The Jump 90s Archives – Volume 3
Our retrospective wandering around the Jump Archives continues with this collection of title sequences, which all went out on the BBC from 1995 to 2001.
We hope you enjoy these blasts from the past. If you have any questions or memories you would like to share about these projects – pleased drop us a message – or follow us on social media (Instagram or Twitter / X)
They Think It’s All Over:
In 1995 Jump made the titles for the launch of They Think It’s All Over, produced by TalkBack Productions. Having designed all the graphics for TalkBack’s hugely successful comedy-news spoof The Day Today – we found ourselves very popular with them and had a run of designing a lot of comedy sequences. Before this we had created titles for Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge and Smith and Jones.
The original presenter was Nick Hancock with team captains Gary Lineker and David Gower. We also made graphics for a few of the question rounds – including the famous photofit rounds made up by combining various famous sporting faces . They were a bit fiddly to make on Quantel Harry but it used to be hilarious to see the composite face results come together in the edit.
Working on this show was possibly the beginning of Jump’s future in sports graphics!
Murder Most Horrid:
Another comedy we worked on for Talkback around this time was Murder Most Horrid starring Dawn French. This sequence was for the second series in 1996.
Every now and again a brief comes along where you can’t stop thinking of ideas (which is far more preferable to the opposite which happens occasionally too). We travelled over to Talkback’s office in Percy Street armed with 12 concepts to pitch to Producer Sophie Clarke-Jervoise – and she liked them all. However, this simple idea of the logo being spookily back-lit by a torch beam – which we find out is being held by Dawn – was the winner.
We had the logo text printed out and fixed on a glass sheet so we could film the torch beam interacting with the letters for real. We filmed all of these shots without Dawn – who only had to be filmed lifting the torch beam to reveal her face. The clean text was tracked back on to the scene in Quantel Harry by our post production magician Jan Hallett. He could fix anything – which in this case also meant removing a few glass smears.
The logo font conjured up the mood of the show perfectly – but wasn’t an easy one to work with. It didn’t exist within the machine as a Quantel font – so needed to be printed and scanned in. The fine lines would work a lot better now in 4K than the measly 768 x 576 pixels in SD then. We loved the final result though.
The wrap party was a laugh too – which was a barn dance held in a film studio. It’s not everyday you get to Do-Si-Do with the lovely Dawn French.
The Peter Principle:
The Peter Principle is a management concept noted by Laurence J Peter that describes how people within a corporate hierarchy get promoted for being good at their job – only to eventually find themselves incompetent in a role which requires a different skillset.
This BBC comedy came out in 1995 and starred the brilliant Jim Broadbent and Claire Skinner. The series was a Hat Trick Production, Exec Produced by Denise O’Donoghue and Produced by Dan Patterson.
We always love an analogy at Jump. Filming Jim climbing up a series of different coloured ladders was a beautifully simple concept. Obviously Jim was never more than a few feet off the floor – he was far too valuable for us to risk damaging him. We had a collection of different height ladders fixed off extremely securely to achieve the different shots.
Let Them Eat Cake:
This series was a Tiger Aspect Production from 1999 and our second time working with Dawn French – but this time with Jennifer Saunders too. Yet again, it was a beautifully simple title sequence concept. At that time we definitely loved sequences which involved filming a lot of the effects in-camera. The series was set in France, seven years before the French Revolution.
We projected images of The Palace of Versailles onto screens made of sugar glass. We had four sheets big enough for the main characters to march through and then some smaller pieces to be used for close-up moments. We also had two cameras filming the action to maximise shots from the limited number of panels.
The face expressions are brilliant – everyone smashed it (quite literally). The music by Nick Bicat is absolutely perfect too.
This sequence was for the BBC drama series Attachments that launched in 2000. The soap-style drama was based on the interacting lives of a group of young professionals working for an internet start-up company. This was back in the dot com boom era. The sequence featured 100s of pixels sliding within a horizontal and vertical grid system – representing the lives of many people interacting within a society. Where they overlapped, they glowed and created part of the logo text. This built to a full reveal over the sequence.
The impressive part of this sequence was that all of the dots were animated individually. The masterful designer Tony Pepe animated the sequence for us on our Quantel Hal. He was an ex-ITN colleague and a really amazing talent. You would have to be, to control the 100 odd cutouts of glowing pixels. In those days that was really pushing the machine and would have resulted in a very slow render. He did a great job being our concept to life.
Before John Torode and Greg Wallace took over Masterchef UK, it was presented by the late great Gary Rhodes for one season. Jump created the title sequence for this series in 2001.
The shots of the egg being broken into a bowl were the original title sequence from the early series presented by Lloyd Grossman. Our newly introduced spinning 3D glass discs containing and reflecting the footgage were based on the trophy and logo design.
The introduction of the highly knowledgeable and talented chef Gary Rhodes was to give the series enhanced credibility and seriousness. The slick 3D graphics represented that step-up in quality.
You can catch up with our previous explorations into the Jump Archives here: