Large Scale Film Productions - Food Dudes

Pulling together a multi-location, large cast film production is no easy task. Add in the fact that the production is going to mix in 3D animation and visual effects shots and you are looking at something to rival Hollywood blockbusters!


However by using our experience, connections and doing the basics right, we managed to organise, shoot and deliver six great episodes of mixed media action that was out of this world!

The Background

We were tasked to update the Food Dude brand including their out-dated live action films.  The films were a fundamental part of the Food Dude behavior change programme as they showed good role modeling and the positive effects of eating fruit and vegetables.


To make the films as appealing to the audience as possible the productions needed to have a high production feel to compete with the programmes that the children would be watching at home. To achieve this we decided on a mix of 3D animation, Visual Effects and live action filming.


We were going to make 6 x 8-10 minute episodes with around 4 - 5 minutes of live action in each one.

The Story

The premise of the films is that the Food Dudes and the Junk Punks are in an animated world while in their space dens, but be live action characters when they came down to earth to try and steal the healthy fruit and vegetables.


So how did we do it….


We assembled a crack team of professionals to work on the project from within our own team as well as recruiting some of our tried and trusted freelance buddies. We aimed to keep the crew as small as we could to make the shoots as flexible as possible and made sure we kept the same personnel across all shoots. The main roles were:


/ Scriptwriter – to write all the dialogue and outline the story

/ Producer – to keep everything together and to make sure everyone was where they should be when they should be.

/ Director – To ensure all the action in front of camera was right.

/ Director of Photography – To make sure that all the action was captured in the best way on camera

/ Make up artist – to make sure all the actors looked their best on camera

/ Cameraman (or 2) – to capture all the action

/ Soundman – to make sure all the dialogue and ‘wild’ audio was captured

/ Visual Effects Supervisor – to make sure the scenes with VFX would work

/ Runner – to help move equipment and look after the cast and crew
/ Editor – to log and encode all the footage and to put the best bits together on the timeline

/ Audio Engineer – to produce the music score to go with the action and to create the sound effects

/ Visual Effects Artist – To make the magic happen on the VFX shots


For the production we needed to recruit 8 main cast members – 4 as Junk Punks and 4 as the Food Dudes.  We did this in a variety of ways.


For the adult Junk Punks we placed a casting call on a number of websites inviting interested actors to get in touch.  For the Food Dudes we used local youth acting clubs and stage schools.


From our character designs we knew the types of people we were looking for, so once we had all the names in, we just had make our way through the mountain of applicants to shortlist our favourites.


For some of the episodes we also needed to recruit large numbers of friendly locals to act as extra’s in crowd scenes, school playgrounds and even a 5-a-side game!


To keep the look of the films interesting we needed to shoot in fun locations that matched the story of Junk Punks stealing fruit and vegetables.


This provided some logistical headaches as we not only needed to get the cast and crew to the location, we also needed extras, and to rely on the Weather Gods of the British Summer!  In the end we managed to shoot in a number of fantastic locations that brought a diverse and impressive backdrop to the productions


/ National Space Centre - Leicester

/ Willen Lake – Milton Keynes

/ Wootton Primary School – Northampton

/ Stonebridge City Farm - Nottingham


Although very resource intensive, fully scripted productions are well worth the investment. By using the right team and getting the basics right these types of productions can look very impressive for your audience.

These productions can work on all types of communication channels, from TV commercials and broadcast series all the way to training videos and ‘webisodes’ for YouTube and Social Media distribution.


If you want to get a message across in an entertaining and dramatic way, then give us a call to see how we can bring this magic to your production.

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