How to destroy the documentary

Exciting news!

As you may or may not know, it's long been an idle fantasy of mine to turn How To Destroy The Earth into a television documentary, but I hadn't actually put any work towards making it happen, because I didn't really know where to start. Anyway, some weeks ago I was contacted by a lady working for a New Zealand television company called NHNZ, who wanted to do just that. So, obviously, I leapt at the chance.

The plan was for she and me to put together a pitch for the documentary to turn in to the people she works for, and see whether they would accept it and agree to turn it into a proper series. The format we've discussed most recently is a four- to six-episode series, each episode one hour long and addressing about five similar methods for destroying the Earth.

Obviously, since HTDTE is currently just a flat text document, the primary obstacle we have to overcome here is the problem of visualisation. One of my current favourite ideas is to use primitive cartoony graphics like those you see on Scrapheap Challenge (if you're in the UK, anyway). But on the other hand I also want to do the traditional narrator-walking-down-a-street-talking-to-camera bit. So how these and other ideas will all mesh remains to be seen. Especially since I'm seriously nervous about performing in front of a camera and lots of virtual people.

I believe that at the time of writing, our pitch has been presented during at least one regular development meeting. I'm just waiting for a response. If they don't buy the idea, it's not necessarily the end of the road; apparently there are other people we can try to sell the idea to...

In the meantime, though, I have been busy. Something Kelly (my contact at NHNZ) suggested was that I put together a five-minute HTDTE film of my own using a digital camera. The main idea, I think, was to demonstrate how good (or bad) I, Sam Hughes, am as a television presenter. I also viewed it as a sort of means of proof-of-concept for the whole show itself. So recently I wrote a brief script for this "pilot" of sorts, featuring a very abbreviated intro and an investigation of one method (antimatter), and yesterday, my mate James brought his camera phone over, we made some crude props, and we shot it. Currently it still needs editing into shape, but as soon as it's completed I'll put it online for you all to see.

Yip yip!