Royal Society

Branded Content series hosted by Professor Brian Cox

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Branded content series for iPlayer distribution

The Royal Society teamed up with the BBC and Contra to produce a series of formatted branded content films, which discover the scientific inspirations of Royal Society Fellows, including Sir David Attenborough and Dame Uta Frith. Presented by well known physicist Brian Cox, People of Science delves into the Royal Society’s rich archive to tell the stories of extraordinary scientists, their science and how it is still influencing our understanding of the world today.

A little piece of British history

This was the first time science icons Sir David Attenborough and Brian Cox have been united together onscreen; with a stellar lineup in front of the cameras, Contra needed to match the quality behind the scenes. We offered a stylish yet authentic creative combining engaging interviews, insightful archive material and striking motion graphics to bring the subjects and their work to life.

A dynamic approach to the interview-based format

The interviews between Brian Cox and his guests were filmed with three cameras in the beautiful Wolfson Library at the Royal Society, with its ornate 1890s features epitomising the rich history of the Royal Society. The behind the scenes, documentary filming style allowed us to offset the imposing location and humanise the world renowned contributors, which resulted in the interviews feeling relaxed and informal, and in turn made the complex science relatable and easier to embrace.

Our contributors were granted access to the Royal Society’s vast archive collections, and were able to uncover a huge range of fascinating material about their chosen scientist; from journals and papers, to portraits and personal letters. This brought an exciting element of spontaneity that allowed the viewer to feel part of the discoveries.

The final flourish of the contemporary, tracked motion graphics allowed us to bring the science to life and explain, in simple ways, some of the more complex ideas.

Shareable, engaging video production

The final films were released on BBC iPlayer and were met with an overwhelmingly positive response, with clips from the series shared and viewed millions of times across social media.

Here are the rest of the films in this inspiring series: Uta Frith, Sally Davies, Bill Bryson, Julia Higgins and David Speigelhalter

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