Where do filmmakers get newborns from

How babies are cast for movies

Whether it's a baby and three men or the newborn that screen mothers hold in their arms after a particularly grueling birth scene - like every other actor, these children have to be cast.

And that's how it works:

Making a baby film

When it came time to film the Finale of “The First Time”, the makers of the film found themselves faced with an unusual problem.
They wanted to cut the footage of a real birth with takes of Katherine Heigl pretending to squeeze her baby out of Seth Rogen - but it turned out they weren't allowed to.

Producer Evan Goldberg told this Guardian: "We learned that we couldn't do this because the baby couldn't be a member of the Screen Actors Guild because it wasn't born."

In California you have to be at least 15 days old to make your screen debut, provided a medical certificate confirms that you were not born prematurely and are physically fit for the job.

If you want to be reborn on canvas, be prepared to loll in grape jelly and cream cheese or fake blood (aka corn starch). And yes, it has to be grape jelly and not strawberry - as the latter could cause allergic reactions.

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The requirement for your offspring

“Usually someone with a lovely face and big smile and big eyes,” reveals a British agent for child models.

Fortunately, you don't need a lot of patience - which newborns are not necessarily known for - because the film crews follow the whims of the little ones, as if they were famous Hollywood stars. Babies younger than six months are only allowed to be on set for two hours a day and “work” for a maximum of 20 minutes - one of the reasons filmmakers often work with identical twins to double the available shooting time.

Experts also recommend that the baby be brought to the casting by the person who is least attached to them.

Why? Those in charge of the casting often take the children to another room to see how they react.

Agency boss Jackie Reid explains Backstage: "Often the baby starts to scream when you take it away from its mom, but when you take it away from dad, grandfather or the babysitter, it doesn't make a sound."

Well, if you want to be successful in Hollywood, you have to be prepared to be on your own.

Often it is sheer luck

Two of the most famous film babies are Kristina and Michelle Kennedy, who took turns playing Diane Keaton's screen daughter Elizabeth in "Baby Boom" in 1987. Her parents had taken her to an open casting, but when Kristina's ball accidentally rolled into the casting room while playing, they had their foot in the door.

"They said, 'Take them in,'" Jim told the Today show. "And they were allowed in first."
It was only because of the ball that they were the first to appear in front of the filmmakers and they stuck in their minds.

In the case of Rebecca Bearman, who took on part of the role of Elora Danan in the 80s cult film “Willow” at the age of ten months, it was different: she knew someone (her uncle Gerry Toomey, second assistant director of the film) who knew someone (the director, Ron Howard).

"I was told that I was put in on the spot because [the two leading actresses, twin sisters] were too big for Willow's backpack," Bearman said Yahoo Movies.

She was never officially named as an actress, but bought her first car from the equivalent of 2,260 euros her parents had saved from the fee (those who negotiate skillfully earn 560 euros per day as a baby).

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"In the beginning [the film crew on Baby Boom] thought they could have a happy baby on demand," said Diane Kennedy NBC. "They realized very quickly that they had to work around the schedule (of the babies) and they were very, very good at it."

Bearman adds, “I was generally a good kid and never cried. They wanted me to cry when I was on a cart because I was supposed to look scared, but I laughed the whole time. They had to give and take away vials to make me cry. My mother had to act more than me! "

In very young children, the key seems to be the ability to sleep when they are supposed to be, to be awake when they are supposed to be awake, and to be generally calm unless otherwise asked.

A breeze for babies, isn't it?

Ben Falk

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