Revolution (1978)

Concept and creative process

Opening titles for a series of six impromptu talks by leading historian A.J.P. Taylor on revolutions and revolutionaries, from Paris in 1789 to Petrograd in 1917. The dominoes were sourced from a manufacturer who gave the designer huge quantities of rejects to realise his design concept. The images relevant to the six talks were glued to the faces of the best of the rejects that would be seen in close-up, and this idea was carried through on large flats decorating the studio set. The remainder were set up over a couple of days in a bare BBC studio at Lime Grove,  tracing out the shape of the ‘Revolution’ logo lettering which had been painted in red on the studio floor. A former Guinness Book of Records participant provided the necessary expertise and put in stops to prevent the whole domino chain reaction happening by accident during the set-up, or overnight by an inquisitive mouse! It was not necessary to shoot the whole sequence without cuts so the filming and editing to Chopin’s ‘Revolutionary‘ Etude No.12 in C Major was quite straightforward. The title caption was filmed on a rostrum camera.