I loaned my sexy vocal folds to Adam and Tracy and Dan for the duration of this cool animation. Here’s Tracy to tell you more about it:
Tracy King: Last year saw the release of Storm, the ten-minute animated beat poem that became somewhat of an anthem for critical thinking and enabled my partner, Dan ‘DC’ Turner, and myself to start an animation and game dev company to make more of the same.
On Monday we released the second of our ‘public engagement with science’ films, this time a four-minute short commissioned by Nature to celebrate and communicate ENCODE, a huge genome data project.
The short is called ‘The Story of You‘, and is narrated by Tim. When Nature told us Tim would do the voiceover, my first reaction was “yay!” followed by “oh wait that means listening to that voice 12 hours a day for months…again”.
The end result is something we’re very proud of. I’m not a scientist, I’m a science enthusiast, and think one of the best ways educating is to inspire people to educate themselves. This is easily done through entertainment. The science of genomics is not straightforward, but the ideas are – and if you can communicate those whilst making viewers smile or laugh, they’ll feel good about the science. Some of them will go and find out more, and that can only lead to good things. Someone on Twitter said their toddler was saying “hello Gregor!” along with Tim. Though the video isn’t aimed at kids (it’s aimed at kids, adults, or just anyone who enjoys it), I can’t think of anything better than a small voice chatting to Gregor Mendel.
Storm was an easy sell because it’s angry and ranty and sweary and has a fun villain. Encode is pure good news, and that’s always extremely difficult to get right without sounding cheesy or like propaganda. As I understand it, the Encode data really may mean unlocking knowledge and eventually cures for certain diseases, but that’s not what the results released last week are. The results are about saying “hey, here’s this huge body of data that anyone can access and help advance humanity”. If that idea isn’t best represented as a giant robot with a lab in its belly and a sexy voiceover by Tim Minchin, I don’t know what is. Hope you enjoy it!
Ooh! Almost forgot: “Both naughty and excellent” was Tim’s line. He also threw in “hi big boy” to the robot but we decided, funny though it is, it might not quite be appropriate. :D