David Rowe interview for 25th anniversary documentary

Questions for the cast and crew of Knightmare
Post Reply
User avatar
JamesA
Fright Knight
Fright Knight
Posts: 1514
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2004 9:33 am
Location: London

David Rowe interview for 25th anniversary documentary

Post by JamesA » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:01 pm

David will be giving an interview for the 25th anniversary documentary next Sunday (November 4th). If you have any questions that you would like him to answer, please post them here and I'll see what I can do.

This is a very good opportunity to put forward something to a person who worked "behind the scenes" on Knightmare. Whilst the actors (as well as a couple of contestants and Tim Child) have indeed given some valuable contributions to this documentary, I'm certain that one of the people who helped to actually make Knightmare happen will have some worthwile and very interesting content to say, input which will no doubt prove to be extremely insightful.

This is will also be the last opportunity (documentary wise anyhow) for everyone to put forward their questions to someone who was a part of Knightmare. After this interview it is VERY likely that I won't be doing any more of these, focusing my attention instead to editing all the content I have gathered for this doumentary and creating something that will be viewed online before the year is over.

Questions to be posted no later than Friday evening please.
James Aukett
Creator of the Knightmare: 25th Anniversary Documentary

Canadanne
Fright Knight
Fright Knight
Posts: 1877
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:53 pm
Location: Poole, Dorset
Contact:

Re: David Rowe interview

Post by Canadanne » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:06 pm

-- Did Tim Child specify what rooms and scenes he wanted drawn, or were they all David's own ideas?

-- Are there any rooms he was particularly proud or fond of?

-- Did he paint anything that wasn't used in the end?

-- Although Series 4 was the last to include hand-drawn scenes (I think - correct me if I'm wrong!), his name remained in the credits for Series 5 and 6. What was the extent of his involvement in these later series? (Did he contribute to the new title sequence, perhaps?)

-- I do know he did some location scouting in Wales for Series 5. How did they go about choosing places to film?

-- What kind of impact did Knightmare have on his career?

User avatar
HobGoblin
Staff
Staff
Posts: 387
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:20 pm

Re: David Rowe interview

Post by HobGoblin » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:34 pm

Great to see the original artwork on David's website - the look and feel of these early series will always be the Knightmare in my heart!

Anyway, a few questions for David:

- Was he skeptical about the concept of Knightmare at first or did he realise immediately how great its potential was?

- Does he feel the use of real locations was beneficial or detrimental to the visual design of the show?

- Was he involved in any other aspects of the show's design e.g. his Catacombite on the cover of 'Can you Beat the Challenge?' is the most memorable thing ever to emerge from my xmas stocking! Was this based on the animation or did David produce such concept art at the outset of production?
Extreme warning team, a Hobgoblin in the level!

Drassil
Senior Staff
Senior Staff
Posts: 2206
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:01 pm
Contact:

Re: David Rowe Interview

Post by Drassil » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:01 pm

Blimey. James, if this weekend isn't one of the best of your life then I want to know why!
Canadanne wrote:-- Did he paint anything that wasn't used in the end?
Subject to confirmation from David Rowe himself, the answer appears to be yes.

How well had your previous experience prepared you for working on Knightmare?

How did it feel to see your pieces brought to life (and indeed death) in the finished Knightmare episodes? Were there any occasions that gave you particular pride?

When you did the cover art for the first five Knightmare books, how much freedom were you given?

Is the Knightmare board game the only board game to which you've contributed artwork?

Your website, as we know thanks to your post on the Knightmare.com Forum, has a wonderful gallery of Knightmare rooms. Do the filenames of these pictures (e.g. egyptianroom, nilremroom, bloodyroom) reflect official names given to the rooms, personal working titles or are they just filenames? And if the names came before the art, how important were they to your creative process?

Did you ever get to go behind the scenes at Anglia TV during filming of Knightmare?

What was Tim Child like to work with?

Do you know the origin of the stained glass window seen during Series 2 and 3?

According to your website, you also provided artwork for another of Tim Child's series, The Satellite Game. How did that compare with working on Knightmare?

From Winchester to Wales, how much inspiration do you draw (no pun intended) from where you live?

Do you meet many of the people who grew up admiring your work on Knightmare?

How important a contribution do you think Knightmare made to children's television?

Compared with the 1980s and 1990s, do you think it's easier or harder for budding creatives to 'make it' today?

Canadanne
Fright Knight
Fright Knight
Posts: 1877
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:53 pm
Location: Poole, Dorset
Contact:

Re: David Rowe Interview

Post by Canadanne » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:13 pm

Drassil wrote:
Canadanne wrote:-- Did he paint anything that wasn't used in the end?
Subject to confirmation from David Rowe himself, the answer appears to be yes.
Hmm, perhaps they didn't feel like creating a real curved staircase to match that one! I'm now doubly curious as to how many unused ideas there were (and whether he feels like sharing them on his website!)
Do you know the origin of the stained glass window seen during Series 2 and 3?
I've already asked him this privately. Alas, he didn't!
According to your website, you also provided artwork for another of Tim Child's series, The Satellite Game.
Apparently he provided illustrations for TimeBusters and Cyberzone too, but I've no idea where in the programmes they were used.

Gizensha
Level 1 Dungeoneer
Level 1 Dungeoneer
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:38 pm
Location: Blackpool

Re: David Rowe Interview

Post by Gizensha » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:59 pm

Canadanne wrote:
Drassil wrote:
Canadanne wrote:-- Did he paint anything that wasn't used in the end?
Subject to confirmation from David Rowe himself, the answer appears to be yes.
Hmm, perhaps they didn't feel like creating a real curved staircase to match that one!
...Not to mention dealing with the H&S implications of having a blindfold kid who can see a little of what's below walk down a curved staircase, given how much some struggled getting down a few straight stairs under such conditions 8-o

HStorm
Fright Knight
Fright Knight
Posts: 2769
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 1:12 pm
Location: Salford, UK
Contact:

Re: Dungeon Room paintings

Post by HStorm » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:26 pm

How did you feel the shift from hand-drawings to photographic images went? And did you ever get into disagreements with Tim Child about the changes in visual design?

Did you think the photo images were superior or inferior to the CGI designs in the final season?

User avatar
JamesA
Fright Knight
Fright Knight
Posts: 1514
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2004 9:33 am
Location: London

Re: Dungeon Room paintings

Post by JamesA » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:43 pm

Thanks again for all the questions. Well worth the trip to deepest Wales I must say - outside of the interview I learnt some very interesting details into the processes that were involved in making Knightmare, courtesy of David!

And of course, here are the answers to those questions I was able to ask him:

What kind of impact did Knightmare have on your career?
A significant one really - I was doing game covers and book jackets, and to add television to my portfolio was incredible. It gave me recognition wherever I went, so I could go to software companies with a folder of artwork and they'd know all about Knightmare which was a great help.

Were you sceptical about the concept of Knightmare at first or did you realise immediately how great its potential was?
It was new territory and what the team were doing with chromakey and retaining shadows was absolutely stunning. I was so excited from day one and could see the enormous potential of it.

What was Tim Child like to work with?
He had the vision for it which a lot of people didn't have and he knew exactly what he wanted, clear and concise. It was very good.

Did Tim specify what rooms and scenes he wanted drawn, or were they all your own ideas?
As an illustrator I'm used to working to a brief and meeting the client's requirements. If I can add flair or anything then I would obviously do that, but I was working closely to Tim's instructions.

Are there any rooms you are particularly fond of?
I liked the serpent room (Lillith's lair), and especially the dragon room, where they got smoke to come out of its nostrils.

Did you illustrate anything that wasn't used in the end?
I guess so - its hard to recall but I know there are a few that weren't.

Do you feel that the use of real locations was beneficial or detrimental to the show?
I think it changed the look of the show for sure. The game had to evolve and move on so it did. I liked the drawn backgrounds but Knightmare had to move forward.

When you did the cover art for the first five Knightmare books, how much freedom were you given?
Pretty much total with them - I had a synopsis of the book and just took it from there. You obviously do roughs, get them approved by the client and then go ahead with it.

Is the Knightmare board game the only board game to which you've contributed artwork?
Yes, very much the only one. That was good fun and enjoyed doing it, also working with the Frightknight statue which was gorgeous to have in the house and I was really sad when I had to return it.

From Winchester to Wales, how much inspiration do you draw from where you live?
In Wales particularly, the rocks, the mountains, the scenery, textures - I'm forever going round photographing things like autumn colour and saving them as palettes in Photoshop, because they're just so synonymous with each other.

How important a contribution do you think Knightmare made to children's television?
I think it was enormous - it won awards at the time, and I'm still talking to people 25 years later who actually remember it with great fondness from their childhood.

Compared with the 1980s and 1990s, do you think its easier or harder for budding creatives to make it today?
It was hard then and it was hard now, in a different way. There are so many people out there producing images, and there's so much available online for an art director, that for someone to produce fresh images is really difficult.

Once again, thanks for all the questions to this interview and for all other interviews that were carried out this year. No doubt that we all learnt some productive backstory into the workings of Knightmare.
James Aukett
Creator of the Knightmare: 25th Anniversary Documentary

Canadanne
Fright Knight
Fright Knight
Posts: 1877
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:53 pm
Location: Poole, Dorset
Contact:

Re: David Rowe Interview

Post by Canadanne » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:32 pm

Another great read. I have so enjoyed seeing what all the contributors had to say, and am more excited than ever to watch the documentary! What a fun Christmas it's going to be. :)

Post Reply