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2 Posts tagged with the meet_the_bbc_producer_series_talks tag
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At last Friday’s popular and final After Hours for the winter 2009-2010 season, Ludo Graham, Executive Producer of BBC Two’s Museum of Life, proved a warmly enthusiastic advocate for the Museum (although we hadn’t paid him), at his Attenborough Studio talk about the making of the series about the Museum.

 

Although we ourselves have been living with the project for the past couple of years, it was fascinating to hear things from the programme makers’ point of view, as Ludo took us through how the BBC and the Museum had been persuaded to accept the project; the fine art of choosing the presenters; and what from the vast kaleidoscope of Museum science stories here and in the field were finally focused on.

 

I met conservator Lorraine Cornish today, who featured with presenter Kate Bellingham in the Archaeopteryx casting in episode one of the series. Lorraine told me about the BBC Two's fascination with her red shoes, how they took lots of shots of her trundling down a corridor with a trolley whilst wearing them and that she was amused to see that one of ludo-after-hours.jpgthe shots made it into the final cut.

 

Ludo (right) finished up with a particularly arresting point when he mentioned that Johannes Vogel, our Keeper of Botany, had said that if, by watching Museum of Life, people understand what goes on behind our doors, then we will have succeeded in our objectives.

 

One of the most memorable afternoons I’ve spent here was when invertebrates curator Claire Mellish, who featured in the beautiful section which Ludo showed, (particularly beautiful in high-definition in the Studio) talking about the attempt to extract dinosaur DNA from insects trapped in amber, took me around the trilobites collection and I got to see staggering things such as the evolution of the trilobite crystalline eye lenses.

 

The three BBC series producer events we ran at this season’s After  Hours were an excellent forum for people to discover how natural history can be communicated in different ways, and we have seen exactly how much effort goes into creating BBC natural history programmes.  We are very grateful to the BBC producers who supported these events.

 

We bid farewell to the last Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009 exhibition (below) as far as the late openings for this season, but the exhibition itself runs until 11 April. So you still have a chance to catch it over the weekend.

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If you came to After Hours this winter, we hope you enjoyed the experience and thank you for coming. Come back for more when we launch the summer season and The Deep Sea exhibition opens.

 

We were amused by the chutzpah of the young ladies who smuggled in an attractive-looking picnic, complete with picnic rug, and set up in Dinosaur Way at Friday’s event. We may need to start frisking people for strawberry cheesecakes next season. News of our summer After Hours coming soon...

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Late-night visitors wowed by the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition

We had the biggest turn-out for Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year at After Hours so far this season on 29 January, and as many people went to visit the Darwin Centre on the night. All of which was great to see.

 

after-hours-renouf-talk-as.jpgAt his sell-out event in the Darwin Centre's Attenborough Studio (left), Jonathan Renouf, series producer of BBC Two's illuminating How the Earth Made Us gave us a diverting account of the making of the 5-episode series. It's about how our human history has been shaped and developed by the planet’s elementary forces.

 

The footage Jonathan showed included arresting film from the ‘Fire’ episode with the likeable and enthusiastic presenter, geologist Iain Stewart, in a special fire-proof suit walking through a wall of orange fire. Jonathan told us how, out of shot, a horde of firemen and fire equipment stood ready to douse Iain as he walked through the flames - it being particularly dangerous if he fell over. His fire-protective suit was so heavy, he’d have been unable to right himself. Other fascinating shots were those from ‘Wind’ taken from the peak of Mt Connor in central Australia, which pulled right up to the atmosphere to show the immense wind forces that circulate the mountain. He also told his fascinated audience how a succession of shots were taken by helicopter and then stitched in with satellite images. And how, if you looked very carefully, you could see the join! I’ve looked several times at these shots on BBC iplayer and I still can’t see it. The film clips worked brilliantly in the studio as they are so immersive. Jonathan also brought along a nice surprise for us - some very amusing outtakes from the series, which the audience loved.

 

affer-hours-climatecchange-wall-600.jpgOther Darwin Centre hotspots included the Climate Change Wall (right) just outside the Attenborough Studio. And up in Cocoon, another great communicator, our entertaining curator of arachnids, Jan Beccaloni, attracted quite a crowd in front of the glass-fronted specimen preparation area. It was great to see people engaging so enthusiastically with science on a Friday night out. Showing the public our behind-the-scenes science is of course one of the driving factors behind the Darwin Centre, but that people are doing this as an evening-out experience is really fantastic.

 

Explaining that she was behind glass because of pest control requirements, Jan was working on British arachnid specimens destined for the new Angela Marmont Centre. She had, as promised, also brought along an example of the world’s biggest spider, as well as a black widow and a scorpion. ‘I feel I may have erred in not pointing out these are not British,’ said Jan jocularly, as her audience measured up mentally the goliath bird-eating tarantula in the large specimen jar beside her.


There are only two more late openings of Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year this season on 26 February and 26 March. So do book your tickets well in advance to avoid disappointment if you want to see this year’s competition winners after hours.



Laura Harmour

Laura Harmour

Member since: Nov 18, 2009

Find out what will be happening at Lates - the late night opening of the Museum on the last Friday of (almost) every month.

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