Royal College of Art

Professor Johnny Golding

A tutor profile film for the Royal College of Art, considered by many as the world's most influential postgraduate institution of art and design, as part of the ‘Meet the RCA’ video campaign.

The Brief
NextShoot was invited to produce a short profile film about Professor Johnny Golding, Professor of Philosophy & Fine Art, and Senior Tutor: Research in the School of Arts & Humanities. Golding’s work situates post-Newtonian analytics, new materialisms and the erotics of sense as ‘radical matter’, a practice-led encounter with contemporary philosophy, art and the wild sciences. Golding also leads the PhD Research Lab: Entanglement as well as the MA School group Radical Matter.

This portrait was part of a series of films about tutors working in different academic disciplines at the RCA under the banner 'Meet the RCA'. The brief was to explore the background, inspiration and motivations behind each tutor’s artistic or professional practice as well as their approach to teaching. The objective was to offer potential students from the UK and overseas a real sense of the whole person behind the tutors who make the RCA the world's most influential postgraduate institution of art and design.
Meet the RCA. Johnny Golding Meet the RCA. Johnny Golding
Meet the RCA. Johnny Golding Meet the RCA. Johnny Golding
Our Approach
Honestly, the first step in making this video was to get to grips with what the incredible Professor Golding was researching and teaching. For a corporate video producer a pre-production call with Johnny feels like you’re diving way beyond your intellectual depth into the Matrix. Happily, Johnny doesn’t judge and is generous in her efforts to explain her work and thinking in terms a lay person - not a Philosophy & Art PhD student - can understand (or nearly).

What was immediately clear is that Johnny Golding is one of a kind and that our video would need to reflect her dynamism, intelligence and passion for teaching with just a soupçon (okay, barrel-load) of irreverence.

Once we had ironed out the subject matter to cover in our interview - part CV, part personal inspirations, part teaching - we thought about the interesting visuals. As ever with corporate video production the ambitions need to be balanced against time, budget and practicalities, but we were keen to find varied backdrops for Johnny’s broll. We spent a half day filming her with students at the RCA’s Battersea campus. And then over the course of another shoot day we filmed our interview at the Asylum Chapel in Peckham - where Johnny has exhibited work - which felt like a great location for some irreverent broll also, including some shots of the professor riding an ebike. At her home we filmed Johnny’s reflections and silhouettes and shots with her beautiful Maine Coon cat the Mighty Finn. If questioned about the relevance of this handsome feline, we were prepared to claim it was a subliminal nod to Schrödinger’s cat and the theory of quantum superposition. Whatever that means.
The Results
Corporate video production can often be safe. Few brands want to put themselves out there. Brand Golding is entirely different. Many of Johnny’s presentations are given in the form of sound/image installations and so Johnny actively encouraged us to push the boundaries with the manipulation of the imagery in her video. We feel the result is refreshingly quirky, while honouring Johnny’s personality and the thoughtfulness of her work and tutoring.

Should any potential client looking for corporate comms video content ask us if we’ve done anything a little different before, this might just be our go-to example.
Meet the RCA. Johnny Golding Meet the RCA. Johnny Golding
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