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BBC Post Production wins new HD natural history programme commission

BBC Post Production has won editing and grading work on ‘Galapagos’, a new three-part high-definition documentary series for BBC Natural History and the National Geographic Channel.
Due to transmit in 2006, the three fifty minute programmes explore the history, landscape and wildlife on the tiny cluster of islands, composed almost exclusively of volcanic rock, scattered in the South Pacific Ocean 600 miles west of mainland Ecuador. It was here that Darwin found the perfect conditions to formulate his evolutionary theory: far from the ravages of the continents, life evolved into a miniature world of specialised creatures who adapted to their harsh environment in a variety of ways.
Blending photo-real 3D graphics with high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery, the programme reveals new perspectives on the Galapagos islands, with footage of its volcano summits, lava flows and impossibly blue sky and sea. Galapagos brings to viewers pictures of an incredible mix of polar and tropical species; from penguins and fur seals to flamingos and tropical fish, including evolutionary wonders such as Darwin's finches, land and marine iguanas, giant tortoises, waved albatrosses and sea turtles in some of their last habitats on earth.
BBC Post Production Bristol is providing a high definition tape-less post production solution to support Galapagos, to deliver high quality uncompressed HD programmes, whilst maintaining a smooth sustainable workflow. The ingest, storage, editing, effects, grading and archive system is based around a 9TB Sledgehammer HDIO NAS from Maximum Throughput and includes Lustre and Smoke from Autodesk Media and Entertainment.
Identical to the post production solution BBC Post Production designed for the BBC's new landmark HD series ‘Planet Earth’, it ensures the highest quality of content is preserved and delivers an efficient and cost effective workflow.
The programmes are being shot on the Panasonic Varicam, with Super 16mm used to capture particularly high speed moments, such as frigatebirds hunting on the wing. The main underwater work is being captured with Sony 750 and 900 cameras. Thermal cameras are being used to reveal the basking tactics of marine iguanas, whilst infra red cameras record petrels nesting at night and a digital stills kit condenses the passage of time with clouds, shadows, tides, stars and sun.
Series Producer Patrick Morris said: "Never before has a series like this been made about the Galapagos Islands and, as natural history film makers, this compelling story goes right to the very heart of all that we do. The high definition pictures are beautiful and the post production solution provided by BBC Post Production Bristol will ensure that the highest quality is retained."

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