VFX house delivered 152 shots for 1950s drama starring Harry Styles and Emma Corin

VFX house BlueBolt provided 152 shots as sole vendor for Prime Video drama My Policeman.

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.

It 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. it is now available to stream on Prime Video. 

VFX supervisor David Dowie Dunn led the BlueBolt team, with much of the work using subtle effects to take modern day Brighton back to the 1950s, delivering 152 seamless VFX shots for the feature.

In initial conversations with the Grandage 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. Dunn said: “We completed a few shots for a temp screening initially before getting into proper shot work.” 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.

BlueBolt My Policeman Amazon Prime Video (1)

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. The beach was also dressed out in VFX with additional beachgoers.

Dunn added: “We set up hero look shots using a 2.5D workflow for DMP and plate integration. 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.”

Finally, 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.