The Festival VFX Breakdown By Union VFX

Directed by Iain Morris and produced by Fudge Park, THE FESTIVAL follows a group of students as they graduate and go to a music festival for the first time. 


When Nick’s girlfriend dumps him at graduation, he has a colossal meltdown in front of the entire university. He’s convinced his life is over, but his best mate Shane has the perfect solution: three days at an epic music festival. With the help of “festival aficionado” and certified oddball Amy, Shane tries to get Nick to embrace the music, the mayhem and the mud. 

Having worked previously with Iain on The Inbetweeners 2 and White Gold, Union were enlisted to give the festival massive scale.

Union’s brief was to expand the scale of the site to epic proportions.  The largest greenfield festival in the world hosts around 175,000 people on 1,100 acres and Union set out to make this Festival just as momentous.

Digital matte paintings were employed to provide a sense of this when the friends first approach the festival site from above. 

Helicopter footage from Bestival was also augmented with CG elements to create additional camping fields for thousands of revellers along with a whole new area of the site complete with giant octopus designed by Union with Director Iain Morris.

The unnamed festival was filmed on a custom built festival set in Bristol as well as on location at Bestival and Leeds Festival, where star Joe Thomas took to the main stage five minutes before the headline performance by Kasabian and managed to coax a performance out of the audience. 

An exact replica of the Leeds Main Stage was built as a set and Union replaced Kasabian’s performance captured live at Leeds with the set footage blending the two seamlessly together enabling the film to take advantage of Kasabian’s crowd reactions.  This was no mean feat given the lighting and smoke elements at the actual festival.

Union were also involved in populating Nick’s graduation which was filmed with a limited number of extras who, shot multiple times in different seats and then composited together to make a believable full auditorium. . The team also assisted with some of the film’s more gross-out gags.

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