Neil Harris

Graphics can play a key role in a series like Secrets of Bones for several reasons.

For instance, they can show an aspect of a skeleton which would normally be impossible for the viewer to see. We can transition seamlessly from an archive shot of a chest beating Gorilla to reveal its underlying skeletal structure, then move to highlight the similarities between that animal and something seemingly completely different - a Blue Whale for example.

graphics can show an aspect of a skeleton which would normally be impossible for the viewer to see
Neil Harris

Graphics can also be used to enhance a key aspect the filmmakers want to highlight - such as drawing attention to the variety of ways that the pentadactyl limb has been used on a wide variety of species. By applying graphics directly onto footage the filmmakers can make their point without having to cutaway to a separate graphic shot which can slow the pace and detract from the presenter’s argument.

Also an overall level of design to package the programme up creates a vital sense of style and unity within a programme. This can be especially important when a programme utilises archive footage. What could feel like disparate source material can be brought together to then 'belong' to that particular programme. In the case of 'Secrets of Bones' we create an overall filmic look using film flashes and flares and used Ben's slide projector as the inspiration for the programmes packaging of archive content.

One of the key challenges in creating the graphics for Secrets of Bones was being able to represent a wide variety of complex skeleton across a wide variety of species in 3D whilst also remaining flexible enough within the schedule to make necessary changes close to the finalising of the programme.

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