Top of the Pops (1983)

Concept and creative process

By 1983 Michael Hurll, the Producer of ‘Top of the Pops’, wanted to refresh the opening titles and asked me to come up with a new look. Given the popularity of the existing 1981 titles that I had designed, I decided to keep them and to run the existing titles on a TV tube that rotated against a slit-scan background with flying platinum discs. The resolve through to the studio was achieved seamlessly, as in my original titles, via the exploding record. The new idea required a working TV to be prepared for filming by the BBC Visual Effects Department. The TV was physically mounted on its back on a programmable motorised rig at Camera Effects. It was shot on 35mm film using their motion control camera rig. A slit-scan streaking background was filmed on a rostrum camera and combined optically on film. However, for the traditional Christmas Day special show seen in this example, the titles were edited to replace the normal shards and debris of the wipe to studio with glitter and baubles and an additional ‘Christmas 1983’ caption was added.

Visual Effects Designer - Mike Kelt.

Motion Control Camera at Camera Effects.

Designer/Director - Marc Ortmans.