At the end of last year I was commissioned to make science animations for a show on BBC Three called Secrets of the Universe.
These ‘science bits’ (as the shampoo commercial would describe them) were designed to be lo-fi and engaging to a young audience who wanted more from TV science than a man with grey hair waffling on about something that wouldn’t hold their attention for two min…mmm waffles.
The idea was to make high concepts as accessible and fun as possible. I worked with producer Dan Child and presenter Greg Foot to represent the science accurately whilst still bringing some imagination and playfulness to the project. So in amongst Archimedes, the theory of gravity and the formation of the solar system we’ve got pipe cleaners, Playmobil toys and a moon made of tuna. Oh, and I’ve suggested that everything in the universe is made of gravy granules. A little tribute to my northern heritage.
Below are some of the storyboards I created for the big bang VT. The first shows what happened when the bang occurred (marmite and dinosaurs came out, obv), the second shows a Dustbuster eating up the universe and the third illustrates that if the world was a 24 hour clock disco was invented 1/5000th of a second ago.
To think Einstein only ever had a blackboard and chalk to show his theories… Bah! The past was well lame.
The show got 400,000 viewers followed by a further 300,000 on the midnight repeat, so the BBC were very happy and are in talks about bringing it back for a longer run.