360°, at the heart of the invisible

 

Documentary
Duration : 100x6 '
Support : Digital Betacam - stereo - 16/9 - 4/3

 

Director : Thierry Berrod

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 (1.5Mo)

 

Concept

 

Insects and parasites are certainly the most amazing and the most widespread creatures on Earth.
Some are attractive, others repugnant, but all have a more or less direct and immediate impact on our lives.
Observed closely, these creatures reveal a fascinating universe. However, the human eye is capable of perceiving only an infinitesimal part. Myriad details – of their anatomies as well as their fascinating properties – escape us. By taking a closer look at these fantastic biological mechanisms, we can discover certain treasures of technology (360° vision, the chemical communication method of the ant, the thermal detection system of the mosquito, the acceleration ability of the flea at the moment it jumps equal to 12g, etc.)
To become as small as these creatures, if not much smaller, so as to penetrate their secrets and cross the boundaries of the invisible, is what this series proposes to do.
Thanks to filming techniques using the Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) developed by Mona Lisa Production in exclusive partnership with Philips (patent Mona Lisa Production), it is possible to film living insects magnified up to 25,000 times, with an incomparable depth of field.
This complete change of scale will allow us a glimpse of a world populated by aliens, until now inaccessible, where life is intensely wild. As if you were to discover a group of extraterrestrials in your garden!
A veritable wildlife film on a microscopic scale, each episode in the series will elucidate the most interesting aspects of the studied insect's relationship with its environment, and will allow us to discover its physical characteristics, its behavior and its lifestyle.

 


Composition of an episode

 

1) Opening sequence (45’’-1’)

 

Electron microscope shot, 360° rotation around the insect allowing its visualization in a totally original way (25’’)
Link to a shot of the insect's environment on the scale of the human eye.
In an occasionally humoristic vein, these two shots will be linked in such a way as to provoke a comparison of these two parallel worlds, one visible, the other invisible.

 

2) Central Séquence (4’30’’-5’)

 

Observation of the insect in its daily life, description of its capabilities, zoom on certain organs and description of their functions (example: the bee's sting, the fly's eye, etc…).
Mainly composed of electron microscope images, this sequence will also use macro shots allowing the possibility of playing with all the nuances of the infinitely small, by moving back and forth between the minute detail (an ant's antenna), the part (the ant's head) and the whole (the entire ant).

 

3) Final sequence (15’’)

 

Accelerated zoom out or any other procedure allowing us to return in an anecdotic or symbolic form to our visible world, with a humoristic reference to the insect in question.

 


Examples :

 

The body louse
1) Opening sequence
360° electron microscope shot of a louse on a pubic hair.
Link to a shot of a couple dancing.

 

2) Central sequence
Scientific observation of the body louse.

 

3) Final sequence
Shot of a man seen from the back, with his trousers down, being examined by a doctor.

 

 

The flea
1) Opening sequence
360° electron microscope shot of a flea attached to a thread.
We discover the flea in a flea circus pulling a cart.

 

2) Central sequence
Scientific observation of the flea.

 

3) Final sequence
Shot of the audience clapping. One of them starts to scratch.

 

 

The dust mite
1) Opening sequence
360° electron microscope shot of a dust mite on a carpet fiber.
Shot of a man with vacuum cleaner.

 

2) Central sequence
Scientific observation of the dust mite.

 

3) Final sequence
The man puts the vacuum cleaner away and suddenly sneezes.

 

 

List of episodes

 

-Bee (pollen / flower)
-Dust mite (dust / man)
-Spider (silk thread / web)
-Maggot (cowpat / cow)
-Cockroach (drop of water / bathtub)
-Weevil (wheat / wheat silo)
-Caterpillar (lettuce / garden)
-Ladybird (blade of grass / field)
-Scale insect (houseplants / garden)
-Springtail (soil / forest)
-Locust (ear of wheat / field)
-Mayfly (mud / lake)
-Ant (twig / forest)
-Wasp (fruit / garden)
-Dragonfly (reed / swamp)
-Firefly (blade of grass / night)
-Mosquito (skin / man)
-Caddis fly (algae / river)
-Body louse (hair / man)
-Head louse (hair / monkey)
-Aphid (leaf / tree)
-Bedbug (mattress / man)
-Leech (leg / man)
-Scarab (grain of sand / dunes)
-Tardigrade (ice / Antarctic)
-Termite (wood / frame)
-Tick (feather / bird)
-Earthworm (soil / rain)
-Silkworm (silk thread / fabric)
-Virus (cell / man)

 

Techniques

 

Filming with the environmental scanning electron microscope
Since 1999, Mona Lisa Production, inventor of wildlife films using electron microscopy, has patented numerous techniques for animated microscopic filming.

 

Mona Lisa Production works at present in worldwide exclusivity with Philips Electrons /Fei on a project for a new ESEM integrating the latest technological developments.

 

360° tracking platform adapted to electron microscopy
For the first time a remote-controlled platform (patented) will allow operation on the scale of the infinitesimally small thanks to perfectly-centered 360° tracking. 

Mona Lisa Production - 3 et 4 Place Chazette - 69001 Lyon FRANCE
Tél : +33 4 78 39 04 04 - Fax : +33 4 78 29 09 47

email : info2@monalisa-prod.com