How’d They Do That? Remarkable British Ad Goes in Utero to ‘Film’ an Unborn Baby

Grey's womb with a view

If you happened to catch this PSA on television in Britain this month, you might be left wondering if it is—could it somehow possibly be?—real footage. And that's the point.

The spot, from Grey London, shows an unborn baby drifting around inside the womb in what is surely the most real-seeming in-utero footage ever. It is, however, all CGI.

"The craft and technique that Digital Domain and [Radical Media director] Chris Milk put into making the ad was amazing, and the end result looks so brilliantly life-like that we hope people will walk away from it questioning whether it's real or not," says Grey deputy executive creative director Vicki Maguire.

The ad, for the British Heart Foundation, even has the baby do the voiceover (in a child's voice). She talks about how she might inherit a heart condition from her parents.

"I wanted to create a sincere and simple piece of film, forging a deeply emotional connection with a girl who needs saving even before she is born," says Milk, who also made Arcade Fire's stunning interactive experience The Wilderness Downtown. "The story is told in a world that is familiar but still a mystery. She's invited us in because she has something to say. Something vital."

Credits below.


Client: British Heart Foundation

Agency: Grey, London

Creative Director: Vicki Maguire

Copywriter: Clemmie Telford

Art Director: Lex Down

Managing Partner: Sarah Jenkins

Business Director: Eve Bulley

Account Manager: Grant Paterson

Account Executive: Isaac Hickinbottom

Agency Producer: Vanessa Butcher

Creative Producer: Gemma Hose

Planner: Ruth Chadwick

Media Agency: PHD, London

Media Planner: Monica Majumdar

Production Company: @radical Media

Director: Chris Milk

Visual Effects: Digital Domain

Editor: Brian Miller

Producers: Ben Schneider, Sam Storr

Postproduction: Digital Domain

Soundtrack Composer: Vampire Weekend

Audio Postproduction: Grand Central