Detective (1968)

Concept and creative process

Alan Jeapes here pays homage to the work that the great American designer Saul Bass did for Otto Preminger's 1959 film 'Anatomy of A Murder'. A gun shot cues the series title and negative images of objects create the features of a face, reinforced by a chalk line traced around them. As the camera tracks out we see that it is a whole figure that has been traced, like the final marked position of a murder victim at a crime scene after the body has gone. A film shoot of the whole image was created with the objects making the features of the face in situ. The resulting film was projected and traced to create the outlines of the objects and the chalk line. High contrast Kodaliths were made from this so that the objects and the chalk line could be mixed on or scraped back on a second camera pass. The gun barrel, bold typography and the zoom in and out of the graphic blood spot were shot separately and added to the sequence in the final edit.