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The Insect Man  (1972)

Actor playing Jean Henri Fabre in The Insect Man

Profiling the life and work of the great French 19th Century entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre, The Insect Man uses an intriguing drama format with actor Ralph Michael portraying the late expert as he ‘talks’ the BBC through his various experiments and findings.

Described by world renowned producer Chris Parsons as “possibly the most adventurous” programme he presented in the World About Us strand, The Insect Man includes a wealth of insect footage mixed with drama re-enactments. Using impressive macro-photography, Gerald Thompson from Oxford Scientific Films (OSF) details various insect behaviours and, using tools from the Fabre museum, recreates many of his intriguing field studies.

Scorpions are shown circling in a mating dance, whilst hunting wasps burrow in the hot sand and processionary caterpillars pursue their leader. Using an engaging mixture of styles, The Insect Man is a fitting tribute to the man who, at a loss as how to determine the hearing capacity of cicadas, hit upon the idea of firing his town’s ceremonial cannon.

Copyright holder

Copyright Holder: BBC - Natural History Unit
Address: c/o BBC Motion Gallery
Room E251
Woodlands
80 Wood Lane
London
W12 0TT
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8433 2861 / 2
Email: motiongallery.uk@bbc.co.uk
Website: http://www.bbcmotiongallery.com

Film credits

Actor: Ralph Champion Shotter
Assistant Cameraman: Philip Moss
Assistant Producer: Keith Hopkins
Cameraman: George Shears
Cameraman: Bernard Hedges
Film Editor: Betty Block
Narrator: Derek Jones
Photography: Gerald Thompson
Photography: Oxford Scientific Films Ltd.
Producer: Christopher Parsons
Producer's Assistant: Pamela Jackson
Series Editor: Anthony Isaacs
Series Editor: Christopher Parsons
Sound Mixer: Derek McColm
Sound Recordist: Cliff Voice
Writer: Alan Gibson
Clips
A film tribute to Jean-Henri Fabre
A film tribute to Jean-Henri Fabre
Fabre fires the town cannon
Fabre fires the town cannon
Fabre's processionary caterpillars
Fabre's processionary caterpillars
Stills
Actor playing Jean Henri Fabre in The Insect Man
Actor playing Jean Henri Fabre in The Insect...
Filming The Insect Man
Filming The Insect Man
Filming for The Insect Man
Filming for The Insect Man
'The Insect Man', Jean Henri Fabre's house
'The Insect Man', Jean Henri Fabre's house