BBC Knowledge & Learning (K&L) is exploring a range of topics, from social history to science, in a series of three-minute online Explainer documentaries. In this case, London-based Territory Studio was commissioned to produce an animated film on the subject of DNA. The Territory team, led by art director/ animator William Samuel, chose a primer-like retro approach that didn’t veer off into futuristic complexities. The graphics are kept simple and elegant, using mostly circular shapes, a limited color palette and mostly circular movements to explain the double helix of DNA. The information also is succinct and accurate, with molecular biologist Dr. Matthew Adams teamed with writer Andrew S. Walsh to distill the text to the most fundamental elements required to understand how DNA functions and affects living beings.
BBC Knowledge & Learning itself is a unique approach to creative collaboration and online educational programming. Individual designers, digital agencies and technology start-ups are invited to submit their innovative ideas at BBC K&L Connected Studio events across the UK. This infusion ideas by outside contributors is meant to add new functions, features and formats across BBC’s online media, streamline the audience experience, and optimize its digital products. The BBC website explains, “We believe there’s room for a more radical approach – experimental ideas can be pitched, built and delivered in an open, collaborative environment that’s responsive to the big data challenge of connecting platforms, products and audiences. At the Connected Studio events, a BBC judging panel selects three early-stage ideas that show the best proof-of-concept and commissions the winners to build them out, with access to BBC’s technical, design and products expertise.
Territory Studio’s animated DNA video is part of BBC’s Explainer series, a starting point to encourage viewers, especially educators, to explore further by following links to additional information on the BBC website.