Private Lives (1983)

Concept and creative process

In her talk show ‘Private Lives’ Maria Aitken invited well-known personalities to reveal some of their private passions, memories, treasures and pleasures in relaxed conversation. Michael Graham-Smith extrapolated the idea of getting inside someone’s head to the visual concept of a head literally being opened up to reveal different compartments and niches containing hidden treasures. The head itself was created by BBC Visual Effects sculptor John Friedlander and filmed in 35mm stop motion to animate the splitting open of the head to reveal its many stored memories. These were encapsulated in miniature sets and images, reflecting the lyrics of the title song that was written and performed by Peter Skellern. The background clouds were animated by Mike Hibbert and added in post-production together with the animated title.

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Private Lives head sculpture images