Shooting a non-existent hospital

I was tasked with shooting a commercial designed to show off the beautiful, high-tech, high-luxury patient rooms at the new Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, OH. The problem: The hospital was months away from opening, and there was literally no finished room that we could shoot.

Undeterred, we decided to build an exact replica of the room on a stage. Art Director Judy Davis helped us create a set that exactly mimicked the new hospital’s design… with one small exception. We built the set exactly 33% larger than actual size, so we’d have room for a large camera crane, allowing for beautiful flying moves around the room. Since we were going to the trouble to build a fake hospital room, why not have a fake sun, too? We put a 10,000 watt light outside the window, and mounted it on a dolly to create a spectacular moving light source, giving life to an otherwise lifeless space.

We sought an organic, non-electronic quality for the opening graphic. We commissioned an artist to create a hand-inked map of the area on parchment, and filmed it during the shoot. I added the map’s subtly moving text using Avid DS’s powerful compositing and animation tools.

I love shooting healthcare spots. Here are a few others I’ve directed in recent years.