Dublin's Darkest Days


Designed by Eleonora Bigi at bigO

Lead Animator: Anthony Murphy

Director / Producer: Miriam Fayne

Director / Producer: Jane Lawrenson

Sound Designer : Tara Harrison

Illustrator: Steve Doogan

Categories: Moving Image

Industry: Cultural

Tags: Illustration / Film

Website: tenementmuseum.ie

Tenement Museum Dublin is a exhibition space located at Number 14, Henrietta Street, Dublin that is dedicated to showcasing what life used to be like in the tenements of north inner city Dublin.

As part of this experience, bigO created a special projection in one of the museum’s main rooms. The film takes visitors on a journey through history from 1911 to 1916, illustrating key historical events in a contemporary and authentic way throughout.

The backbone of the piece was provided by the John Cooke suite of photography. Captured in 1913, it illustrates the long-gone and forgotten alleys and lanes that made up Dublin’s inner city. Supplemental visuals assets were provided by in depth research of oral histories, photographs and documents from the time. Handwritten accounts were reproduced and overlaid throughout. Imagery, census records, wallpaper prints and postcards from the time were combined with evocative photography and illustrations to bring the story of Dublin’s Darkest Days to life.

Based on real-life witness accounts, several voice-over artists were used to narrate the piece, bringing the story to life and enhancing the visual effects. These statements gave the piece authenticity and emotion.

We also used voice over and text to weave everything together to create as much emotion as was possible while still giving the viewer all the facts. Phelim Drew was chosen to narrate the script as his inner city lilt and connections to the tenements gave the piece clout and credibility.

As the quality of many of the images was poor, we employed Irish illustrator Steve Doogan to interpret these images and inject dynamism into the piece.

We used a bleak colour palette throughout the film to convey the sense of despair that was present in tenement life. Fonts and style are reflective of the museum's branding and what we thought would enhance the film for both local and international visitors.