Two Big G's in "The Descendants"
The hospital scenes of the Hollywood drama “The Descendants” with George "The Big G" Clooney feature the HAMILTON-G5 ventilator. We asked our sales representative on Hawaii how our Big G came to be on the movie set and got the following story.
When George Clooney’s Cambra Movie Productions Inc. asked for the most advanced ventilator to put in the movie, Brian Oka, Supply representative for the Holden Hospital, referred them to the Castle Medical Center in Kailua because they use Hamilton Medical ventilators. A representative of the movie company was shown GALILEO and HAMILTON-G5 ventilators. The representative described the Big G as “the coolest” one to the movie company ad so Hamilton Medical shipped the two ventilators directly to the movie set.
The movie’s director, Alexander Payne, wanted everything in the movie to be as authentic as possible. As it turned out that Denise Wheatley, a respiratory therapist at the Castle Medical Center in Kailua, is a big fan of George Clooney, she was recommended to operate the ventilator for the movie shoot. She worked with a nurse and the make-up crew to make the actress playing Georges wife look like a patient in a coma with a tracheal tube. Denise was given the opportunity to be in a couple of the hospital scenes and her name was on the board in the hospital room for the respiratory therapy. When the filming moved to a sound stage for the hospice scenes, Denise was asked to be the medical advisor on set. For example, she advised the make-up and prop department to make the actress look like she was close to death, and advised Alexander Payne to place a lei (a Hawaiian flower wreath) onto the pillow next to the patient, as the patient’s relatives often do when a family member is dying.
“It was very interesting to see how a movie is made and be a part of it for a little while, and of course meeting George, and then having the opportunity to ‘hang out’ on set with him. George Clooney is funny, approachable, and appreciative. Alexander Payne was also a class act, made me feel important to his movie, and I felt like I could give my input, and it was valued”, Denise said.