Director Steve Acevedo (Award-winning/Academy Award Qualifying short film, EL COCODRILO), production company Geomedia, Inc. and advertising agency Creative Civilization teamed up to create University Health System’s “The University Difference” broadcast and internet campaign. Shot in Acevedo’s intense, emotional documentary style, the campaign highlights four patients overcoming life-threatening conditions with the support of University Health System and UT Medicine San Antonio’s caring physicians and staff.

“We knew Steve was right for this campaign after his documentaries had our entire office in tears,” Geomedia production manager Chantel Nasits said. “He puts so much passion into his storytelling. We knew he’d be able to translate University Health System’s passion for patient care into powerful spots.”

The University Difference” campaign focuses on the differences between a University Health System hospital and a community hospital. Real University patients and their families share how the hospital system doctors and staff were able to do what other hospitals could not - save a life.

“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 Health System 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 the hospital made for these families.”

Production designer Paola Cortez-Manthey (AFI Movies of the Year 2011, 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.  

“These were real people so we basically shot rehearsals to maximize our time with them,” director of photography and Geomedia principal Zach Nasits said. “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 project was the most recent in a series of partnerships between Geomedia, University Health System and Creative Civilization.

“We’ve worked with Geomedia for several years, and we continue to work with them because they truly understand the sensitivity of working inside a hospital and with real people who have overcome some of the most complex medical conditions and traumas San Antonio has seen,” senior manager of marketing communications for University Health System Jessica Brown said. “They use a professional production crew and have a unique way of personalizing our patient’s stories with the most beautiful cinematography.”

Post production editorial, color grading, and finish were performed by Geomedia.  Musical score and audio production were performed by Keith Harter Music in San Antonio, TX.

“This was my first time working with Geomedia and I couldn't have been happier with how it went. I've worked with Geomedia’s DP, Zach Nasits, before, so I knew exactly what I was going to get on the camera side, but on the production side, Geomedia was extremely prepared and put together a wonderful team of professionals that made my job a complete joy on set,” Acevedo said.

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