Working as sole vendor, BlueBolt delivered 152 invisible effects shots for the Brighton-based feature film starring Harry Styles and Emma Corrin
Based on the 2012 Bethan Roberts novel and set in 1950s Brighton, My Policeman is a romantic drama in which police officer Tom carries on a same-sex love affair while being married to a schoolteacher, Marion. Homosexuality is illegal, and Tom must also deal with the consequences when his wife discovers his infidelity. The story unfolds across two timelines as we discover how the events of their youth determine relations between the characters in their old age.
My Policeman is directed by Michael Grandage and stars Gina McKee, Linus Roache, Rupert Everett, Harry Styles, Emma Corrin and David Dawson. It was produced by Independent Entertainment and distributed by Amazon Studios.
Led by VFX supervisor David Dowie Dunn, the BlueBolt team used subtle effects to take modern day Brighton back to the 1950s, delivering 152 seamless VFX shots for the feature.
In initial conversations with the Director in March 2021, it was apparent that the locations for the film were key to the story and needed to be absolutely authentic to the time periods. BlueBolt’s job was to aid that by discreetly removing anything which was incorrect with the chronology, which moved between the 50s and early 90s.
Filming concluded in June 2021 and the team moved into post. “We completed a few shots for a temp screening initially before getting into proper shot work,” says Dunn. The project lasted about 13 months from the first script read to delivery of the final shot, and shooting took place at multiple locations in Brighton, with a few scenes filmed in Venice.
The colourful 50s Brighton beach scenes were shot at the quieter Newhaven beach, and Digital Matte Painting was used to add a period correct Brighton seafront and pier, and the beach was dressed out in VFX with additional beachgoers.
“We set up hero look shots using a 2.5D workflow for DMP and plate integration,” says Dunn. “A template for each sequence would be established on the hero shots and rolled out over the sequences. We did daily contact sheets for continuity as well as regular sequence reviews to track progress and continuity across the shots and sequences.”
The 90s setting needed a light touch of VFX help to achieve continuity of overcast skies and drizzle to set the mood. These were achieved using a mixture of plate photography and DMP work.
My Policeman is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.