A “reflection of the spaces we share”, BBC One’s new idents celebrate British culture at its finest

Each scene is shot using cinematic techniques and filters to become a “fly on the wall” that’s “cast through a curated lens”. The locations also play a vital part in the accessibility of the project, so the team made sure to think deeply about the scenes they wanted to feature. To do so, there were a few considerations: “They had to look and feel like anywhere in the UK,” says the studio. Secondly, the team sought to include communal spaces – places “we’d all visited at least once in our lives” – and needed locations that could work with their “gigantic” motion control camera rig. In the end, they set upon 28 different “moods” that not only work well together, are also “juxtaposed” across the seasons and the time of day. “This ensured that no matter which scene we chose as our background ident, they would all work in harmonious chaos,” says ManvsMachine, “a true reflection of the spaces we share.”
With a project of this scale, of course there are going to be some challenges. The first was to incorporate the “iconic” letter ‘O’ into the ident series in order for it to fit in with the wider brand. As a result, the “places we share” idea was devised: “presenting a literal cross section of culture by capturing recognisable spaces used by everyone all year round, with an aim of subtly shining a light on joyful moments, human interaction and spells of calm.”
On the shooting days, the team had less than 24 hours to capture the scene – from a greasy spoons to an icy lido for eight hours in mid-March. A fast turnaround indeed, this brought its own set of challenges. “Capturing each location within 24 hours meant rapid set changes, expertly crafted prop design and a splash of post-house trickery in order to create a genuine sense of time and place within each scene,” the studio explains. Otherwise, the remaining factors to consider rested in the longevity of the idents as well as the mood. The former was resolved through a timeless design that felt “fresh and satisfying on the hundredth viewing”; the latter was achieved through an “accompanying sound bed” and working with the team at Resonate on the musical score for each ident. “It had to fit the mood,” shares BBC Creative, “match the action we’re seeing and sit beautifully alongside the announcer’s voice.”

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