How ‘The Idea of You’ Built Their Own Coachella on an Atlanta Speedway: ‘We Shot It Like a Concert Movie’

Coachella is one of the biggest music festivals in the world and serves as a core piece of the story in “The Idea of You.” But, the movie was filmed in Atlanta, so the cast and crew had to get creative. They built their own Coachella.

The new movie, now streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video, tells the story of Soléne Marchand (Anne Hathaway), an art gallery owner who meets popstar Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine) when she accidentally walks right into his trailer at the massive music festival. Hayes is a member of the boy band August Moon — and the two immediately hit it off.

After their meeting, Hayes dedicates a song to Soléne on stage, effectively lighting the fuse of their romance. And yes, that stage was 100% real. According to director Michael Showalter, it was a “Rolling Stones concert-sized” stage.

“In fact, the people that built the stage said, ‘This is basically like as big of a stage as exists for a concert,'” Showalter explained to TheWrap. “So, the jumbotrons, and the sound system, and the lights, and all of that stuff, it was the kind of stage that any gigantic huge rock act would do.”

But this one wasn’t out in the desert. Instead, “The Idea of You” took over the Atlanta Motor Speedway and built their music festival there. They built the decor, as well as the booths that typically populate the event. Really, the only thing that wasn’t real was location.

“We put mountains in the background to make it look like the desert, palm trees,” Showalter detailed. “There’s a lot of absolutely, I think, brilliant visual effects that is completely seamless to give the effect of Coachella, six cameras. So, we shot it like a concert movie.”

Even the crowd was real — though Showalter noted that visual effects helped the size of it. In reality, they had about 250 members of the audience, which they then multiplied with VFX. But those fans made a huge difference for Nicholas Galitzine and his fictional bandmates, who really did perform for the crowd.

“It felt extremely real. We got to sort of run around the stage, I got to sort of go down into the pit with the fans,” Galitizine told TheWrap. “We had such incredible supporting artists who really — they learnt the songs, they had their favorites in the band, they brought banners, and we really were so indebted to them.”

According to the actor, the Coachella sequence was filmed in night shoots, from roughly 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. — and they were “freezing cold.” Admittedly, Galitzine did worry that the audience might not buy that they were actually in the desert, considering he and his bandmates could see their breath on stage.

“We wanted to keep doing these takes, because they were the things that were keeping us warm, to be honest,” Galitzine recalled. “I mean, one of the performances … I had this short-sleeve vest on and was freezing. But it was such a joy, and it was actually the last thing that all the boy band filmed together. And so it was quite an emotional evening as well, which I think added to to the experience.”

Prime Video
Prime Video

“The Idea of You” is now streaming on Prime Video.

The post How ‘The Idea of You’ Built Their Own Coachella on an Atlanta Speedway: ‘We Shot It Like a Concert Movie’ appeared first on TheWrap.