It’s a trip back to Madchester, baggy jeans and all, in Mat Whitecross’ new film Spike Island, about five young aspiring musicians who want to see their heroes, the Stone Roses, play their seminal gig at Spike Island in the summer of 1990.

The Brewery were tasked with creating the concert scenes for this legendary event. Working from the very few photo records of the event our 3D team rebuilt Spike Island and the surrounding area of Manchester,  as it stood in 1990 . To achieve this a crowd of  27,000 people were simulated, around 500 buildings,  and close to 4,000 trees were built to cover a 10,000 hectare area  of re-imagined landscape.

Outside the concert, the Brewery supervised a live action shoot of extras to increase the number of party goers in a key piece of action beyond the wall of the concert. Particular care was taken to match a lighting set-up made difficult by moving flares, fireworks and fires.

On top of the vfx, the Brewery’s design team supplied the beginning and end credits for the film. With the licensed artwork of John Squire (creator of the Stone Roses album covers) a vintage look was created using cut-out animation and analogue equipment that included an old VHS recorder dug out of someone’s garage.