Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES)
Second award for pterosaur team on Flying Monsters film
Tue, 15 Nov 2011 09:27:00 GMT
A documentary film on which a team of University palaeontologists acted as advisors has won an award for best Science Programming at an awards ceremony by the Association of International Broadcasting (AIB). Dr David Martill and Dr Mark Witton were special advisors on the film Flying Monsters 3D which was judged by programme makers from the international broadcast community.
The programme, which collected a BAFTA earlier this year, was praised by the judges for being engaging and entertaining while remaining educational, helped by the excellent presentation by Sir David Attenborough. They gave special mention to the editing, the animation and the interviews which were judged as world class.
The hour-long film, written and presented by David Attenborough, examines the prehistoric pterosaurs, giant winged beasts which dominated the skies millions of years ago. The team from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES) spent more than a year advising the film’s animators and creating the models on which the animations were based.
The film, by Atlantic Productions, sets out to uncover the truth about the enigmatic pterosaurs, whose wingspans of up to 10 metres were equal to that of a spitfire. The film uses cutting-edge 3D technology and CGI to bring the story of giant flying monsters and their prehistoric world to life.
The giant pterosaur models, which took months of work by the team from SEES, were originally created to be the centrepiece of last year’s Royal Society’s 350th anniversary exhibition in London. For ten days they sent thousands of commuters, tourists and visitors to Britain’s most prestigious science festival back millions of years to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
The programme, which was the only British nomination in its category, attracted special praise from the judges who singled out the scene where Sir David ‘flies’ a glider alongside a pterosaur which they said had a significant ‘wow-factor.’
Dr Martill, who appears in the making of the film, said: “I’m delighted that the judges praised the film’s educational content which is important for those of us who are passionate about uncovering the facts about these creatures.
“Pterosaurs generate endless fascination from the public, probably because there is nothing around today to equal them in stature and for simply being amazing looking beasts.”