A Day In The Life Of Stephen Whelan
Pulse Films' Head of Branded Entertainment heads to Berlin for the Fashion Film Festival.
Every day begins as a version of the one that was yesterday. Three alarms spaced 1 minute apart. Aggressive sonic barrage. Headphones in. Britney. Today it’s "Lucky". “If there’s nothing missing in her life then why do these tears come at night?” It sounds like a prediction now. Caffeine. Why doesn’t music sound like early 00s Swedish-produced syncopated nursery rhyme pop anymore?
Packing. The start of nine days away. Tom Ford’s Texan drawl plays in my head. They’re his words not mine. “I remember the day I left Gucci, my last day, which was in April. And I went home, and got in to bed, and pulled the drapes and just went to sleep. And I woke up the next morning and my calendar, it was usually so full you know…”
There’s always a feeling of relief leaving the UK. Even more so given the impossible choice the nation faces tomorrow between an incompetent and the worst thing to happen to personal privacy in the history of British politics. It’s not really democracy when you’ve only got two options and both of them are unelectable.
Waiting in the departure lounge I figure at least one of these images should be vaguely constructed. So here’s a mens leather goods campaign shot crudely filtered through Instagram, screen grabbed and cropped. Manipulated past recognition.
And the reason I’m here, in Berlin, is the Fashion Film Festival where I’ll be speaking / ranting about Branded Entertainment.
In the absence of an off switch for my head there’s email and gin. Who knew Berlin did such good gin? Every day’s a school day. Typo on the packet: Smoking chills.
Overnight, the insomnia. Cogs that won’t stop turning. Incapable of sleeping I turn to Anderson Cooper for a bed time story. Tonight – Comey’s coming Punch and Judy Congressional Hearing. What’s Melania up to while all this is going on? Is Rapunzel back in Trump Tower? I wouldn’t hold his hand either, Melania. But hey, I didn’t marry him. Hope the retirement fund prenup-proof jewellery was worth it...
Come to. The triple alarm, but an unfamiliar room. Parliament is hung. Is Parliament on Grindr? WUU2 Parliament? Accom? Today’s opening track is Do You Wanna Come Over? “Whatever you want… Whatever you need… I’ll do it.” Is she offering, begging or negotiating the terms of being released from her custodianship? Derrick Berry’s drag rendition comes to mind. Mental note to learn the choreography.
Give presentation using Snapchat and AppleTV. Why don’t their devices talk to each other anymore?
Car late to collect. Traffic. Unhelpful staff. Flight missed. Stare at it on the tarmac through the window with “Blame Canada” from South Park in my head. PML. Stress vanishes. Nobody died. They did already and the world keeps spinning. Rebooked for tomorrow. Overnight stop in Sweden. Then LA for E3. Then New York. Then London. Remember I packed the Nintendo Switch and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Instantly don’t care about six-hour wait in airport. Write this. Then move on to a new business deck.