Brand New Series - Throwback Thursdays - "The World Before Time"

Welcome to our brand new film article series, Throwback Thursdays!


This will be a weekly article over the month of February, where film-maker Paul Darroch shall re-visit some short films held within the dusty vaults of Oak Tree Productions from many moons ago (well, specifically since 1992, when he acquired his first 8mm video camera and set forth on a film-making journey that continues to this day...)



After producing a number of experimental home made movies and sketches involving the participation of various “willing” friends and family members, it wasn’t until a cinema viewing of Spielberg's Jurassic Park in the summer of 1993 that I was inspired enough to produce my first short film in the Aristotelian sense.


The result? “The World Before Time”. Since childhood, I had always loved movies featuring an array of weird and wonderful creatures produced by the stop motion technique. In particular, those under the supervision of the late great Ray Harryhausen, such as “Jason and the Argonauts” (1963), “One Million Years B.C.” (1966), “The Valley of Gwangi” (1969), “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad” (1973) and “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger” (1977). The original “King Kong” from 1933 was also a great inspiration to me.


Although I had no formal training in either stop motion model making or film-making, I none-the-less set forth and created as best I could claymation interpretations of a Stegosaurus, Brontosaurus, Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex. From plasticine, I also created a small human adventurer and numerous prehistoric plants and trees. Dyed towels and bedsheets were used to stand in for mountain sides, caves and the marshy ground. A model aeroplane gifted by a friend was also incorporated to indicate how our adventurer had initially arrived on this mysterious prehistoric world.


Patiently filmed over a long weekend, although the concept, design and execution were all very rudimentary, the end result was still (I hope) a fun little stop motion film with a running time of just over 3 minutes.


15 years later in 2008, I decided to revisit my first foray into film-making and called upon film composer Mark Rushbury to contribute a wonderfully atmospheric score and sound effects.


I also tightened up some aspects of the original edit, added improved colour grading and in turn amended the main title to “The World Before Time: Re-Discovered”.


We hope you enjoyed reading the first of our Throwback Thursdays series.


Watch this space next week for the second instalment!


Title: "The World Before Time" (1993) and "The World Before Time: Re-Discovered" (2008)

Plot line: An adventurer crash lands his aeroplane into a prehistoric world populated by dinosaurs.

Running Time: 3 min 15 seconds

Models & Set Design by Paul Darroch

Music & Sound Effects by Mark Rushbury

Written, Produced, Directed & Edited by Paul Darroch

Copyright Oak Tree Productions All Rights Reserved