The United Way tells the remarkable story of Manchester United FC, taking us on a gripping journey through the history and evolution of the legendary football club and taking a look at the many iconic social and cultural moments that helped shape the club.
In this richly cinematic feature documentary, Ad Hoc Films and director Mat Hodgson joined forces with United’s legendary forward, Eric Cantona, who, in his own words, describes the rise of an iconic football dynasty.
Featuring many exclusive interviews and captivating archive footage, Eric’s personal story is set against the backdrop of the club itself, presenting insight into the lives of Manchester United’s most acclaimed players - Including David Beckham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and Peter Schmeichel, to name but a few.
The United Way had a primary grade in HDR in a colour managed workflow. In the grade, Splice's Head of Picture, Adam Dolniak, managed colour space tagging and conversions in layers at a stack level rather than globally.
Filmed mostly in the challenging circumstances surrounding the COVID pandemic, more detailed work was required in the grade to correct low-light situations and improve the nuances of variable camera use. This meant adding light flares, removing in-camera sharpening, and using the 'Dfuse' and 'Texture Highlight' tools to soften clipped highlights. Flat lighting conditions were improved with secondaries and vignettes.
Adam used FilmLight’s Base Grade tool to achieve faster, precise HDR balancing between shots and ensure a balanced nit level across a wide range of interview setups. A scene look was used on Eric Cantona’s interviews to avoid restrictions in dynamic range.
CROK matchbox shaders, along with ARRI Look Files, were used to stylise shots of newspapers to fit the era. News reports were treated with CRT distortion.
Some key nighttime drone shots of Old Trafford had compression in the flat dark areas of the skies, so full sky replacements were tracked in as an alternative to denoising those areas.
The archive was cleaned up by denoising original images, which helped disguise some digital compression artefacts, then adding 'clean' film grain back over the top. Neat Video was used extensively throughout to clean up the darker contributor shots. The SDR version was generated using Dolby Vision.
Online was completed by Splice’s Senior Online Editor Matt Parry in Avid Symphony utilising Boris, Sapphire and Universe Red Giant effects packages.
Mocha was used in conjunction with the effects packages where necessary. Matt used Neat video extensively throughout to denoise the interviews. All 4x3 native archives were panned and scanned to fit the full 16:9 frame to give the documentary a more cinematic feel. Titles were all made in Photoshop and animated within Avid.
Working with Director Mat Hodgson, Splice’s Joe Cochrane crafted a dynamic mix that pushes and pulls the music around the action and commentary, whilst anchoring the film around the contributor's dialogue. George Fenton’s music score further elevated the dynamism, with several scenes being reworked down to minute detail to make the music as punchy as possible whilst still fitting around match commentary and sound effects.
Joe mixed The United Way using ProTools Ultimate with an Avid S6. Splice used our in-house audio team to tracklay the sound effects, record Foley and edit the dialogue. Izotope's Post Production Suite 5 was used extensively to clean up noisy dialogue and enhance archive footage. AudioEase's Speakerphone was used to adapt modern commentary to match the time span in which the film takes place, evolving as it progresses towards the present day.
Where To Watch
The United Way is available on Sky and Now TV.