Bbc Innovation and Commercialization

Topics: BBC, Walking with Dinosaurs, Dinosaur Pages: 32 (10925 words) Published: July 25, 2012
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Innovation = Creativity and Commercialization

CASE STUDY 1: BBC’S WALKING WITH DINOSAURS HOW IT ALL STARTED I wanted people to think that dinosaurs were real animals – not monsters. The only other place you’d see really good digital images of dinosaurs was in Jurassic Park. Our idea was to create a ‘David Attenborough’ of the prehistoric world. Tim Haines, Series Producer

Tim had been fascinated by dinosaurs almost all his life and recalls, ‘There was a footprint in the Tunbridge Wells Museum which I saw when I was five and I have been interested in dinosaurs ever since.’ Over the years, many films have attempted to depict dinosaurs – often with rather comical results. However, the arrival of computer-aided animation opened up new possibilities, first demonstrated in the highly successful Hollywood movie Jurassic Park. Dinosaurs had been a neglected subject for television-makers, and no one had attempted to use the same techniques for the small screen.

Introduction to Dinosaurs Dinosaur – from the Greek words deinos meaning terrible and saurus meaning lizard Coined by British scientist Richard Owen who founded the Natural History Museum The first dinosaur fossils were actually identified as belonging to an extinct reptile in 1824 The oldest, or earliest, dinosaurs found so far are prosauropods from the Late Triassic, around 130 million years ago. These were found in 1999 in Madagascar. The animals are thought to be quite closely related to the great sauropods such as Apatosaurus which evolved much later. Weighing 70 tons the Brachiosaurus is the heaviest found, equivalent to 14 elephants The longest dinosaur is the Diplodocus tons, at 45 m, equivalent to five London double decker buses The biggest carnivore is a marine reptile called Liopleurodon, it is 25 m long and has a mouth 3 m wide

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The largest flying animal is the Ornithocheirus with a wingspan of 12 m (40 feet) and a weight of (only) 100 kg The Torosaurus (horned dinosaur) has the largest skull: 2.6 m long In Jurassic Park, a company lawyer is eaten by a Tyrannosaurus. Scientists have worked out that it would need 238 average sized lawyers a year to keep it going A sauropod’s stomach could hold up to half a tonne and had large stones inside it – gastroliths – to help grind down and digest the food A single Diplodocus produced about one tonne of dung per day

Tim has a degree in zoology, specializing in entomology, ‘Like anyone who sat watching Jurassic Park, or but went into medical journalism after graduation. From who has studied dinosaurs has asked themselves there he moved on into radio and TV, always specializing what they were really like, I thought, I’d love to in science, medicine and the environment. He was just see them alive. They are tremendous evocative about to start a new series on Ice Mummies, but before creatures, quite unlike anything we have seen that had a couple of weeks to think of new ideas, and before.’ he knew that the BBC was looking to create a landmark Tim Haines series. Having seen Jurassic Park he felt that there was a level of reality to dinosaurs that people expected which was not reflected in past or current television programmes. The technology had so much potential, yet there was a gap in the market for documentary approaches. He wanted to create a programme that could offer the same quality of special effects that had been used in films such as Jurassic Park, but with his programme he wanted to recreate, as far as possible, a true representation of the period – environment, flora and fauna, and so forth. His aim was to produce a documentary-like film that would make dinosaurs look like real animals. ‘I came up with the idea of doing it as a natural history programme because that’s how we are used to seeing real animals, but I wanted to make it with top level graphics.’ Having identified his objective his challenge was twofold: (a) he had...
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