Transforming Hospitalized Kids Into Superheroes – Charity Art
You might have heard about Hollywood photographer Jaimie Trueblood when these adorable photos of his kids as superheroes went viral back in 2012.
You also might know the work of Jesse Wilson, a creative director at Paramount who made this awesome poster back when Batkid stole our hearts.
Inspired by the Batkid phenomenon, the two have teamed up to create For The Win, a project dedicated to giving kids with health issues the chance to be the star of their own custom movie poster.
“Having that hang in the hospital, or at home, or wherever you’re confined to your situation, to be able to look up at that…it’s sort of a motivator, it’s sort of a beacon of hope,” Wilson told BuzzFeed. “And I think they look at themselves differently. Like, ‘That’s me. That’s who I really am.’”
The team got started by transforming a boy named Aaron into “The Incredible Aaron.”
In addition to cute details like putting the names of friends, family, and nurses/doctors in the posters “credits,” the team also gives creative control to the kids themselves.
“We like to treat the kids like a filmmaker of sorts,” said Wilson. “It’s their dream, it’s their movie, so we ask them: ‘Who’s in your movie? What’s the title of your movie?’” According to Wilson, Aaron chose the tagline, “Never give up, never surrender,” and also simply requested “a big explosion going off behind me.”
Next up for the team was Noah, a young Star Wars fan who had a better idea than playing the hero.
“We got another call from the hospital saying, ‘We have another girl who wants to be on a Star Wars poster,’” said Trueblood. “I said, ‘OK, which character? Queen Amidala? Princess Leia?’ And she said, ‘Nope, she wants to be Darth Vader.’ And I said, ‘All right!’”
The team also threw a party for Noah for the big reveal of her poster, where she got to hang out with Vader, some Stormtroopers, and R2-D2.
She even got a hug from an Ewok.
For an extra special touch, Trueblood and Wilson used their Hollywood connections to get special shout-outs to the kids from various celebrities.
Aaron got a shout-out from Marvel legend Stan Lee, who also signed his poster. Other celebs who sent messages to the For The Win kids include Chris Pratt, William Shatner, Kevin Smith, and the stars of Straight Outta Compton and the new Ghostbusters.
The team is continuing on with more posters, but hopes to expand to do even more projects for the kids, including trailers or music tracks.
“Now that we’ve figured out that it works and we’ve tested out the celebrity side of it, we want to continue to do more creative things with them,” Wilson said. “There will be kids who want to be a famous musician, or they want to be Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks, or whatever that may be. For example, if we have a kid who wishes they were Katy Perry, we’ll do the same movie poster type thing, but why don’t we also lay down a track, you know? Can we reach out to Katy, and maybe she’ll do a duet with the kid? And then can we make her her own album cover, so she feels like a pop star?”
Until they’re approved as an official charity, For The Win is working to bring awareness to charities that are important to the kids they meet.
To support kids with congenital heart disease, head to the Hopeful Hearts Foundation website and donate.