Neil Shubin’s Your Inner Fish Receives Emmy Award

Neil Shubin, PhD

Neil Shubin, PhD

Your Inner Fish, the three-part, prime-time, PBS special based on the best-selling book by Neil Shubin, the Robert R. Bensley professor of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago, shared the 2015 Emmy award for “outstanding graphic design and art direction” with Future Cat, a documentary from National Geographic.

Produced by Windfall Films and Tangled Bank Studios—which was founded in 2012 by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) as an extension of its longstanding science education mission—the series was also nominated for an Emmy for “outstanding science and technology programming.”

“I was incredibly fortunate to be able to work with the team at Jellyfish Pictures,” Shubin said. “They transformed the story.”

Jellyfish, an independent visual effects, animation and motion graphics studio based in London, created the stunning graphics for the show. Jellyfish’s Tom Brass served as animation director and visual effects supervisor on the series, which he described as “human evolution presented in a charming and idiosyncratic way.” The team used a wide range of 3D, 2D, traditional and digital techniques to create the extensive animation for the series.

“Whether through computer generated creatures walking on a Chicago subway car, or ancient landscapes emerging in the arctic, they made the science come alive,” Shubin said.

Both the book, published in 2008, and the broadcast series, which aired in 2014, have received multiple awards, including the National Academies’ book award in 2009, and most recently, the 2015 Communication Award for Film/Radio/TV from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

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