How to create a realistic birth on camera

Hi out there,

I need to create a believable birth on camera and am here asking for any tips and tricks on how to pull this off.  It would be awesome to see it as it happens.  My thought was using the sheet to kind of cover things and have the silicone baby pushed out of from a point that is out of frame.  How would you go about this?  I haven't seen the pregnant belly so have no idea if it's hollow and could hide the silicone baby in it lol.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and hope everyone is having a great evening.


  • I would look at examples of movies that have shown a birth and see how they pulled it off.   How it's framed, lit, and edited to show only what suits the story.  The more you show, the more expensive it will be, so many shows opt to show mostly the mother in a closeup or medium shot as she struggles, breathes, pushes, and is eventually handed the baby for the first time.

    It also depends on the goal of the shot.  What story are you telling?  For example, are you showing the mother's experience or the doctor's experience?  Or a combination of both?  And is this a c-section or a traditional birth?  The effects and makeup gags are all there to serve the story, so the story and cinematic style will help inform what effects are needed. This is where the script and/or a storyboard would help you.  If you don't have one or both, sit down with the director and see if they can clarify their expectations.

  • Hi Chris,

    Thank you so much for your insight.  This helps tremendously.  

    I've been trying to talk to the director, but haven't been able to because I'm not on set yet.  The script calls for the perspective of the father who is standing up, holding one of mom's legs, watching as the child is "glided out."  I'm going to suggest to them that we use drapes and glide the baby out from under the drape since they're pulling me into this thing last-minute.  I've been working on making a pregnant belly and umbilical cord for them as well to attach to a doll (was only given 7 days to complete it all).  

    Hope you're having a great day... :)
  • Yikes, sounds like a very difficult production.  Rushing is normal, but not taking the time to meet with you to cover their expectations is unusual.  Normally you would have time with the effects supervisor, production designer, director, or at least someone from the production who can detail what is expected.  Best of luck!

  • Hi Chris, 

    Goopey baby was a success thankfully.  They were already 4 weeks into filming when they contacted me.  I'm not sure what happened but they loved what I did.  Photo of goopey baby attached.  I can't post film monitor scene for NDA reasons, but it looked great on film and director had a big grin on his face lol.  I wasn't as happy with the belly I made.  I had a real hard time getting silicone paint to cure on the piece.  It cured in the cup, so I'm not sure what happened.  I cleaned with acetone and followed the Tim Gore video method to the letter.  It was foggy and rainy for the entire week, in drafty, cold environment, so I'm wondering if they may have played a roll?
  • Goopy baby looks great.  Glad you were able to pull it off!

    What material was the belly cast in?

  • Thank you... :)

    Belly was also created in Platinum silicone (Dragon Skin 10).
Sign In or Register to comment.