Aardman Produce Short Film to Accompany Professor Stephen Hawking’s Reith Lecture

Bristol, UK – Aardman has produced a stunning short animation for BBC Radio 4 to accompany Professor Stephen Hawking’s Reith Lecture that took place earlier this month. What would it be like to take a journey into the mind of the world’s most famous physicist?

‘Inside his Head’ is a visual kaleidoscope celebrating Hawking’s journey, brought to life with stylized imagery and scientific diagrams to create an engaging film created to accompany the renowned scientists lecture about the theory of black holes, Hawking Radiation and thermodynamics. The idea behind the animation was to create a very short video that travels inside the Professor’s head and explores his early interest in physics and would hopefully inspire the audience the same way.

Aardman director Will Studd added: “In these films I wanted to create a stylised version of the graphics I grew up with in the 80’s. I loved the kitsch futurism of the BBC’s TV version of Hitchhikers Guide graphics, or the weird spacey covers of Omni magazine; I wanted to bring a bit of this back to explore Stephen’s thoughts. For both films we built a soundtrack using 70s/80s synthesisers to try and capture a sense of that retro futuristic feeling.”

The team have also created a second animation that promises to explain Black Holes in less than two minutes and acts as a trail to promote the lecture which will be available to listen to on BBC iPlayer. The animation was directed by Aardman’s Will Studd and the audio was an original mix created by Max Halstead with words from Professor Stephen Hawking’s himself along with other well-known scientists Carl Sagan, Andrew Strominger and Brian Cox.

Professor Hawking’s Reith Lecture will broadcast on Radio 4 at 9am on 26th January and 2nd February.

For more information about Aardman Animations, contact Anna Lewis at +44 (0)117 3071318 or anna.lewis@aardman.com.



Client: BBC Radio
Animation Company: Aardman Animations
Director: Will Studd
Producer: Helen Argo
Production Manager: Sami Goddard
CGI Team: Ali Dixon, Clare Price, Rich Spence
Spaceman: Andy Woodland
Special Effects: LZX Industries
Camera Assistant: Adam Cook
DOP & Electrician: Nathan Sale
Sound Post Production: Laura Izzard
Editor: Ben Craske
Composer: Max Halstead

About Aardman:

Aardman, based in Bristol (UK) co-founded and run by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, is a world leader in animation. It produces feature films, series, advertising and digital entertainment for both the domestic and international market. Their multi-award winning productions are novel, entertaining, brilliantly characterised and full of charm that reflects the unique talent, energy and personal commitment of the very special people who make up the Aardman team. The studio’s work is often imitated and yet the company continues to lead the field producing a rare brand of visually stunning and amusing independent and commercials productions. www.aardman.com

About the Reith Lectures:

The Reith Lectures were inaugurated in 1948 by the BBC to mark the historic contribution made to public service broadcasting by Sir John (later Lord) Reith, the corporation’s first director-general.

John Reith maintained that broadcasting should be a public service which enriches the intellectual and cultural life of the nation. It is in this spirit that the BBC each year invites a leading figure to deliver a series of lectures on radio. The aim is to advance public understanding and debate about significant issues of contemporary interest.

The very first Reith lecturer was the philosopher, Bertrand Russell who spoke on “Authority and the Individual”. Among his successors were Arnold Toynbee (The World and the West, 1952), Robert Oppenheimer (Science and the Common Understanding, 1953) and J.K. Galbraith (The New Industrial State, 1966). More recently, the Reith lectures have been delivered by the Chief Rabbi, Dr Jonathan Sacks (The Persistence of Faith, 1990) and Dr Steve Jones (The Language of the Genes, 1991).

Since 2002, the Reith Lectures have been presented by Sue Lawley.