Play for Today (1977)

Concept and creative process

Sid Sutton recalls the making of this sequence for 'Play for Today'. "The idea was to use the rising sun to symbolise 'Today' and the lighting changes created by the sun to symbolise 'Drama', as the sun rose in the sky and illuminated the three dimensional title logo. The one meter wide, three dimensional title logo was cut from cork and painted and set up on a large sheet of blockboard, protruding from the top floor window of a house on the coast, in order to avoid spill from street lighting polluting the night sky. We started shooting stop motion at 4am at one frame a minute and slowed gradually to two minute intervals as the sun travelled over the top of the model, reverting gradually back to one frame per minute as it illuminated the face of the logo by 1.30pm. Because of the weather it took 3 attempts on consecutive days to get the shot. Director of Photography Alan Taverner devised a system of adding ND filters over the lens to cope with the extreme exposure range required. To complicate matters a plague of ladybirds settled on the model and had to be removed with a brush between frames and a jet fighter from a nearby airbase flew briefly through the background of the shot - it's never dull on a location shoot!

Lighting Cameraman - Alan Taverner, Caravel Film Services.

Music - Carl Davis.

Designer/Director - Sid Sutton.

Winner of a Design & Art Direction Wood Pencil for Television Graphics.