BBC Knowledge and Learning is exploring a wide variety of topics from social history to science in a series of three-minute online Explainer documentaries, and commissioned Territory Studio to produce an animated film on the subject of DNA.
It's hard to explain DNA replication, transcription, and protein building in an accessible but non-dumbed-down way. This quick and elegant video does it though : You get the full story with helpful visualizations in the most awesome science video about DNA.
As Will Samuel, lead designer and animator on the project explains, the approach taken wasn’t just to look into a scientific future. “We needed to find a graphic style to communicate the beauty and intricacy of DNA. We wanted to create nostalgia; taking the audience back to the days of textbook diagrams and old science documentaries, such as Carl Sagan's COSMOS and IBM’s POWER OF TEN (1977). Using the double helix circular theme as a core design we focused on form, movement and colour to create a consistent flow to the animation, drawing on references from nature, illustrating how DNA is the core to everything around us.”
Three minutes is a short time to explore a subject where most doctorates only scratch the surface, so writer Andrew S. Walsh teamed up with molecular biologist Dr Matthew Adams to distil the script down to the most fundamental elements required to understand not only DNA’s form and function but how our understanding of these discoveries has affected the wider world.
While this length may feel restrictive, the team found that this limitation acted as a lens, focusing the piece on the essentials. Enjoy the video!