Production company Nexus' director, Jim Le Fevre, has created the title sequence and a series of animations for Holy Flying Circus, a fantastical re-imagining of the controversy surrounding the release of the Monty Python film Life Of Brian. Inspired by Terry Gilliam's unique guerilla approach to animation, the title sequence is - literally - a towering tribute to the off-beat comic genius of the Pythons, featuring a 2-metre tall construction of wooden discs and tubes built on a revolving base. Fixed to each of the ten layers are sequences of still images, which, when rotated at 33rpm (no mean feat with something that big!) animate to show looped scenes and pastiches of the time Life of Brian was released. Based on the thinking behind Jim's record player Phonotrope (a technique based, in turn, on the zoetrope), the scenes depicted are made up of tiny, laser-cut characters - 2,100 of them in all - each one painstakingly stuck to the discs with millimetre-perfect precision to create what looks like a huge and intricate wedding cake. When set spinning the result is an anarchic journey through time, all to the Monty Python theme tune (reworked by Jack Arnold), and, as such, is a fitting introduction to the new film. Jim added, "I met up with Owen Harris, the director, and Polly and Kate, the producers, and we spent a long time discussing the legacy of Terry Gilliam's animation and how that related to the direction of the feature. Although this is a "period" piece, Owen also wanted to make the animation contemporary while staying true to the ethos of the Pythons. I think using the Phonotrope we have achieved this and paid proper homage to Gilliam and the Pythons." Holy Flying Circus is a talkbackTHAMES/Hillbilly Television co-production for BBC4 and aired on Wednesday, 19th October at 9pm.
Production Company: NEXUS PRODUCTIONS Director: Jim Le Fevre Executive Producer: Luke Youngman Production Manager: Claire Thompson Production Assistant: Fernanda Garcia Lope Production Assistant: Carmen De Witt Intern: Leila Smith 3D Pre Visualisation Development: Ben Cowell 3D Pre Visualisation Development: Mark davies Director of Photography: Matthew Day Camera Assistant: Toby Goodyear Design / Construction: Gordon Alle Layout / Art-working: Gee Staughto Joinery / Construction: Joe Kirton Laser Cutter: Ewen Dicki Assistant Joinery / Art-working: Harris Allen Art Department Assistant: Dominic Owen Art Department Assistant: Sophie Powell Studio Assistant: Elizabeth Day Special Thanks: Studio: Clapham Rd Studios Laser Cutting: Laser Make