London-based LipSync Productions and LipSync Post worked closely with World Productions to produce United, a sensitive dramatization of the tragic Munich Air Crash of 1958 which will air in the U.K. on the BBC, April 24, followed by a worldwide theatrical release.
The production faced short, fixed deadlines and the major challenge of making a feature quality drama on a tight budget.
LipSync’s postproduction division provided audio, online editing and DI for the drama, as well as extensive VFX work. Due to the company’s financial involvement, the VFX team was able to get involved at a very early stage and work closely with the production team to advise on how to make the most of the available budget.
Several elements were built and re-used in more scenes than originally planned. Most notably LipSync built a fully CG aeroplane exterior which was used in scenes both before and after the crash, and a faithful reproduction of Old Trafford stadium as it looked in 1958, under different lighting and weather conditions. LipSync also recreated the interior of the stadium with smoke stacks in the background, and removed the unexpected heavy snowfall on the field that occurred during the December shoot.
United director James Strong, “United was a big ask. I wanted to make a film in every sense for the ‘big’ screen, so the ambition and scale of every aspect of the production had to match this. LipSync were key collaborators from the outset and did an amazing job. We had a budget, we stuck to it, but still achieved wonders. In every department LipSync’s ability and commitment to the film was exemplary.”
“Given the period nature of the film, we faced enormous production challenges,” said producer Julia Stannard. “Stefan Drury [head of VFX] and Sean Farrow [executive VFX supervisor] were brilliantly creative in offering solutions, which not only looked amazing, but also made our modest budget stretch further. I would also like to commend [senior re-recording mixer] Paul Cotterell who was a wonderful collaborator and really helped to convey the emotional story through the soundtrack.”