BBC – ‘Titanic’ videographic

Our most recent Videographic is on the Titanic - it features in the BBC History site - as an introduction to the subject for all audiences.

Client involvement

The BBC wanted the subject matter to be timely and relevant so we looked at their upcoming site launches/ news anniversaries and decided on this one.

It was important to sign of the main direction of the story early on – that we would retell the story but would avoid regular tropes such as hidden causes or blame. Their main input came in the script sign-off stage. As well as signing off the script, they saw an indication of visual style early on.

During the production period, we had about 28 renders for me to go through. I would only send the main ones to them – when we had something major to show. It was more about just showing progress than the need for sign-off though for more controversial subjects, we would probably insist on more stages of sign-off.

How we did it

There is obviously a lot of effort involved (the full method will be in the AtF Playbook) but here are a selected five things we did:

In the story, we wanted to avoid the the usual conspiring about causes – we felt that there were a  bunch of bad circumstances that all piled up at the wrong time.

  • We also wanted to show that people of all classes escaped and that the ‘women and children first’ order worked as well as it could.
  • We wanted to avoid the usual glistening 3D models and concentrate on views that would instill meaning into their story sections. So we showed versions of the boat in plan or skeleton form – and the sinking is an amalgamation of views – that acknowledges its un-reality.
  • We had to represent the ship and it’s interior – but all at the service of the main story. So instead of endless cutaways, we looked at the engines in context of Belfast, escape routes for the sinking and the cabin plans in context of passenger types and so forth.
  • The mapping is inspired by Richard Edes Harrison, who’s Look at the World Atlas showed destinations from where they were being looked at – inspired by the new technology of civilian air-travel – affording people new views on how to see routes between locations.
More ideas about video here from