Chip Stealing Seagulls and more on White Gold
Created and Directed by Damon Beesley of The Inbetweeners fame, White Gold is the story of a double-glazing showroom in Essex in the 80s where an unscrupulous sales team led by charismatic salesman Vincent will happily break the rules to guarantee a sale.
Having worked with Union on The Inbetweeners 2 Movie, Beesley turned to Union to help articulate some of the story points and add period accuracy to some sets.
One of the most notable sequences sees our cocky lead character Vincent (Ed Westwick) taking his family out for some promised ‘al fresco’ dining.
In reality, this constitutes fish and chips on the beach where some pretty bold seagulls compete with them for their dinner. In an attempt to rescue their dinner Vincent fronts up to one particularly persistent gull in an attempt to intimidate him with kung fu moves.
To achieve this Union shot elements of real seagulls eating chips on location as well as creating a CG gull for the close-up work. We then composited the CG gull into the live action with the 2D element plates resulting in our gull standing his ground.
Union were also given quite a bit of freedom to come up with a creative transition shot within the double glazing shop itself resulting in a kind of time-lapse, pop-up tour of the goings on as our key characters peddle double glazing for hugely inflated prices to naive customers.
At one stage Vincent kicks through a double glazed window in a failed attempt to prove the strength of his merchandise. On set, Ed Westwick did this for real protecting his eyes with safety goggles which Union were tasked with removing. This was no mean feat given the movement in the shot. However, the team managed to replace his face using stills from other shots and a bit of manual clean up creating a believable result.
The 80s is a pretty recognisable era as evidenced by the great art direction and costume design on the show. To this end, the team at Union helped ensure the set was transported back in time amending road markings and shop signs. The area was also dirtied up a bit to look more run down than it is today.
In the same vein, due to the prolific nature of uPVC double glazing today, some of the locations where our intrepid salesmen are touting their wares needed a helping hand to replace their modern windows with single glazed equivalents.