Allison Brownmoore was approached early in the edit by director Daniel Gordon to work together on Football’s Darkest Secret, having previously worked together on several films and series over the past ten years (The Trials of Oscar Pistorius, Australian Dream, Hillsborough). As the series involved a significant amount of identity concealment, Dan was interested in exploring an archival based solution which could sit within the series seamlessly. We designed and delivered 52 minutes of graphics across 3 x 1 hour episodes for BBC One. In addition to footage and photo blurs, we also delivered the title card, time devices, photo treatments, maps, newspapers and text elements.

Look development frames for the time device on Football’s Darkest Secret

Throughout the series, we had a number of time shifts, which we wanted to explore a device for. Our early explorations were a full screen device, however upon sitting these within the edit, we felt that it was important to stay within the archive rather than employing a graphical approach. We then looked at how we could achieve a progression or regression of time using the archive itself, and developed a device which allowed for us to stay within the archive.

The vast array of identity concealment throughout the three episodes required individualised treatment. It was important that each shot was considered in relation to its source, the movement within the shot, and the level of concealment required. Avoiding a blanket approach was important, which would have felt destructive across the series.

We had two key blurs to consider, moving footage and stills. Within the stills we could be a little more delicate in our aesthetic, and looked at exploring film damage to our stills to aid concealment without bringing us out of the archive. We also employed this approach with our moving footage, however we ranged our responses depending on the source of the archive, as sometimes our concealment was more digital in its effect.

Using techniques such as film damage for identity concealment

The film was produced by Hugh Davies and edited by Kevin Konak and Matt Wyllie.

Studio: Past Curfew

Design Director: Allison Brownmoore

Designer: Kevin Smy

Assistant GFX Producer: Lucy Beavis