Invisible Netherlands

Frédérik Ruys – Vizualism


With the TV series ‘Invisible Netherlands’ the VPRO wanted to make forgotten events that have defined our country visible again. One such moment that had fallen into oblivion is the spectacular blow-out in Drenthe (1965) at the very beginning of the Dutch natural gas extraction. Using animation techniques and based on authentic data sets, Vizualism brought the past back to life.

Frederick Ruys: “The challenge was especially in the visual storytelling: how can you visually merge the various ingredients into one consistent story that captivates the tv viewer, without simplifying the subject matter unnecessarily. As a data journalist I therefore started with designing the storyboard and searching for reliable data.”

“As all traces of the blow-out have now disappeared, our colleague Rienk Leendertse reconstructed the site on the basis of eyewitness accounts and construction drawings of the NAM. In the meantime, we had extensive data sets of TNO (location drill pipes and gas fields) and the KNMI (registration earthquakes since 1900), which we could analyze and visualize”.

Together with editor-in-chief Geert Rozinga we then put together the voice-over and selected the shots that the British animation team 422S reconstructed in 3D. Then, the whole was combined with the recordings which we played on the spot.”

Winner BNO Infographics Jaarprijs 2016


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