Kessler (1981)

Concept and creative process

‘Kessler’ was a drama serial sequel to the Second World War drama series 'Secret Army'. It dealt with the man hunt for the war criminal decades after the end of the war. The opening titles were designed by Alan Jeapes, who had designed the titles for the original. The same music was re-used for the titles and Alan again worked with BBC Senior Photographer Mike Sanders on stills of the main character Kessler, played by Clifford Rose. The whole title sequence was shot under the rostrum camera using only the one photograph, with the camera filming a series of continuous panning and dissolving close-ups over the folds and shadow areas of the SS uniform and the decorated peaked cap. The pan finally resolved on the close-up of the face of Kessler, before pulling out to reveal him posed in mid-shot, made to look more menacing by the lighting and the angle of the original photograph.