Battle For Korea (2001)

August 28th, 2009

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After we created the original Battlefield documentary series and then Battlefield Vietnam in the 90’s, producer Dave Flitton was asked to give the Battlefield treatment to the Korean War. The result was this 2-hour documentary which sadly doesn’t seem to have been as widely seen as its predecessors. I say ‘sadly’ because I remember it being really good. It also seems to have been renamed a couple of times – I’ve seen it advertised as ‘Battlezone Korea’ and others.

Like the previous series, this was entirely made up of archive footage and graphics, so for the title sequence I created this montage of treated shots and animated text, and built it around the theme music.

As my postcard for its premiere shows, it went out on PBS on August 1st 2001.

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Battlefield Vietnam (1998)

March 1st, 2009

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I was the senior designer on the PBS documentary series ‘Battlefield Vietnam’ which took two years to make and was finally released in 1998. The series was commissioned on the back of the original Second World War series ‘Battlefield’ which we – I was a freelancer working for Lamancha Productions in Edinburgh Scotland – had previously made between 1994-96.

For anyone interested in a little web history, you can find the original website I created for TimeLife Video in 1999 here at Battlefield Vietnam.

The series was a major technical challenge for me as each of the twelve one-hour long episodes had a large number of graphics all of which required rendering – a big deal in those days. So even the logistics involved were tricky. On top of that we had to make sense of most of the major battles fought during the ‘10,000 day war’ and illustrate troop movements and guerilla warfare. Just to give an idea of the level of detail required by the producer Dave Flitton, some of the fighting was done on individual neighbouring hills, each of which had to be accurate in relative scale and be named according to original sources.

The Khe Sanh episodes involved such extremes of scale in the maps, going from the whole of South East Asia to being able to see details of the base itself within the same graphic, that we made maps within maps within maps. It probably doesn’t sound much now but all the graphics were done on a couple of very early Pentiums. Wow it’s got a 2gb hard disk, I thought.

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Battlefield (1994)

January 1st, 2009

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The first series of Battlefield was made in 1994 and was my first foray into 3d design and animation. The series was Emmy nominated and is still regularly screened throughout the world. Even Stanley Kubrick was a fan. Recently it was given a 3-box set dvd release, which includes the Battlefield Vietnam series, a technologically innovative project for its time.

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