Natural history series bought to life by 422

Bristol-based 422 South has created the title sequences and 3D graphical special effects for the £8m natural history series The Life of Mammals, which is broadcast for the first time on BBC1 at 9pm this evening.

The consultancy won the job after a two-way pitch in Christmas 2000, having worked on previous projects for the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol, the Life of Birds and the Life of Plants.

While these programmes were characterised by a handful of set piece animations, this latest Sir David Attenborough-fronted strand contains more frequent and dramatic use of 3D graphics.

One sequence presents Attenborough walking through the skeleton of a blue whale. As he progresses through the animal’s body, organs appear and begin to function around him. Others involve recreating prehistoric Australia and depicting the gestation of an unborn fawn.

‘What we have achieved this time is much more elaborate in terms of staging and function,’ says 422 South creative director Mick Connaire, who managed the project. ‘We haven’t had Attenborough interacting in this way before with the graphics. The whole thing is much more adventurous and stylised.’

422 South’s design team also included Andy Power, Tia Perkins and Dave Corfield.

The Life of Mammals, which runs for ten episodes, charts the history of the 4000 species that outlived the dinosaurs.

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