May 5, 2010

Doc Filmmakers Give Birth to Films About 'Babies' and Maternity Wards

Making a documentary can often feel like giving birth, but for some non-fiction projects, the comparison is more relevant than others. Channel 4's eight-episode documentary series One Born Every Minute filled a maternity hospital with 40 cameras and followed the staff and patients for 30 days, chronicling life from the reception desk to the birthing pool. In addition to the television series, a complementary website features original video shot during production, as well as interactive tools. My favorite? The "Birth Radar" Twitter/Google maps mash up that tracks birth announcements all around the globe. For all the nitty gritty details on the creation of the online part of the project, check out's behind-the-scenes piece.

Babies don't just make for dramatic subject matter - they also make for a very attractive lure for advertisers. According to a piece in Advertising Age's Madison + Vine, Universal Pictures' Focus Features upcoming doc Babies has at least 10 marketing partners attached. It's believed to be the largest promotional program ever for a documentary. Companies on board hoping to reach the elusive "new mom" market include Johnson's Baby, Kodak, the March of Dimes Foundation, the Medela hospital network, Stonyfield Farm's YoBaby Yogurt, MacLaren, Parents Network, Pampers, Tasty Baby snacks and Safety 1st car products. The film opens in the US on May 7th, 2010.

Babies Trailer