Saturday, 19 April 2008

Medieval Mind Trip - BBC4

Agency: RKCR/Y&R
Creative Director: Damon Collins
Creative: Jules Chalkley; Nick Simons
Director: James Price
Production: Strange Beast
Producer: Kayt Hall
Music: Tam Nightingale, Nightingale Music

This wonderful visual charting the mind of a medieval citizen was created over five weeks with a team of six animators working out of Transistor Studios, the spot delves deep into the facts and fictions of medieval life through a series of intricately detailed shots exploring the images, ideas and iconography of the period. From science and religion to plague and pestilence. The spot brings to life a mind-bending taster of what's to come in the forthcoming BBC4 Medieval Season.

Damon Collins' first project as executive creative director at RKCR/Y&R since leaving Mother at the end of 2007. This his first project at RK he recalls with a grin. "They're a brilliant client (BBC), though challenging when it comes to timings. [...] eight weeks from initial brief to air date."

Collins and his crew started brainstorming ways to convey medieval life stylishly and succinctly. "The idea of the trip came from the fact that stuff people believed in, the things they did and even the colour of the world back then are almost impossible for our minds to contemplate today," Collins explains. "It was a different, bonkers, but very beautiful world, hence the comparison with watching the season being like a drug trip." This bonkers world that might contain images of people with wolves heads similar to characters that Andrew Rae might have drawn featured in Basics Illustration: Thinking Visually by Mark Wigan.

With Strange Beast director James Price at the helm of the animation on the spot. "When Damon mentioned they where re-recording Purple Haze with Medieval instruments I knew this was going to be really a really unique project, so it really gave me the impetus to push the design and just go wild with it," recalls Price.

With the idea of reworking Jimmy Hendrix' Purple Haze it was arranged and recorded by Pascal Bideau and Tam Nightingale who have a penchant for period instruments . The musicians who took part in the project are: Jon Banks (tef), Sharon Lindo (rebec, viol), Keith McGowan (hurdy gurdy, shawm, rackett, curtle), Emma Murphy (recorders).

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