UWE lecturer gets BAFTA nomination for Human Planet sound

Issue date: 15 April 2011

A lecturer and sound engineer from the University of the West of England has been nominated for a BAFTA award. Martyn Harries (UWE) has been nominated together with Sound Editor Kate Hopkins for their work on the BBC 1 programme Human Planet. They have been nominated in the Sound Factual category.  The BAFTA Television Craft Awards celebrate the best industry talent behind the scenes and in front of the camera.

Martyn says that he and Kate are delighted, “It is very exciting to work on such a landmark series with such a talented team. The recognition implicit in the nomination for a BAFTA is great after so much hard work last year.”

Martyn works as a senior lecturer on the Music Technology and Audio Music Technology programmes at UWE. He has previously won a BAFTA, for work on the sound for David Attenborough’s Life of Birds (1999) and with Kate an EMMY for “Wild China” (2009)

He said, “In the fast moving post production industry UWE believe it is important that I keep current by working on projects of this caliber. The work on the Oceans soundtrack was completed during my summer break last year. The programme is the largest project that I have ever mixed, 98 sound tracks in full 5.1 surround as well as stereo. We had to bring the images to life by creating a sound world to reflect the ethnic locations and this involved gathering sounds from each of the places that the film team visited.

“The score was composed by Nitin Sawhney and recorded by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Throughout the series this is combined with sound layering made up of many atmospheres and effects blended with location tracks of indigenous voices and a narration by John Hurt.

Martyn joined UWE two years ago after a long career at the BBC, he continues, “I have the best of both worlds as I haven’t really stopped working on sound projects for the BBC, this Christmas I mixed the sound for the BBC2 David Attenborough Madagascar programme. However my work at UWE is quite a different sort of challenge and I’m really enjoying passing on my enthusiasm and skills to students.

“It is great to be able to get my media colleagues to talk to UWE’s students about their work and the future of the industry. Human Planet series producer, Dale Templar visited UWE recently to talk to students about the highs, lows and difficulties involved in making this landmark series. In addition to this UWE students have been invited to tour the Hoddinot Hall (BBC National Orchestra of Wales concert hall and recording studios) as a result of contacts made on this show.”

Dale Templar says, "I am totally thrilled about Human Planet getting seven BAFTA craft nominations. It’s a wonderful testament to the massively talented team of highly creative and dedicated individuals I have been so privileged to work with. Human Planet is an incredible and special series being the first ever Natural History landmark about people."

The other programmes nominated in this category include Elgar: the man behind the mask; Human Planet (Jungles) and Top Gear (Middle East Special).

The finalists will be announced a special awards event at the Brewery in the City of London on Sunday 8 May 2010.

Martyn Harries is a senior lecturer on the BSc Hons Music Technology and Audio Music Technology programmes at UWE. For more details see http://courses.uwe.ac.uk/j932/


Editor’s notes

For more information about the BAFTA television craft awards see http://www.bafta.org/awards/television-craft/nominations,1081,BA.html

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