Wilde. Directed by: Brian Gilbert

In 1997 at a meeting with Brian Gilbert and producer Marc Samuelson together with Charles Green I was briefed to develop a title design concept - in other words to 'pitch' an idea. This was on the understanding that if successful - I would then be commissioned to design the main and end titles.

This immediately posed a problem for both myself and Charlie (senior optical effects cameraman at Cine Image). We had decided from passed experience to 'decline' the invitation to 'pitch' for work. However, perhaps fortunately for me I had read the biography of Oscar Wilde by Richard Ellmann and during this long meeting with Brian and Marc had the time and opportunity to discuss Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley and how we could design a sequence based on the creation of our own 'yellow' book.

Above and below: the original concept of the main title sequence. This is my own reconstruction from 2007.

With the encouragement of Brian Gilbert and understanding the prestigious nature of the production (especially the involvement of Stephen Fry) we had a major title sequence to create. During the four week period of development I created a series of vignettes (below) to accompany the title of each actor / character. For instance: Marc and his brother were garlanded Roman emperors on their producers screen credit. Editor: Scissors. Etc.

However as the project progressed the concept of creating a book of main titles and illustrations that would open the main sequence was dropped. The decision was to cut to live action as soon as the preliminary distributor and production credits were over. This meant that the hand crafted lettering together with the illustrations would now 'hover' over the live action.

Below: The actual main title intro credits and the illustrations over live action.

We did however achieve our original concept by having an end title card sequence (above) instead of the traditional end roller. Wilde was very well received and the experience of working with director Brian Gilbert and producer Marc Samuelson with their humour and encouragement at all stages was fabulous.

Above: original pen and ink drawings produced for the title sequence. These were to set the style for all the illustrations.