Oscar (1985)

Concept and creative process

Titles for a three-part drama serial by John Hawkesworth on the life of Oscar Wilde, starring Michael Gambon in the title role and Robin McCallum as Lord Alfred Douglas. Famous contemporary photographs of Oscar and ‘Bosie’ were recreated in the photographic studio at BBC Television Centre by Mike Sanders. The sepia prints were shot on the BBC Video rostrum camera together with the peacock feathers, a favourite motif of the Aesthetic Movement of which Oscar Wilde was a prominent member. The titles were foil blocked and printed in metallic gold on black caption card. They were lit and shot to enhance their three-dimensional quality under the rostrum camera. The post-production compositing was done on the BBC’s digital video frame store by Pete Willis and Malcolm Dalton. The BBC Video Rostrum Unit was the result of research into digital production, undertaken by BBC engineers at their Kingswood Warren laboratory. They worked closely with the BBC Graphic Design department, much of whose work needed a frame accuracy not offered by video and who had come to rely on the stability of 35mm film.

Oscar actor photos