Milla Harrison (pictured right), one of Rough Science's
team of directors
Directing on RS was a fantastic experience and I knew
from the moment we picked up the scientists and film
crew at Las Vegas airport, we were all going to have
loads of fun over the next few months.
It was important everyone got on well, because the
schedule was really gruelling. We had three days to
film each programme, which were extremely long days
for everyone. When the challenges were first read out
by Kate on the morning of Day one, I would try and let
the scientists all talk about their plan of action without
any cameras on them. I had to stop myself firing questions
at them straight away, as I was really keen to find
out how on Earth they were going to do the challenges.
For programme four (impact),
Mike, Kathy and Iain were set a very difficult challenge
of trying to work out the size of the meteorite that
caused a huge crater in Arizona, called Meteor Crater.
It meant that Kathy, Iain and Kate (and my film crew;
and me) had to fly to Arizona to get crucial measurements
and clues about the crater, while Mike stayed at home
to make his own mini craters.
A few hours after they were told about the challenges
we set off on our 24 hour whistle stop tour of the Arizona
crater. We hired a small plane to get us there, something
I was not looking forward to - due to my fear of flying.
We had to get there before the sun was going down and
so time was against us, and being further south meant
the sun set a little earlier than we'd all anticipated.
The first time we saw the crater it was breathtaking.
It really looked like a giant footstep planted in the
middle of nowhere. The measurements had to be done that
afternoon, so Kathy had thought up an ingenious way
of measuring the whole crater in a few hours. All three
of them worked very hard, while we filmed. I felt slightly
guilty standing there watching them struggle on as they
raced against the clock, but I couldn't help them as
I had to get all the shots I needed. It was touch and
go as to whether they'd get everything finished before
the light went, but they made it. And as the sun set
over the Arizona desert, I started to relax a little:
they'd got all the measurements they needed, we had
the helicopter to look forward to tomorrow and at last
we could all have a beer!
The next morning the cameraman Tony and me were up
at four to film the sunrise at the crater. I gave everyone
else a lie in - and told them to turn up at six! We
filmed for two hours at the crater's edge as the sun
rose over the Arizona desert. It was a beautiful sight
and well worth getting up for - although the whole shot,
once we'd speeded it up, only lasted four seconds.
The helicopter filming was great fun. The doors were
taken off and we were all strapped in. There were lots
of shrieks and yells especially from Kathy who just
couldn't stop screaming out "It's huge, it's amazing,
oh my god it's incredible!". The view of the crater
was even better 400 feet up and we could have all stayed
up there for ages.
But the price of helicopter fuel is expensive and there
was still one more thing they wanted to do before we
rushed back to the workshop. Iain was on the hunt for
clues about the crater and amazingly he found bits of
the meteorite fragments that has smashed into the Arizona
desert 50,000 years ago. We stopped filming and each
held a piece of the rock from space and when Iain said
that we were holding something that was 4.5 billion
years old - the age of the Solar System - I was blown away.
It was a fantastic end to an incredible 24 hours.