informs me about the weather conditions for the day, useful as I have an outdoor shoot.
Wrestle through the mass of scooters and bikes that seem to have been breeding together over half-term and multiplied? Finally manage to leave the house to start a busy day.
On the Bus to Walthamstow, the first leg of my journey to Regent’s Park for a series of short films for an exciting new client. There aren’t many of us travelling at this hour, a few tired looking shift workers and two particularly loud, wide-eyed men who are clearly just finishing their night out.
On the Tube I stick to my New Year’s resolution of reading on the way to work. Currently it’s John Kavanaghs ‘Win or Learn’, the story of the coach and gym behind UFC Champion Connor McGregor—unusual story with just the right mix of grit and insight.
I arrive on set, near the pond in Regent’s Park. The piercing beams of sunlight or frost-covered grass we had hoped for have not materialized. Instead it’s grey and cold, but no matter—these are conditions I’m well used to working with having grown up in Aberdeen.
I run through the shots with Paul Handley, our trusted DOP. I push for some additional shots once I find out there’s a Ronin camera Gimbal included in the kit. We plan blocking out the scenes and prepare for our talent to arrive at 8am.
Talent has not arrived.
Our man arrives on a bicycle in full cycling gear, having spent all weekend riding in Dartmoor – but we’re filming a jogging scene and he can hardly walk in his specialist cycling road shoes, let alone run. Fortunately the shoot’s interviewer, Arif Durrani, has a pair of trainers in his bag, so we’re back on track. Quick introductions to the crew and we crack on.
It’s been a good hour with our crew and they are getting far more exercise than they’re used to. With the running scenes in the can, we record some wild audio for post before moving to the next location. Thankfully no ducks were harmed in the making of the film.
Police arrive to question our activities but the right permits are quickly presented and we’re on our way.
Our second location is in Park Village Studios on the edge of Regent’s Park. It’s a great space, with everything you need for a shoot. We immediately make use of the iron and the kitchen. Photos hanging on the wall of The Rolling Stones inspire and remind us of the studio’s 30-year heritage.
I leave the crew to continue setup as I check in with Bloomberg Kinection team’s lead project manager Rachel Ediss – she’s presenting some strong results of our content partnership with BMW Group at their headquarters in Munich this week and I’ve created a short video to capture our work. I’m not one for metrics jargon but our #Beyond 100 campaign has smashed all benchmarks and is being hailed as a major success in positioning the group as a leading innovator.
We film the interview sequence with a four-camera setup, making last minute creative adjustments to our business leader’s fast delivery style. I pitch in on the cameras on slider duties. Arif does a good job of steering the conversation to hit all the points of our narrative arc.
Interview is a wrap and there’s time for another creative at Kinection, Emily McKay, to conduct a photoshoot before we pile into Ubers for our third location.
Our final shoot of the day is at an office in King’s Cross. We’ve a lot of heavy kit so, of course, we’re filming on the top floor of a building with no lift. We push on to grab general shots in the office and establishing scenes.
It’s a wrap. As the rushes transfer onto a hard drive we have our first moment to catch a breath. I check in with project manager Charlie Leech back in the office to discuss plans for our second scheduled shoot. Am assured all is in hand.
The remaining crew and I grab food at the nearest restaurant, which just so happens to be Scottish: it must be fate.
Just time to trek over to Soho for a meeting with Rushes Post Production to discuss the upcoming edit and outline of visuals we’ll be undertaking later in the week.
I jump on the Victoria Line, which is swiftly cancelled due to a passenger emergency at Walthamstow. Doesn’t go so well from here. I see one passenger burst into tears due to the chaos.
Make it home and run into the pile of bikes and scooters – must do some de-cluttering soon. I’ve managed to make it in time for my favourite part of the day, story time with Lucas (8) Logan (8) and Jacob (4). It’s our routine to go around the room taking it in turns to make up a story to tell each other. The boys’ tales are always wonderfully mad, but credit to them, they always have a start, middle and abrupt end, however off-the wall. I opt to tell the story of the A-Team on an environmental mission.
I finally get time to spend with the person who holds the whole family together, my wife Ailisa, who’s prepared a lovely meal.
I bid Alexa goodnight.