The exuberance experienced by the children around the set was witnessed by crew members, as Williams always traveled to and from the set with children on his back, under his arm or clinging to his side. One youngster commented, "Youre not just an actor, you should be a comedian." To which Williams graciously chuckled, "Thank you very much. Ill try to keep that idea alive."
One of the productions most interesting and challenging scenes occurred on a soundstage at the Asheville location, where a surprise birthday party for Carin was filmed. It involved shooting in a room filled entirely with balloons, based on a marvelous stunt Patch has actually done for numerous patients.
Says Shadyac, "It was a weird, exciting experience. If one person moved in one corner of the room, the person in the other corner felt it...all the energy is connected through the balloons. Describes Monica Potter, "It was unbelievable. Balloons everywhere, you couldnt move. It was a Steadicam shot, and the balloons kept moving in front of the camera while Robin tried to read a poem to me. It was really funny, but made for several re-takes."
In filming scenes at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, which doubles for Virginia Medical University, Shadyac felt the campus offered the classic, Ivy League look that was perfect for this fictionalized academy of medicine. Because of the movies positive messages and compassionate humor, PATCH ADAMS was the first production to be allowed to shoot on the campus in three decades. The setting was so picturesque even Patch had to admit, "If my school had been this beautiful maybe I wouldnt have been so rebellious."