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BBC F1 film wins prestigious award

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Andrew Benson | 15:25 UK time, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

BBC Sport has won a prestigious Royal Television Society Award for the short film that introduced the coverage of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

The film was nominated in the RTS Craft and Design Awards, and won the Graphic Design - Programme Content Sequences category.

The judges described it as "a slick, beautifully conceived and executed piece of work, with skilful design following throughout".

F1 editor Mark Wilkin and Richard Gort, the producer of the film, were on hand to pick up the trophy.

You can watch the film, and the F1 title sequence, here:

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  • Comment number 1.

    Congratulations guys, I loved this when I 1st saw it and watching it again is a pure pleasure. Now you just have to top it for next season!!!!

    (I hope you give a nod to Guinness and Rutger Hauer who seemed to be more than a bit influential)

  • Comment number 2.

    Nice job guys! :)

  • Comment number 3.

    Great job on the film, I forgot what a great intro to the season it was. I never enjoyed the CG F1 intro and hope to see a brand new F1 title sequence next season, something with footage from the actual races in it from many previous seasons perhaps. Would love to see an intro that incorporates all of those classic moments from F1 history, like Villeneuve & Arnoux, Mansell & Senna in Spain, Senna & Prost, Villeneuve & Schumacher, Alonso & Schumacher, Hamilton & Raikkonen and perhaps end on a shot of Button crossing the line and winning the '09 Championship.

    What does everyone else think?

  • Comment number 4.

    Great piece of footage guys, definately deserves an award. Hope you guys can bring us something even better next season.

  • Comment number 5.

    @the3douches - the current intro was made in mind with a future HD switch. I'm almost certain that there won't be a new intro.

  • Comment number 6.

    top job guys! i only hope you can do the same next year

  • Comment number 7.

    Enjoyable opening sequence. Let's hope you guys pick up a Bafta next year, like ITV did for their superb race coverage - I know it wasn't everyone's cup of tea and yes it did have it's failings, but so does the current one (as discussed at length in Jake's blog).

  • Comment number 8.

    When it appeared, I had shivers down my spine and that still does that now.
    It was a great way to open up the Beeb's F1 Coverage.
    I sure hope you guys get a BAFTA as Jordan D has said, ITV won 2 for their superb coverage lets hope the people deciding the BAFTA's give the BBC one for Brazil 2009, held together and with the celebrations at the end surely shows this is how Sport should be shown (despite a few things that happened throughout the season)

  • Comment number 9.

    Can we have some of the images available as downloads to save as screen savers?

  • Comment number 10.

    Very well deserved. Fantastic way to start the season.
    Great way to round off a season of terrific coverage.
    Roll on 2010.

  • Comment number 11.

    I didn't see it first time around, but I saw it at the start of the season review show. I just wanted the whole hour to be that intro. It was awesome.

    Incidentally, is the voiceover the same bloke who did some of the Guinness ads a few years ago (I'm thinking most specifically the 'tick follows tock' surfing horses one)?

  • Comment number 12.

    Congratulations guys.

    I'm rooting for you guys in the BAFTA (sport) category as well

  • Comment number 13.

    Love the first part, love the music but the CG part with the cars looks like very cheap early 90's 3d (the BBC likely paid through the nose for it). Hopefully next season keeps the music but brings the CG forwards to the 10's

  • Comment number 14.

    Ops posted he above comment before I had finished. Would just like to know why this got an award for copying the Guinness TV adverts?

  • Comment number 15.

    Well BBC!

    I remember getting up in the morning on that saturday, when i saw that opening sequence i just thought wow! I'm so glad its back on the BBC :P

    Keep up the good work. will there be a new next year? or will you use the one this year. Because a sim sure uve noticed, it has the old aerodynamics of like 2006 :P

    Thank you!

  • Comment number 16.

    Guys well deserved, right to the last game, as the motorcycles started going round the Surround sound as cranked up to the start of that classic theme tune....

    Shiver down the spine for every GP this year right from the start.... Brilliant.

  • Comment number 17.

    PS, i meant Well "Done" BBC

  • Comment number 18.

    Sorry to be a smartarse, but the chest x-ray is the wrong way round! Great film though ;)

  • Comment number 19.

    Great job and well deserved, loved it and watched again a couple of times.

  • Comment number 20.

    Great film. Congratulations.

  • Comment number 21.

    very good first part with the guinness voice and b and w graphics... waiting for the tick tock tick tock moby dick spiel with the white horses cascading... 2nd half not so good, in particular all the bits of car flying around...i'm sure one of those bits hit Massa....but the tune....ah the classic Fleetwood Mac tune..timeless...

  • Comment number 22.

    An Award extremely well deserved. I remember seeing it all those months ago and found it totally spine tingeling. It did the perfect job of setting up the drama and the tension for the season to come.

    And when it led in to The Chain by Fleetwood Mac and I was beside myself with happiness. It was so great to have that iconic theme tune back, just like it was so great to have the F1 coverage back on the BBC where it belongs!

    Well done.

  • Comment number 23.

    Ahh Yes those first two minutes of what turned out to be the best covered season ever. I don't mind admitting that I actually whoo hoo'd at the top of my voice when "The Chain" started.

    I am guessing that this years footage will replace the CG cars for next year.

    My idea for next years opening would be to do the whole "The Chain" song with lots of moody grainy black & white historical images etc etc then blast into 2009 footage for the end of the song. I love the prelude to the featured bass part of "The Chain" - it is racked with tension & expectancy and it a shame it can't be incorporated.

  • Comment number 24.

    Excellent intro to the season. It does indeed bring shivers up the spine. I love it.

    Anyone know who the narrated it?

  • Comment number 25.

    11. At 9:48pm on 25 Nov 2009, BulletMonkey wrote: Incidentally, is the voiceover the same bloke who did some of the Guinness ads a few years ago (I'm thinking most specifically the 'tick follows tock' surfing horses one)?

    Nope its not Rutger Hauer.

  • Comment number 26.

    REF 11 & 25
    The actor Louis Mells narrated the piece with Jonathan Glazer direcor..."here’s to your dreams!."

    Is the silhouetted driver in the piece that of Jenson Button? If so how intuitive the BBC are!! Can we have one of Alonso for next season then...;-)

  • Comment number 27.

    Thoroughly well deserved for the whole team!

    It was easy to beat what ITV did but the BBC realised what was missing and gave us everything we need. Great insight, commentary and interviews the whole season with fantastic presenters!

    From the moment I saw the intro for the first race of the season I knew the BBC had got it right and I was already having a much better year than the last.

    Here's to another great season,
    Da iawn, WELL DONE!

  • Comment number 28.

    I'd like to congratulate you on this award, it was a great intro for the season. My favourite intro throughout the season was when you used Kings of Leons - Closer music to open the programme, it really suited the video and got me in the mood for the race.

    You guys at the BBC have done an awesome job this year and have really set the standard on how sport should be presented.

    I am totally looking forward to next season, with all the new changes to the drivers, teams and rules and hopefully I will be watching F1 in HD :)

    I also agree with post no.3..
    I would prefer to have an intro that uses some footage of previous F1 seasons, drivers of the past, cool crashes and celebrations combined with The Chain music I think it would work really well.

    Great season, keep up the good work..

  • Comment number 29.

    Well this title sequence does contain epic levels of awesome. It's a bit of a visual treat, and when Mac kick in with "The Chain" it pleases the ears too.

    Glad to hear that the excellence of said piece has been recognised and awarded. The BBC really does take Formula 1 seriously, and have followed the 2009 season with candour and professionalism. Who would have thought that former kid's TV presenter Jake Humphrey could make such a capable host?

    (I think they should jettison Legard though. He interferes with Brundle's brilliance)

  • Comment number 30.

    The BBC coverage is absolutely top-class, but it was definitely a surprise to see a title sequence without any actual footage. Compare with Match of the Day or Ski Sunday which have a lot more feeling because of the action clips.

    Like effone365, I was also hoping that this was because the BBC didn't have any rights to use clips from ITVs coverage and that 2009 footage would be used for the 2010 intro. We'll have to wait and see I suppose

  • Comment number 31.

    IMO the season was poor which is no fault of the BBC. Their coverage was good but, as many people have said, they need to get rid of Legard.

    He ruins so many interesting situations with his awful, anticlimatic comments and (see zackpliskin) he interferes with Brundle.

    Brundle is by far the best commentator/presenter/pundit on the show. It should be a cardinal sin if anyone interrupts him :).

  • Comment number 32.

    I remember waking up for the F1 opening.... eyes half open...
    Then this film clip came on before the start...!

    What an awesome clip!!!! Gave me goose bumps!
    Then I knew I was ready... ready to watch the whole season... and even better as I knew it was on the BBC!

    Great job guys! Cant praise the BBC enough. I think amongst all the great services the BBC offer the F1 is the best!

    Keep up the great work and please do me a favour... Play this award winning clip more!!!! I saw this once and looked out for it all season and there were only small snipets...

    Well deserved award!

    Well Done!

  • Comment number 33.

    Congratulations on your award.superb intro, with original Fleetwood Mac track to match. Your on track coverage over the season was first class.I particularly enjoyed the banter between David Coultard and eddie Jordan.keep up the good work!Looking foreward to the Hamilton v Button battle. That should go down to the wire, once Jensen finds his feet.

  • Comment number 34.

    Everyone bleating about 'use real footage in the intro rather than CG' fails to realise that doing that just wouldn't be original. There are countless montage sequences throughout the season. The intro needs to be distinctive. I'd much prefer the team to try something new, even if it doesn't work all that well, as opposed to going with the tired old formulaic approach.

    The helmeted driver turning his head as he watches the parts fly past is far too Stig-like, though. That's the thing I'd change.

  • Comment number 35.

    Fully deserved award. I love "The Chain" being back. So looking forward to next season.

    That chest x-ray is definitely round the wrong way though unless (the person has dextrocardia).

  • Comment number 36.

    I have to agree with 29 and 31 - Legard just didn't cut the mustard, yes he did improve over the season but given where he started from that would have been hard not to do. Lets see what Croft can do with Brundle, or failing that bring back James Allen... he might not be the most interesting commentator going but he knows his stuff and can follow a race intelligently.

  • Comment number 37.

    F1 2009 was a sintilating season. Though some races were processional the coverage by the BBC team was outstanding. Only the BBC can produce a media experience like this. Excellent TV format with top host Jake, Dave C giving a drivers prospective and Eddie Jordan giving his view based on years of experience. Martin Brundle diving around the grid and then commentary with Legard.
    Murray's video blog is FAN-TAS-TIC! As are all the blogs to be fair. I've happily spent hours reading in depth analysis and wider topics surrounding Formula 1.

    When the coverage was due to return to the BBC and it started with this video, WOW! The Chain is synonmous with Formula1, this one thing that should never, ever be changed is the theme tune.

    Keep it up BBC!

  • Comment number 38.

    Congratulations on the award. Fully deserved.

    I would prefer next year's Title Sequence to have actual race footage from different seasons, with The Chain of course. But this year's was fantastic, as was the coverage overall.

    I thought Jonathan Legard did a good job and anyone who wants James Allen back needs their brain testing.

  • Comment number 39.

    I agree with so many others... 1st half - quite delightful. 2nd half - somewhat predictable & childish, and would've been far more impressive if live footage had been used, cleverly moulded into their existing genre. But hey, this is motor racing not strictly come, & after a while I'm turning on 5mins before the race starts anyway.

    Legard did a good job? Ask yourself this... why did Brundles wonderful gridwalk whit & style always mysteriously deplete once in the commentary box?

  • Comment number 40.

    James Allen....yeah he knows his stuff and has his finger on the pulse...but do I want to listen to someone who reminds me of sitting in front of the TV with Brian Cant and Floella Benjamin, with Little and Big Ted, Humpty Dumpty and Hambel to explain how Alonso overtook Hamilton in what chicane...through the round window??? No.... Croft and Davidson are dynamite however, and certainly can give Legard a run for his money...Brundle is untouchable..king of the racing grid...and is a good friend of the King of Spain don't you know...

  • Comment number 41.

    Just want to say a huge WELL DONE to the BBC! You have really come back with a bang, and i'm really chuffed with all of your F1 features (TV coverage, website, blogs, red button etc) - you've done a fantastic job so far.

    The intro section for the intro vid (if you catch my drift) is spine-tingling, I love the script and the CGI. Have to say, i'm not so keen on the CG video when 'The Chain' kicks in, but meh, the first bit in black and white is superb.

    Have to agree with most peoples thoughts about Legard not being quite up to standard in the world of commentary. I'd love to have Crofty and Brundle working together, I feel that's the next best combo after Murray and Martin.

  • Comment number 42.

    Everytime I see this, my hairs stand on end. Fantastic.

    RE: Legard, he's just an example of how sports television for the major sports is becomming more and more Americanised. If it's not entertaining enough, then gawd damn the commentators better make it exciting! *cringe*

    James Allen? No thanks, apart from the fact no-one does anything other than "dive" into pit-lane (how about: peel, go, drive into???) he is utterly cringeworthy and smarmy in style.

    I'd like to see a line up of Brundle and some-other ex-driver or someone directly involved in the sport. Not another journalist or college educated sports broadcaster. Let's have some people involved who aren't there to shout down the microphone and make it "more exciting".

  • Comment number 43.

    This is what I pay my licence fee for!

    Great job, well done and loved the coverage this year.

  • Comment number 44.

    Great news and great filmwork but,,,,like the races, it would have been infinitely better in HD and the perfect partnership for our flagship channel. F1 and HD are both all about cutting edge innovations and the BBC has wasted a year.

  • Comment number 45.

    RE: The ribs being the wrong way around.

    It's the same on the Scrubs intro and that's a medical show!

  • Comment number 46.

    @Simon Davies RE: HD

    It's true, it would be great. But the in-race footage is supplied by the FIA so they'd be the ones who have to upgrade to HD first.

  • Comment number 47.

    Well done BBC! Am i the only one who knows that a body can be xrayed from the back as well as the front? I'm not a fan of Legard either, but he is ten times better than the parrot we had to put up with ITV. The question is, who else would we like to see in his place? Certainly not James Allen. I'd like to listen to Joannna Lumley. No idea if she likes F1. I'd listen to her talking about knitting:)

  • Comment number 48.

    Stee_Vee_E, Number 39.

    I think it is obvious that Brundle doesn't like Legard, so are you suggesting that the BBC have a merry-go round of commentators until they find one that Brundle likes? It's not up to Brundle liking them or not. He should just get on with commentating. I don't think he was as good this year, but I think the BBC should stick with what they've got.

    I agree with you about the Intro though. Actual footage would have been better, but it was still fantastic.

  • Comment number 49.

    This video is absolutely brilliant, I just hope the beeb makes it available as a download, I would even pay for it . Well done BBC for a fantastic season, it was 90% brilliant …….. please get a replacement for Legard next year and make it 100% he’s sooo annoying and so unprofessional………… cheers

  • Comment number 50.

    Interesting sidebar: Hamilton's appears to have dextrocardia - have a look at the chest x-ray -the heart is on the wrong side... But I agree, a FANTASTIC video, well done!

  • Comment number 51.

    What a great season both on and off track. Don't change the into CG was good the clips montage has been over done since the end of the 90s and 30 seconds is not enough time to showcase the greatest moments of F1

    Yes say good bye to Legard and put Croft in and is it not time to say good bye to Brundle as well maybe make he a pundit on the forum so he can still do his great grid walks, but he has been out of a racing seat for 10 years now at least and in all the time he was racing he didn't win one race even in all the good teams he was in. So bring Davidson over from 5live as well someone that really gets excited in a race again like Murry used to. not only that but as Brawn/Mecrs test driver he knows whats happening in the cars as right now, did Brundle drive a car from the 2009 season with all the new stuff on it so he could tell use what he really thought about. no he just did little voice overs during VTs.

    David Croft and anthony Davidson made a great team on 5 live sport extra how anyone could watch pratisc with those two commentating and then want to go back to Legard and Brundle, tut tut.

  • Comment number 52.

    Another vote for Crofty & Davidson here, they make even the most boring of races interesting. Legard does the exact opposite really. Actually, have Croft, Davidson and Brundle as the team - perfect!

  • Comment number 53.

    REF 52
    I would have to agree..I do like Legard and respect his views and reportage on the sport, but his sense of drama and purpose needs to be carried out throughout the whole emission whilst commentating, not just the first and last 5 minutes of each race - he seems to get lost during a race, allowing Brundle to expertly analyze the situation on the track...we'll see if Legard can interact with Martin a whole lot better next season...

  • Comment number 54.

    Superb use of CG - dont change it for next year!
    It would be interesting to see how it was made and why not make it into a screen saver or for download for all uss Beeb/F1 fans

  • Comment number 55.

    Well Done on the award. Loved the video first time i saw it, all be it was very early in the morning. Will be odd with the first gp being on at normal time, with Bahrain being the first gp. As for the Legard arguement I also dont like his commentary style. I have tried but just cant get into it. The only reason I still choose to listen to BBc1 commentary is because I like Brundle. Its seems a waste to have Crofty on five live, when he would be ideal alongside Brundle. Hopefully Davison will get a drive next year, although he is as interesting to listen to as is MB. MB also has the style, the contacts, and the attitude, pushing people out the way on the gridwalk. The gridwalk is my favourite part of the weekend.


  • Comment number 56.

    It might put me out of step with comments here -- and expose me to abuse! -- but count me among those who admired James Allen's perceptive commentary. He's an articulate guy, great depth of knowledge, and worked very well with Brundle. (Besides which, he has a great blog!) Bring him on!

  • Comment number 57.

    I think the guy who does the voice-over is Robbie Coltrane. Can anyone confirm that?

  • Comment number 58.

    Well done Beeb.

  • Comment number 59.

    well done beeb. Davison might get a drive in 2010. Stefan GP for 2010

  • Comment number 60.

    @56 - I also enjoyed James Allen's commentary on ITV, he has a good grasp of reading the race and working out how the various teams strategies will interact. He rarely made mistakes and provided a fairly insightful view of the sport, also he didn't get carried away and make bizarre comments / predictions that anyone with even a slight understand of the race would know was just jibberish.

  • Comment number 61.

    Great job guys keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 62.

    I couldn't agree more with the flood of positive comments to endorse and celebrate this achievement for the BBC, their production team, and their F1 team.

    I shared the nation's delight on hearing that F1 had not only remained on free-to-air, but that it would be advert-less ...back on the Beeb! This fairy tale store could only have been improved had Murray been a few years more junior and ready to re-take the helm. Nevertheless, Jake has taken to F1 like a duck to water, DC and Brundle provide some great inside knowledge and EJ is gregarious and enjoyable to watch. I'd say EJ and DC could tone down their petty arguments but I suppose it all makes for good viewing all round. The BBC's intro move is indeed spectacular and very cool, and their analysis of features of the sport in the run-up to races is exceptional.

    Long live the Beeb, Long live F1, Long may they share the same stable!

  • Comment number 63.

    I remember watching that film, leading into the return of Fleetwood Mac's The Chain - it honestly made the hairs on the back of neck go up and I thought Formula 1 has come home.

    The coverage has been nothing short of perfection, and I hope moving into 2010 the BBC coverage with be in HD as this is the only way I can see it improving.

    12 Years was a long time to wait, but it was worth it.

  • Comment number 64.

    Is it just me or at 1:54 in the above clip, where the "camera" pans under the the car from its front, looking upwards it is clearly visible that the wheels have disappeared off the car for just a fraction of a second??

  • Comment number 65.

    March this year I got out of bed because F1 was back on the BBC, I was not disappointed.

    That opening sequence was excellent and when The Chain kicked in, well it just made my day.

    Excellent stuff all year from the BBC, thank you.

  • Comment number 66.

  • Comment number 67.

    Apologies for the late post. But I just found out this news which I am very happy about.
    Not sure if people are aware but the car in the B&W piece is purely CG inc the pistons.
    I created the car based on Lewis Hamilton's 2006 car as I couldn't find blueprints for the later winning design. The pistons aren't actual F1 as you prob gathered but it gets the idea across.
    Intro Design did a really cool job of designing and composing the whole piece with some amazing sound design and a killer voice over from the writer of 'sexy beast' Its something we all are very proud of.


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