Shooting A New Ad For Discovery Channel / Discovery Creative – Blood And Guts

This job came together pretty quickly, but was a fun one. I had a few days to rush order doctor’s uniforms and props, find an ambulance with portable stretcher, arrange a clothing stylist (Tara Papanicholas), a hair/makeup person (Stacie Snyder), and plan out the shot with the client. Everything had to be pre-approved with Discovery Channel so I went back and forth with the ad agency to refine a concept that could be accomplished within budget and quickly in time for the ad release date.

Actors were friends of the ad agency and my own, whom were excited to do it. Location was in the loading dock of Discovery Channel headquarters in Silver Spring, which looked kind of like the entrance of an emergency room and was available and FREE!

The concept of the fence post through the guy’s face is based on a true medical case. The real guy lived, by the way. We had our victim hold a metal post near and just behind his face and then blended it in to make it look like it was going through his head. We added the blood and swelling in post-production.

We needed an ambulance as a prop. I called a local medical transport company and negotiated as a charter… as if I was using it to transport a patient, but rather than go somewhere, I just had them show up with a stretcher and hang out for 4 hours.
The setup. A fog machine in the background to create some environment and fog around the ambulance for the background. I wanted the light of the ambulance to carry. I did take a long exposure of the background with all of the actors gone to allow the ambulance lights to burn in. The key was to coach the subjects to express the right emotions of anguish and excitement. I had the advertising clients at Discovery Creative reviewing the shots transmitting to an ipad wirelessly to offer their insight.
Reviewing images with the fun to work with Discovery Creative team

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