BBC Knowledge and Learning is exploring a wide variety of topics from social history to science in a series of three-minute online Explainer documentaries, and commissioned Territory (territorystudio.com) to produce an animated film on the subject of DNA.
As Will Samuel, lead designer and animator on the project explains, the approach taken wasn’t just to look into a scientific future. “We needed to find a graphic style to communicate the beauty and intricacy of DNA. We wanted to create nostalgia; taking the audience back to the days of textbook diagrams and old science documentaries, such as Carl Sagan's COSMOS and IBM’s POWER OF TEN (1977). Using the double helix circular theme as a core design we focused on form, movement and colour to create a consistent flow to the animation, drawing on references from nature, illustrating how DNA is the core to everything around us.”
Three minutes is a short time to explore a subject where most doctorates only scratch the surface, so writer Andrew S. Walsh teamed up with molecular biologist Dr Matthew Adams to distil the script down to the most fundamental elements required to understand not only DNA’s form and function but how our understanding of these discoveries has affected the wider world. While this length may feel restrictive, the team found that this limitation acted as a lens, focusing the piece on the essentials.
The Explainer series is designed to intrigue and inform, encouraging those who discover the documentaries to further explore through links to additional information found on the BBC website.
Client: Richard Cable for BBC Knowledge & Learning
Studio: Territory Studio
Creative director: David Sheldon-Hicks
Art and animation director: William Samuel
Producer: Sam Hart
Script Editor: Richard Cable
Writer and VO director: Andrew S Walsh
Scientist: Dr Matthew Adams
Animators: Alasdair Willson, David Penn, Marti Romances, William Samuel
VO actor: Simon Poland (justvoicesagency.com)
Sound design: Room 24 (room-24.com)
OFFICIAL SELECTION: ANNECY INTERNATIONAL ANIMATED FILM FESTIVAL 2013
-here is my degree project from the Rhode Island School of Design. hand-painted in watercolor, gouache, and walnut ink. music and animation by Anne Beal. "a woman grows." For additional viewing options: youtube.com/watch?v=O5bIV5LmHeo
Festivals and Awards:
-Official Selection: Annecy International Animation Film Festival (France) 2013
-Official Selection: ReAnimania International Animation Film Festival (Armenia) 2013
-Official Selection: Female Eye Film Festival (Toronto) 2013
-Best Animated Film: SENE Film Festival (Providence, RI, USA) 2013
-Director's Choice: Black Maria Film Festival (USA) 2013
-Official Selection: Les Nuits Magiques (France) 2012
A remix of a bar from the song 'Pratfalls (Parts 1 & 2)' from the EP 'Pratfalls' by Playacting which will be released shortly.
Playacting is from Manchester and is the solo project of Evan Wilson, former member of Deaf to Van Gogh's Ear and current member of New Hips. This will be Playacting's first release.