The Balancing Bluebottle
Tim Boon tells the story of Percy Smith, natural history film pioneer, who made movies in his back garden in the 1920s. Featuring contributions from Sir David Attenborough.
The natural history film is a hundred years old. Percy Smith was its greatest pioneer, making dozens of short but brilliant films on subjects like flies and slime mould. In his principal studio, the back garden of his home in north London, he developed innovative microscope- and time-lapse photography in the 1920s that still makes viewers gasp and filmmakers jealous.
Talking to historians and to Sir David Attenborough and eavesdropping on flickering reels of film, Tim Boon of the Science Museum tells how the balancing bluebottle came to be.
Producer: Tim Dee.