BBC2 Winter Still Life - Ostrich 2 (1992)

Concept and creative process

The concept behind this series of BBC Two idents was the living sculpture or posed studio photograph, in which the subject is primarily still unless a movement occurs or is caused by an external factor. Great care was taken over the positioning and the lighting of the individual set-ups. The ostrich, even one hired in from a film and TV specialist supplier, can be tricky to work with, and this one proved no different. It ran uncontrollably at the cyclorama and ruined it with its caws, so that that had to be replaced. It sneaked some half-eaten pizza from its handler, causing a bowel problem, which necessitated the replacement of the sand. It also had to be coaxed to put its head in a concealed hole in the studio floor by placing its own food at the bottom of it. Luckily this ploy worked long enough to get more than one perfect shot, and when they were edited and music and sound effects added, the illusion was created to convey the message that it was better not to bury your head in the sand when there was BBC Two to watch.