Baby stars in Cerise Films’ big screen hospital spot

Little Emmi stars in big screen spot

Gail Gilbert’s Cerise Films recently produced a 30-second in-cinema spot that featured a cast of one, plus a voiceover narrator. The star was Emmi, a 13-month baby girl who won the role in competition with some 60 other little bundles of sweetness. The narrator was David Coronado.

The spot was created by 88 Brand Partners to promote client NorthShore University Healthsystem’s new mobile app that “makes it so easy to manage your health online that even a baby can do it.” 

It was also the first commercial that Gilbert, a seasoned editor of national spots in English and Spanish, has directed. “I’ve directed shorts, documentaries and web videos but this was my commercial directorial debut,” says the filmmaker, who is one of the city’s rare bilingual editors.

88 Brand’s ECD Joe Popa, senior copywriter Bryan Simkin and their team created an offbeat, whimsical and funny script centering on a baby for their healthcare client.

To find the perfect baby, Cerise Films called upon five Chicago talent agencies and held five auditions at its  River North office.   “We probably auditioned 50 or 60 babies, between 13 and 15 months old, before we settled on little Emmi.  The criterion was not how cute she was, but her ability to hold and manipulate the iPad and get the performance we needed,” Gilbert notes.

The spot was prepped in late October and shot for one day in early November at Resolution Production Group by DP Bill Youmans using an Arri Alexa Mini, shooting against a pristine white cyc. Kathi Baldwin, the well known baby wrangler was brought in to work with the baby and crew on set.

Since NorthShore University Healthsystem operates hospitals in Evanston, Highland Park, Glenbrook and Skokie, the agency bought a schedule in theatres throughout the North Shore to premier with the Dec. 18 release of highly anticipated “Star Wars VII.”  

“The agency was so happy with the first cut that they pushed the opening date up to Thanksgiving Day,” Gilbert says, running until mid-January.  A second release is planned for later in the year.

See the in-cinema spot here.

88 Brand Partners credits: ECD, Joe Popa; ACD, Terry Boyd; senior copywriter, Bryan Simkin; A/D Andy Yamashiro; designer, Elena Potter.

Cerise Films credits: Director, Gail Gilbert; producer, Nancy Reid; editor, Amanda Marien; Bill Youmans, DP; Marty Rhomberg, lighting director.  Noise Floor, sound mixing. Talent: David Coronado is represented by Karen Stavins. 

Cerise Films is located at 214 W. Institute Place, phone, 312/469-0822.  88 Brands is in Printers Row at 542 S. Dearborn, phone, 312/664-2400.