What would it be like to journey into the mind of the world’s most famous physicist? A new short animation produced by Aardman for BBC Radio 4 attempts to answer that with a visual kaleidoscope of stylized imagery and scientific diagrams in “Inside His Head.”
Produced to accompany Professor Stephen Hawking’s Reith Lecture, which took place earlier in January, “Inside His Head” gets into that notorious noggin as he discusses the theory of black holes, Hawking Radiation and thermodynamics. Aardman’s aim was to inspire audiences to follow in the Professor’s passion for physics.
The team also created a second animation that strives to explain black holes in less than two minutes as a means of promoting the lecture, which will be available to listen to on BBC iPlayer. Aardman’s Will Studd directed the animation, with audio mixed by Max Halstead incorporating words from Hawking, Carl Sagan, Andrew Strominger and Brian Cox.
“In these films I wanted to create a stylised version of the graphics I grew up with in the ‘80s. 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.”
Prof. Hawking’s Reith Lecture will broadcast on Radio 4 at 9 a.m. on January 26 and again on February 2.