Design & Craft Innovation
Springwatch BBC NHU for BBC Studios
“This year the judges have awarded the RTS Design & Craft Innovation Award to a series that was able to capture and share the most dramatic and intimate wildlife dramas as they unfolded live.
Through the use of cutting edge technology including the very latest in military grade thermal imaging cameras and robotic animals – robo spoon bills no less – this intrepid and dedicated team filmed in and amongst Britain’s prolific wildlife day and night.
With a compelling desire to present the animals honestly and with minimal human interference, the Springwatch team have pioneered live broadcast systems which enable the audience to enjoy glimpses of such inaccessible places such as the nests of tiny birds through the use of mini cameras, inhospitable ledges on the tops of mountains to the murkiest of depths in deep and freezing waters all in real time.
Each series has seen them push the boundaries of technology to advance not only broadcasting knowledge but to also contribute to furthering our scientific understanding. The team made the startling discovery of giant flocks of birds in the skies over our heads here in the UK, which they achieved via their use of parabolic microphones in the course of filming Springwatch.
Alongside their innovations in image capture they have pushed boundaries in post-production too – adopting new techniques such as editing in the cloud, which mean that next year they will be able to shoot during the day on one side of the world and then pick up the editing seamlessly back here in the UK the second after the footage is uploaded. A huge participation push online has also seen the series elicit an impressive audience response from natural history enthusiasts who want to contribute and be part of this national phenomenon.
This driving desire to combine new filming technologies and techniques with the ability to edit from around the world and broadcast back out across multiple platforms – as well as live streaming to thousands of fans – has enabled us to share in the wonders of the natural world in a way we never have before.”
We’re The Super Humans, Paralympics Trailer, Channel 4
“In August 1996, Great Britain’s Paralympians brought home a whopping 123 medals only to find that coverage of their success had largely been condensed into two half-hour compilations, late night, on BBC Two.
20 years later, not only has society made huge steps in the acceptance and understanding of disability – the 2016 Paralympics enjoyed as much anticipatory glee as any other major sports event this year.
The Channel 4 teams who got behind the games in 2012 and afforded them the respect and celebratory status that all global sporting events deserve have undeniably played a huge part in how the Paralympics and disability are perceived in the UK today.
The team behind this year's Judges’ Award – the Channel 4 2016 Paralympics trail We are the Superhumans have gone on to build on this seismic shift in attitudes. This single piece of work was the pinnacle of two year’s work creating bespoke content and teasing the elaborate campaigns pointing to the success of the Paralympics in Rio this year.
In three minutes the trailer successfully dispels any notion of disadvantage in a beautiful race through every aspect of life – from changing nappies to martial arts, to shredding guitars to wheelchair fencing. The resounding ‘Yes I can’ message combines with the visceral thud and snap of wheel, and track creating a thrilling soundscape in which to wonder at the steely determination and skill of our Paralympians.
The public reaction was one of awe and inspiration as well as a heightened sense of anticipation for the most exciting Paralympics yet.
It was said of the trailer: “I don’t think I’ve viewed, shared, talked about or thought about any other three minutes of telly more than this. I know it’s a trailer, rather than a film, doc or series, but it was beautifully and cleverly crafted, amazingly cast, had a strong message, was tonnes of fun, made you feel good and was just brilliantly made.”
The production team should be extremely proud of creating a piece of work that is so technically accomplished and so beautifully reflects and amplifies the changing attitudes to disability we see today.
We’re delighted to present the RTS Judges’ Award 2016 to Dan Brooke and the Channel 4 team behind We are the Superhumans.”
Lifetime Achievement Award
This year’s lifetime achievement award deservedly goes to a superb cinematographer who has worked non-stop over 25 years across many genres and in many styles. From early Prime Suspects to Our Mutual Friend, White Teeth, Great Expectations, The Second Coming, Line of Beauty, Persuasion, Occupation, The Village, Complicity, Endgame, Marvellous and plenty more.
More than that though, the pleasure in giving this award relates to personality. His way of working – free, intuitive, helpful, instinctive. The idea that things should be done with as great a simplicity as possible. Adrian Shergold describes him as “a magical maverick and the fastest most fabulous butterfly of all time”, who once told him that “every light is a problem, so let’s just use one”.
Our man inspired friendship wherever he worked; always supportive of all elements of production, and always in favour of giving opportunity to others. Actors love him because his fundamental approach to capturing what’s in front of him allows them space, to feel they are the priority. To do that betrays an absence of ego or vanity, but to do that AND have the results as fantastic as they requires a special kind of talent.
Above all, film-making for him was always a joy, a privilege, a shared endeavour, a celebration. And celebration is what we feel handing over this award tonight – celebration of a purity of spirit, of an inspirational character, and a very deserved winner of this esteemed award – David Odd.