Clifford Hatts (1921-2015)

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Clifford Hatts (1921-2015)

Post by Westengland »

Designer, television. BBC from 1955, full-time 1957, Head of Design 1972-1980.


Guardian (includes a photograph from the BBC Quatermass And The Pit).
Telegraph (Includes a photograph of CRH working on the Antony And Cleopatra set of Spread Of The Eagle).
Expect trouble if you know more than they do.

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Re: Clifford Hatts (1921-2015)

Post by TVT_Dave »

I am very sad to hear of the death of Cliff Hatts. I got to know him when as he came on a regular basis to talk to courses run by the BBC Tv Department that I worked for.

However, I must take issue with the Telegraph's obituary concerning Quatermass and the Pit..........

"A more contained adventure than either The Quatermass Experiment (1953) or Quatermass II (1955), each weekly episode was broadcast live from the backlot of MGM Studios, allowing Hatts's vast set to come into its own.
Laying tons of mud on to the studio floor, Hatts redressed the set in the gaps between filming so that the hellish Pit appeared to deepen with the passage of time. By the end of filming the foreman's hut, which had begun at ground level, stretched well above the cast members' heads. The director John Carpenter cited the resulting claustrophobic atmosphere as an inspiration for his 1982 horror classic The Thing."

A weekly OB from the MGM studios (in Borehamwood) in 1958? I think not. Surely the obit is mixing up the screen film with the BBC production.

In fact a look at Wikipedia for Quatermass and the Pit comes up with - "Each episode was predominantly live from Studio 1 of the BBC's Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London. The episodes were rehearsed from Tuesday to Saturday, usually at the Mary Wood Settlement in Tavistock Place, London, with camera rehearsals in the morning and afternoon of transmission. Not every scene was live, a significant amount of material was on 35 mm film and inserted during the performance. Most filming involved scenes set on location or those too technically complex or expansive to achieve live. The latter were shot at Ealing Studios, acquired by the BBC in 1955, where Cartier worked with the cinematographer A. A. Englander. Pre-filming was also used to show the passage of time in the second episode; the archaeological dig at Ealing was shown to have dug deeper into the ground than the equivalent set at Riverside, enabling a sense of time that would not have been possible in an all-live production."

I understand that Cliff used the pit in one of the TFS studios.

Cliff went to Japan for the BBC on one occasion, which produced the a headline in Arial - 'Hatts off to Japan!'

Dave B.

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David Boothroyd
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Re: Clifford Hatts (1921-2015)

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