The hit BBC series The League of Gentlemen offered up many special effect challenges, some very disturbing others barely noticeable.
My most memmorable effects where realised through the poor mishaps of Mr Chinnery the Royston Vasey vet. From exploding tortoises to farting dogs, many animals sadly met their end to the caring and sympathetic hands of Mr Chinnery, played wonderfully by Mark Gatis.
However their was more than just veterinary mishaps for our effects team to contend with, we burned down the local shop, created storms over the visiting Papa Lazaroo’s travelling Fair, built man traps and provided the jokeshop with some deadly surprises to name but a few.
I began work on the League of Gentlemen when I was working for Emergency House Special Effects in Yorkshire back in 1999. Where has all the time gone? I was fresh off the Byker Grove programme still young and impressionable and admittingly pretty green, basically very unprepaired to take on the mountain of work that included modelmaking, atmospherics and fire effects.
Thankfully I had two very calm and experienced special effect supervisors to help with the physical effect gags, Evan Green-Hughes and Stephen Breheney, but it was with the modelmaking, the area of work that I enjoy most that I learned so much from doing. I admit, some illusions came of flawlessly, and others were well..take 2.
The League of Gentlemen was a wonderful working experience, one I’d hope to have again, and in their very own words it was “a f**king pleasure.”