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Have you ever wondered how they make realistic-looking wounds on Casualty? Or what it’s like to present the weather in front of a green screen? Or maybe how the costumes from your favourite TV shows are made?
On Saturday 11 February, you’ll get the chance to find out all of this as well as lots more tips and tricks from the world of TV production at a free event taking place at National Museum Cardiff.
BBC 100 in Wales: Life Through The Lens is a special day filled with hands-on activities showing some of the magic that takes place behind the scenes in the world of broadcasting. Visitors of all ages are welcome, with free activities running from 10am until 4pm. The majority of activities you can just turn up and get involved with, although a few will need to be booked in advance (see below for more details).
Life Through The Lens is part of BBC 100 in Wales, a fantastic exhibition currently running at National Museum Cardiff, celebrating a century of the broadcaster in Wales.
We visited in the Christmas holidays and loved the array of costumes and props from many of the amazing programmes that have been made here, such as outfits worn by the cast of His Dark Materials, the Doctor Who Tardis, as well as old-fashioned televisions and radios, characters from classic children’s television shows across the decades, and even a replica of the BBC Wales news studio, where you can sit and have a go at reading the headlines.
The exhibition opened on 10 December 2022 and runs until 16 April 2023. It’s free to visit, either by booking online in advance or by turning up on the day.
As you can see from these photos, it’s an engaging and informative exhibition with lots that visitors can get involved with.
The Life Through the Lens event goes one step further, with people working in the television industry on hand to share their experiences of the industry, with lots of activities visitors can try out for themselves.
The following activities are all free and you don’t need to book; you can just turn up and have a go.
- Have a small fake wound and find out more about special effects make-up.
- Play a sound effects game – can you match the story to the sound?
- Find out more about the Moon Landing in 1969 – one of the biggest events ever shown on the BBC.
- Create your own news bulletin and have a go at presenting it from the iconic BBC Wales newsdesk in the exhibition.
- Become the next David Attenborough and spot the wildlife around the museum on a natural world themed trail.
- Colour and cut out a TV themed craft to take home with you.
- Strike a pose and take a selfie wearing a replica costume from a favourite BBC show.
- Can you guess the theme tune as you listen to music performed by students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama? 11am and 2pm.
- Create your own weather bulletin using green screen effects.
- Are you sitting comfortably? Come and listen to some Jackanory stories.
- ‘Turn Off Your TVs’ Through dance and spoken word, Movement Artist Patrik Gabo shares a story that looks to the future by filtering through news and the way in which it shapes our hopes and dreams. Can we ever be united? Can we imagine a world in which joyful news and events replace tragedy.12pm and 1pm at the news desk in the BBC 100 Exhibition.
The following activities are timed and places must be booked in advance.
- Costuming masterclass: from flat to fabulous! – by Caroline Thomas. Caroline demonstrates the art of costume making. She’ll talk about how she came to be a costume maker and demonstrate the process in the masterclass. 12+ Book Tickets
- Special effects make-up masterclass. This masterclass will be given by the lead make-up artist on Casualty. She’ll talk a little bit about her career path and then transform a model, describing in detail the processes behind the magic of special effects make-up. 12+ Book Tickets
- Guided tours of the Dr Who filming locations in the Museum. Join a young Doctor Who enthusiast as he takes you on a lively tour around the museum in English. 6+ Book Tickets
- Talk: The Perils of Time Travel. Time Travel sounds great – but it’s far more dangerous than you think! Come and listen to a lively discussion of time travel given by Phill Wallace of Cardiff Astronomical Society. 12+ Book Tickets
- Talk: The Science of Doctor Who. Come and learn about the real science that (sort of) underpins our favourite Time Lord. A tongue-in-cheek look at the science given by Phill Wallace of Cardiff Astronomical Society. 12+ Book Tickets
With so much television being made here in Wales, this is a fantastic opportunity for families to learn a little more about how such shows are created, from costumes and sound effects to locations and presenting. And, who knows, visitors to this behind-the-scenes event could find themselves inspired to venture into a career in TV production, making the shows of the future.
BBC 100 in Wales: Through The Lens takes place on Saturday 11 February, from 10am-4pm, at National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NP. Entry is free. More information on the website here.
BBC 100 in Wales exhibition runs until 16 April 2023, entry is free. More information here.