Bloomberg Media Studios launches “Day Zero,” brought to you by Optum

Is navigating healthcare in a grave medical situation necessarily a high-stress process, fraught with uncertainty and runaway costs? Bloomberg Media Studios’ Day Zero, a new short film brought to you by Optum, follows one patient through just such a journey – and proves along the way that the answer is no, it doesn’t have to be that way.


Day Zero, brought to you buy Optum, launched on Bloomberg Media April 10, 2017.

In nine emotional minutes, Day Zero tells the story of Patrick, a Delta Air Lines flight attendant who needs a new liver – but has been told by doctors he’ll likely have to wait more than three years for a transplant in his home state of California. With help from Audrey, an RN transplant case manager for Optum, and the support of Ron, his husband and partner of 30+ years, as well as Delta colleagues  – Patrick finds life-saving treatment. More than 2,000 miles away.

Watch Day Zero

It is a powerful, human narrative. (Fair warning: you may want a box of tissues handy as you watch it.) It also has broad implications for the healthcare system: when the focus is on individual outcomes – rather than simply providing services – barriers get broken down, and quality of care goes up. People can have better health; costs can go down.

Additional short films, incorporated via leading-edge interactive video technology, investigate this theme more deeply. Providing context and detail, these videos address such topics as data on transplants in the United States; how Optum’s Centers of Excellence program works; why Delta, a self-funded employer, chose Optum; and how nurses like Audrey work to educate and advocate for patients. Audrey herself is featured, along with Jon R. Friedman, Optum’s Chief Medical Officer for Complex Medical Conditions, and Vickie Strickland, Delta’s Director of Health Strategy and Resources.  


Viewers can enter supporting video stories through points that surface organically during the film, as well as through a chapter menu.

To lead the team who captured this very personal – yet information rich – story, Bloomberg Media Studios tapped award-winning director Rod Blackhurst (whose original Netflix documentary probing the Amanda Knox case “carries the force of revelation,” according to Variety), in-house video editor Mark Robin (who has worked with documentary filmmakers Errol Morris and Michael Apted), and in-house content editor Edward Adams (who guided the project from its earliest moments).  

“Patrick was remarkable – both because of the searing experience he has endured and because of the matter-of-fact way he tells his story,” said Adams. “To do his story justice, we knew it needed a broader canvas than the typical two- to three-minute online video.”


Patrick and Ron screen an early version of the film at Bloomberg’s San Francisco offices. Photo: Ben Meents

As part of that larger initiative, Bloomberg is partnering with two transplant non-profits – Donate Life America, which runs a national online registry for organ donation, and the American Society of Transplantation’s Power2Save, which funds research searching for ways to make one transplanted organ last the lifetime of a recipient.

Both the digital-first film and the organ donation campaign will be amplified across Bloomberg’s media universe (including, Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg Radio, and Bloomberg Businessweek), social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, on Bloomberg’s Apple TV channel. The film is also set to be screened at upcoming meetings of the American Society of Transplantation.

Day Zero builds on a partnership between Optum and Bloomberg Media that began in 2016 with content chapters that explored the work Optum does through its OptumLabs program, both of which are accessible within the film’s interactive framework. And it sets the stage for bigger things to come from Bloomberg Media Studios, as Global Chief Creative Officer Teddy Lynn continues to expand creative capabilities.  We can’t wait to see what they do next.

Read more:

Bloomberg Media announces expanded creative team

– Bloomberg Media and Optum: From Database to Exam Room

– Bloomberg Media and Optum: The Geography of Disease

– Jen Robinson | April 12, 2017