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28/04/2004

Framestore CFC complete ‘The Day Today’ DVD design

The first ever DVD of Chris Morris’ 'The Day Today' shows appeared in UK shops on April 26 2004.
Released to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of the series' first broadcast in February 1994, the two-disc DVD set was commissioned by BBC Worldwide and produced by Talkback Productions. When The Day Today first appeared on BBC2 just over 10 years ago, it was immediately acclaimed as a comedy classic, launching the television careers of a new generation of writers and performers.
The DVD was designed and authored by Framestore CFC's design team, and produced by Talkback's Adam Tandy. The show's creators, Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci, also took time out from their busy schedules to offer feedback throughout the process.
The result is a DVD set that looks and feels like a seamless extrapolation of a Day Today episode, complete with ridiculously pompous computer graphics, self-important graphs and a general sense of news-overload. Talkback Producer Adam Tandy is delighted with the results. "We could give (Designer) Adam Parry very free rein on this," he said, "because that's the way his mind works best. He came up with a number of graphic ideas which we developed and refined, but ultimately the look is his."
In addition to the blisteringly funny spoofs of documentary and news programme material, The Day Today took on the very fabric of news and current affairs programming and gave it a good beating. "The brief was to follow the design lead of the original programmes, but to update it. But since The Day Today came out, news graphics have actually become more like a parody of the show's graphics," reflects Framestore CFC Design Producer Simon Whalley, "We watched a lot of news programmes and saw that they're all still going very high tech. Whatever kit they're using, we felt that they are using it to its absolute limits - doing things almost because they can. We just followed suit.
"We used some of the CG motifs from the original shows. The globes and the graphs, for instance - and pushed them into the 21st century."
Adam Tandy clearly relishes this ability of the Framestore CFC team to use these objets trouvés - bits and pieces from the original cutting room floor and elsewhere. "Sharon Lock did a fantastic job," he enthused, "For example, in the mini-menu she created using some old rushes we found of David Schneider dancing."
Extras on this newly packaged collection include a generous selection of extended scenes, mini-news bulletins (used to promote the original shows), pilot material, commentaries, interviews, 'po-faced analysis', newly recorded material and other Easter Egg-type goodies. Altogether there's well over 70 minutes of new and previously unreleased material, in addition to the officially listed 174 minutes of original programming. For Tandy, the 'Day Today' DVDs also represented a chance to build on some of the work he'd initiated with earlier DVD comedy projects that he'd brought to Framestore CFC. "On many DVDs the navigation and style is very 2D," he said, "Partly to keep things simple, or cheap, or because studios lack the high end kit - not a problem with Framestore CFC, of course."
(GB)
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