Theatre Challenge (1991)

Concept and creative process

Titles for a two-part documentary, ‘Theatre Challenge’, which followed the rehearsals of three groups of Youth Theatre, leading up to a performance at the National Theatre. The title sequence was an experimental process using the technology available at the time. We wanted to create a black and white ‘newspaper photo’ aesthetic from the live action with added spot colour. I supplied the edited live action sequence on a VHS tape to animator Mike Hibbert, who grabbed and saved each frame as individual files on an Amiga computer. He then wrote a short piece of script that enabled him to print out each file individually using a dot matrix printer. The prints were then pegged with a sheet of cel overlaying them and finally he painted the coloured details fairly loosely on the upper surface of the cel to achieve a ‘boiling’ effect. The artwork was then shot frame by frame on a video rostrum.

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