Crickley Hall: Creating the illusion of the past

Friday 16 November 2012, 11:21

Hannah King Hannah King Researcher

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The Secret of Crickley Hall, adapted from the best-selling novel by James Herbert, is a chilling ghost story that moves between two time frames: 1943 and 2012.

Filming the contemporary set for the BBC One series was straightforward. However, taking that same location back in time by nearly 70 years was more of a challenge for writer and director Joe Ahearne.

Joe worked closely with visual effects supervisor Chris Mortimer and computer graphics supervisor Jonathan Privett, from the London-based post-production house Rushes.

They applied effects after the drama had been filmed to create the illusion of this passage of time, along with several other highly detailed finishing touches.

Here Jonathan explains how the magic of Crickley Hall was enhanced after the actors had all gone home...

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We don't want to draw your eye to the fact that anything has happened at all."

Watch the trailer for The Secret Of Crickley Hall.

Jonathan Privett is the computer graphics supervisor on The Secret Of Crickley Hall. Hannah King, who filmed this interview, is a researcher in BBC TV and iPlayer.

The Secret Of Crickley Hall is on BBC One on Sunday, 18 November at 9pm. For further programme times please see the episode guide.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

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    Comment number 2.

    I have been looking forward to watching 'The Secret of Crickley Hall' by James Herbert but have been disappointed by the lack of advertising , I am presuming it is because of some of the nature of the storyline and the current issues surrounding the BBC but trying to get an answer is like trying to get blood from a stone.

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    Comment number 3.

    What a brilliant programme, well the bit I could hear....why do we have to have such loud music ? I couldn't hear a lot of the script for the supposedly 'back ground music', more like foreground music. I'll have to put the subtitles on for next week and watch tonight's again on the i player, perhaps I can guess what they're saying !!!

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    Comment number 4.

    We enjoyed the first programme but the supposed 'background music' was far too loud and at times we could hardly hear the dialogue. This seemed to happen at all the times when the cast were talking quietly e.g during the night.
    Please for future episodes turn down the music!

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    Comment number 5.

    Brilliant first episode. Just the right amount of suspense. Can't wait for next two episodes!

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    Comment number 6.

    In view of the very sensitive and difficult situation in which the BBC currently finds itself, I am surprised and concerned that programme schedulers consider it appropriate to air a drama serial focussing on child abuse!! Is this yet another case of financial decisions dictating the schedules?!

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    Comment number 7.

    The speech was very quiet at times and not very clear. Please adjust for next two episodes.

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    Comment number 8.

    Crickley Hall is supposed to be set in Devon and yet the BBC used an unadulterated Bluebird Manchester bus for the school bus service!

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    Comment number 9.

    They moved "up North" about a third of the way through.In fact the local village looked very much like Downham where Whistle down the Wind was filmed.

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    Comment number 10.

    Winter time and a great ghost story. A superb production so far and two of the bravest slaps on television. In this 'story', the leading characters recognise the abuse. Looking forward to next Sunday.

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    Comment number 11.

    quite agree background music too loud,,,,otherwise gripping play

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    Comment number 12.

    Few scenes have ever given me more pleasure than seeing the elder daughter (Sue?) give the school bully a punch in the mouth. I couldn't help shouting "good on you!".

    Great story, gripping and chilling and in the flash-back scenes representative of some attitudes prevalent in those days.

    Can't agree with Garbo50's comment. What is wrong with airing this now? It's always a good time to bring such matters into the open and this is not jumping on the band-wagon as it must have been filmed/videoed months ago.

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    Comment number 13.

    I have never written on a blog site befoe but after watching the series of The Paradise on the BBC, I have got to comment on how fantastic the programme was. The characters,costumes,settings and storyline were just amazing and am so sorry that its come to an end. Is there going to be another follow on series? Congratulations on a most briliant drama,which i will miss.

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    Comment number 14.

    Excellent first episode, nice to see Downham village being used again.
    I think last used in Born and Bred.

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    Comment number 15.

    Hmmm mixed feelings. I quite enjoyed it, but having recently read the book, was a bit baffled that certain details seem to have been changed just for the sake of it. Why change Gabe from American to British? And incongruously why then change the family car from a British Range Rover to an American Jeep? Why change the dog's name from Chester? Why change the setting from Devon to 'oop North'? David Warner was a believable Percy and Douglas Henshall was suitably creepy, but Magda came over as insufficiently unattractive and sinister. Would probably be more enjoyable if you hadn't read the book.

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    Comment number 16.

    A with many others I find the sound balance on this (and many other drama series) poor (I am a semi-professional sound engineer who has in the past worked freelance for the bbc).

    Is this because it is mixed for surround sound and the sound stage is wrong in stereo or is it because the engineer doesn't use sensible reference speakers (when I mixed for radio I used to mix on lovely studio speakers but kept flicking in a cheap speaker that was more like the transistor radio the average listener listened on. I shouldn't need to put sub-titles on in order to hear the dialogue

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    Comment number 17.

    I know you need to suspend your scepticism to watch shows like this, but to me it seemed an unfortunate mishmash that couldn't decide whether it was drama or shock horror. Does it really need so many different elements to make it work: child abduction; child abuse; creepy haunted house; disability discrimination; caricature characters like David Warner, the headmaster and psychic dog? I was half expecting a Dalek or a vampire to appear at any moment. To me it came over as formulaic nonsense that tried to cover too many bases and failed as a result. I haven't read the novel, but the TV script felt as it was written by a focus group. I really don't think I'll be watching episodes 2 & 3.
    Roll on "Last Tango in Halifax"! Maybe that will be better...

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    Comment number 18.

    Hello all, thank you for kicking off the discussion here. Interesting to see your comments about the balance of dialogue and background music JennyWootton #3, Dave Johnson #4, Wilf #7 , phil #11 and Jona #16. Jona - I can't answer your specific question but I will pass all your comments onto the Crickley Hall production team. Meanwhile I thought I'd share this more general link: Is the background music too loud? Danny Cohen (controller of BBC One) wrote the post on this blog a while ago, presenting the findings of research that the BBC did into the common audience complaint that dialogue was hard to distinguish. Just for interest.
    Thanks again for all your comments.
    Fiona

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    Comment number 19.

    Love a good winter ghost story! However, the music was too loud at times and drowned out some quietly spoken, but possibly key moments. Please can the music be taken down a decibel or so? Really looking forward to seeing the rest of it. Well done all.

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    Comment number 20.

    I agree with some other reviewers, an excellent drama but the background music is far too loud, the dialogue is impossible to hear in places. Please put this right for the next episode. Thank you

 

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