Recently he very kindly digitised a Umatic tape in the archive… We were hoping it had a never-before-seen original (scrapped) version of the C4 logo on it – and it did!
Above is the original, original C4 logo, coloured in by hand!
In 1982 there just wasn’t the computing power available to colour and light it digitally. Us under-funded Brits very clearly were no longer leading innovators in the field of computing and computer graphics. Harold Wilson’s ‘white heat’ was dimming.
Tony’s career spans a very interesting timeframe. From his work at (then) leading UK military technology company Elliott Automation, to having to go to the US to “get things coloured in”, the archive many interviews with him about how the industry emerged and evolved c.1965 c. 1982.
Here are some extracts from previously recorded interviews with Tony about his (uncredited) creation of the logo, (recorded with the intention of adding animated visuals).
I’ve cut the interviews onto 9 sections (in reference to the 9 blocks of the Channel Four logo.)
I intend to add visuals and animation from the archives and also created by myself, to these interviews, funding provided.
Clips 01-06 + 08-09:
Sound Recordist: Ian Thompson
Directors: Kate Sullivan/Tony Pritchett
Producer: Izzy De Rosario
This clip was shot by me on my phone. I was doing some video rendering (please see the Power Up North London film below), for Tony and took the chance to ask him again about the rendering of the C4 logo.
I’d like to thank Ian Thompson, Izzy De Rosario and Ewan Mulliagn for lending me their incredible expertise and for being such a pleasure to work with. The intention was/is to add animated visuals to the VO and to also include live action footage of Tony in ‘The Tony Pritchett Project’.
Above: 35mm print of the logo with optical track, (carefully!) viewed on a Steenbeck at UEL. Thank you UEL, Bea Haut and Dr. Dean Todd
Below: Tony created the animation of the ‘spring-shaped tunnel’ of circles. There is black and white 16mm footage of this in the archive. How much of the rest of the animation he contributed to is a current unknown. What is certain, is that both adverts were made at System Simulation feature what Tony refers to as “glowing line stuff” at the end of Clip 09 (above).
Last but not least, I just wanted to add a bit more about what Tony and I were exporting the day that I filmed Clip 07:
Tony had shot a Go Pro time-lapse sequence of an installation of solar panels on St Anne’s Church Highgate, by Power Up North London, a non-profit community organisation that enables local people to tackle climate change by delivering renewable energy projects. Tony was a member.
Tony always referred to the C4 logo as being his last piece of ‘proper animation’.
You can see his more recent time-lapse work 5 minutes into the film below. Tony was passionate about alternative and renewable energy sources.
A big thank you to:
> Prof. Bob Hopgood for the expert knowledge and patience! Bob had helped a HUGE amount with my research into how Tony went about creating the logo.
> Prof. David Duce for the expert knowledge and patience!
> Dr. Nick Lambert for the expert knowledge and help transporting the archive from Tony’s flat.
> Dr. Catherine Mason for continual support and for writing Computer In The Art Room! Catherine also shared Tony’s story of how he made the logo at her BFI CG retrospective, ‘Bits In Motion’ (2006)
> Ian Thompson, Izzy De Rosario and Ewan Mulligan for being a really great crew.
> Mike Stapleton and System Simulation for ongoing help with research.
> Jez Stewart and the BFI for publishing this article!
> Power Up North London
> Tony Pritchett.