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)
Directed by Dean Paula Froehle of Tribeca Flashpoint Academy, this short animation was winner of the "Abstract, Avant-garde, Experimental" category at the 2009 South Beach International Animation Festival, and screened at the Palm Springs Short Film Fest 2009.
Based on the painting by Remedios Varo.
Founded in 2007, Tribeca Flashpoint Academy has quickly become one of the industry’s most well-known and respected media arts schools—providing intensive, direct-to-industry associate degree programs that propel graduates into “the business” in a way few other institutions can.
A Semiconductor Film by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt shot at the NASA Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley, California.
By asking a group of space physicists the unanswerable Semiconductor reveal the hidden motivations driving scientists to the outer limits of human knowledge. In an attempt to find meaning within the question, they open a Pandora's Box of limitations within science itself, revealing their own philosophical confines. Issues of faith, medicine and the laws of matter are raised to illustrate the infinitely complex universe we live in.
Brilliant Noise takes us into the data vaults of solar astronomy. After sifting through hundreds of thousands of computer files, made accessible via open access archives, Semiconductor have brought together some of the sun's finest unseen moments. These images have been kept in their most raw form, revealing the energetic particles and solar wind as a rain of white noise. This grainy black and white quality is routinely cleaned up by NASA, hiding the processes and mechanics in action behind the capturing procedure. Most of the imagery has been collected as single snapshots containing additional information, by satellites orbiting the Earth. They are then reorganised into their spectral groups to create time-lapse sequences. The soundtrack highlights the hidden forces at play upon the solar surface, by directly translating areas of intensity within the image brightness into layers of audio manipulation and radio frequencies.
Lots more info here: semiconductorfilms.com/root/Brilliant_Noise/BNoise.htm
...this version suffers a bit from the internet compression. The original version is much better.