Graduate Goes To The Ends Of The Earth

24 October 2011

Kathryn Jeffs

Kathryn Jeffs on location while working as a producer on the BBC Frozen Planet series.

My course at the University of Derby was a niche one enabling me to be a stronger candidate amongst my peer competitors 

Kathryn Jeffs.

A University of Derby graduate has a cool job as a producer on one of BBC TV's most ambitious projects to date - the Frozen Planet series.

Sir David Attenborough's latest natural world epic begins on Wednesday 26 October. Kathryn Jeffs, who graduated from Derby in 1995 with a BSc (Hons) Biological Imaging degree, worked as director on the award winning series, Planet Earth. She produced Winter, the fifth programme in the Frozen Planet series, to be broadcast on 23 November.

She acknowledges Sir David as an early influence on her career and was able to work with him on this series.

Her career was inspired after watching Trials of Life, a documentary series by Sir David which featured killer whales hunting sea lions. Kathryn believes the series changed the way people thought about the natural world, as television is a powerful way to bring complex topics to a mass audience.

Kathryn said: "My course at the University of Derby was a niche one enabling me to be a stronger candidate amongst my peer competitors. I chose science because I wanted to continue engaging with wildlife, exploring the natural world and communicating the knowledge I gained."

She added: "Frozen Planet has been four years in the making. It took 2,356 days to shoot in the Polar regions where the temperature at times plummeted to minus 50 degrees Celsius. It enabled me to travel to some incredible places but what I valued most was the opportunity to speak to the scientists - their work is the lifeblood of our films."

In the new series, Sir David takes viewers on an extraordinary journey across the magical ice worlds of the Arctic and Antarctic - the worlds greatest and least-known wildernesses, inhabited by some of the most bizarre and resilient creatures on Earth.

The journey begins for David at the North Pole, one of the few places he had never visited. As six months of darkness ends with the return of the sun, a pair of courting polar bears reveal a surprisingly tender side.

The first episode includes a key sequence directed by Kathryn captured on a four month shoot to Antarctica, which was a filming first. The shot reveals killer whales working together to create giant waves that wash seals from ice floes.

Frozen Planet was co-produced with The Open University. Frozen Planet - To The Ends Of The Earth starts on Wednesday 26 October 9pm -10pm on BBC One and BBC One HD.

For further information please Laura Ratcliffe, Alumni Relations Officer, T: 01332 591368, M: 07768 091248 E: l.ratcliffe@derby.ac.uk.

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