A Celebration of Sean O’Casey (1980)

Concept and creative process

A maintitle for a series of plays by the Irish writer Sean O'Casey. The brief was to demonstrate the breadth of Sean O'Casey's life as an acclaimed author. The creative concept was to form a portrait of the author using the six books and twenty-two plays he wrote in his lifetime. The music is a haunting Irish theme. Alan Jeapes's idea was to show his many books in a stylised chronological arrangement on a bookshelf, with the titles foil-blocked in gold on the white spines and covers. Specially bound volumes appear in date order, from 1923 to 1966 with a strip of the portrait printed adjacent to the spine of each book. The gold foil blocked titles on the white book linen reflect the light beautifully as they revolve. The camera follows the build-up of the books as they mix in, but changes position to show that the books are slightly offset from one another, leaving a slither of space. In this space a section of the portrait of the author is revealed until it is completed by the fade in of the last book. The programme title, treated also as if on a book cover, is revealed in a separate final shot. A classically simple, beautifully shot title, whose simplicity belies its technical complexity.

Lighting Cameraman - Vic Cummings, Caravel Film Services.

Editor - Rod Longhurst.

Music - Fiachra Trench.

Designer/Director - Alan Jeapes.

Winner of a Design & Art Direction Wood Pencil for Television Graphic Design/Drama Titles 1980.

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