ITV: ‘The Pity of War’ on Remembrance Sunday
In mid-2014, Fraktiv was invited to be involved in a showcase project for ITV, the UK’s premier commercial TV network.
Working with Shiver, a subsidiary of ITV Studios and one of the largest providers of factual entertainment in the United Kingdom, the brief was to assist the production team on a feature drama documentary titled “The Pity of War: The Loves and Lives of the War Poets” (IMDB). Written and directed by Emmy-nominated Jenny Ash, The Pity of War relates the story of Siegfried Sassoon, one of the First World War’s greatest war poets, based on the shared diaries and letters between Sassoon and fellow poets Wilfred Owen and Robert Graves.
The drama stars John Hurt as Sassoon in the 1960s, in the twilight years of his life, recounting the traumatic and horrific events he experienced in the trenches, together with his inability to forget the grief of losing the love of his life. Sassoon’s story provides the backbone to the film and we flash back to dramatic reconstructions of his younger self – played by Morgan Watkins (The Hour) – interspersed with archive footage provided by the Imperial War Museum. Wilfred Owen is played by Matthew Beard (The Imitation Game) and Robert Graves is played by Joe Claflin (Game of Thrones).
ITV’s press release is available here.
Oli from Fraktiv was originally asked by colleagues at Adobe to liaise with ITV on the project, as they were keen to run this production entirely through Adobe’s latest Creative Cloud software platform, incorporating Premiere Pro, After Effects and Media Encoder. However, Oli rapidly became more involved with the production, providing both in-suite training to ITV senior online editor and first time Premiere Pro user, Ian Goff, as well as motion graphics services in designing and creating the show’s title sequence.
Together, Oli and Ian online edited the offline created by Nick Saunders (also in Premiere Pro), which featured an extensive archive of front-line and Blitz footage, provided by IWM, inter-cut with the dramatic reconstructions and narrative sections delivered by Hurt. As such, Oli joined the online edit process with both feet, and was further involved in the picture lock – delivered to colourist Vicki Matich at ENVY – and the digital master output back at ITV.
Poignantly, and 100 years on, The Pity of War was broadcast on Remembrance Sunday 2016 (13th November), in the UK on ITV, and received very positive reviews from both The Telegraph and The Times newspapers.
It’s certainly a production we’ll remember fondly and with great pride.