Geomedia and Documentarian Steve Acevedo Bring Reality to University Health System Spots

Posted on September 9, 2015 in Behind The Scenes

The Director Difference

We’ve enjoyed a great creative relationship with University Health System for several years and produced some beautiful, cinematic spots for them, like our “Now” campaign.

For University’s most recent broadcast and internet campaign, “The University Difference,” we captured real stories from four families who had life-changing and life-saving experiences at University Hospital. To imbue the spots with the level of emotional depth and sensitivity that they deserved, we turned to one of our favorite up-and-coming directors, Steve Acevedo. Steve came to our attention when his short, El Cocodrilo, won several short film awards. When we explored his work further, his beautifully shot documentaries and documentary shorts had our office in tears. We knew he was the perfect choice to bring the appropriate gravity to this campaign.

Director Steve Acevedo
Steve Acevedo prepping the crew and our featured family.


The University Difference

“The University Difference” campaign focuses on the differences between a University Hospital and a community hospital. Real patients and their families share how the hospital doctors and staff were able to do what other hospitals could not – save a life. Whether it was cancer, a congenital heart condition, or a car crash, each of these families was able to move past a terrible situation with the help of University doctors and staff. Steve and the Geomedia production crew brought their stories to life in an intense, emotional style. 

University Health System Campaign Damon
Damon, a cancer survivor.

“It was a privilege to meet these four special families and get to talk with them about their very personal experiences. What could have been tragedies for all of them turned into stories of inspiration and hope,” Acevedo said. “University and Creative Civilization wanted the spots to be totally real, so we worked hard to create conversations that emitted just that. I think the results speak for themselves. Each spot is an honest portrait of the difference University made for these families.”

While we didn’t shoot in each family’s real home, production designer Paola Cortez-Manthey (Tree of Life) ensured that each set fit each patient and each patient’s family with authentic memorabilia and set decor that represented their real homes and lifestyle. 

University Health System
Asha and her daughter, A’Vaya.

Since we were working with real people and not actors, we needed to respect their time and be as efficient as possible. They gave us time out of their lives to share their stories, so production went above and beyond to try and create comfortable and homey worlds. To keep everything authentic, we employed two Red Dragon cameras to ensure we got the natural flow of their stories without having to do lots of repetitions.

The Finished Product

The final project turned out great. Steve gave us the emotional depth that we wanted, while our Geomedia crew came through with the usual top-notch work. In addition to the shoot, Geomedia handled the post-production editorial, color grading and finishing. Our friends at Keith Harter Music did the score and audio production.


Agency: Creative Civilization

Agency CEO: Al Aguilar

Agency President: Gisela Girard

Agency VP / Executive Creative Producer: Joseph Guerra

Agency Creative Director: Robert Sosa

Producer: Chantel Nasits

Director: Steve Acevedo

Director of Photography: Zach Nasits

Photographer: Scott Greenberg

Post Production Supervisor: Murray Breit

Post-Production Editor: Jeff Chesnut

Visual Effects: Martin Jaeger

4K Colorist: Zach Nasits

Sound Production & Score: Keith Harter Music

Geomedia, Steve Acevedo and Creative Civilization
Agency, client, cast and crew.
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