Walden documentary maker inspires students with astronomy animation

Sean Fergus Fields with Year 5 at St Mary's Primary School, Saffron Walden

Sean Fergus Fields with Year 5 at St Mary's Primary School, Saffron Walden - Credit: Sean Fergus Fields

A Saffron Walden film director who followed his dreams and created an astronomy animation - which has been narrated by former Dr Who and The Hobbit star Sylvester McCoy - has inspired school children.

Shaun Fergus Fields - known as Fergus - taught himself how to animate, bought hardware and software and after many years of research and work, he created the documentary called Living in the Universe.

It is believed to be the first fully animated 3D stereoscopic astronomy documentary, which includes footage with NASA's permission. He also created a 2D version.

Sylvester McCoy narrating Living in the Universe

Dr Who and The Hobbit star Sylvester McCoy narrating Living in the Universe - Credit: Sean Fergus Fields

The documentary was recently screened at Saffron Screen and when St Mary's Primary School teacher Mrs McInnes spotted it, she though it would fit well with school topics so she got in touch with him.

The documentary has now been screened for the school's Year 5 students and Fergus went into the school for a Q&A session.

Mrs McInnes said: "We were so impressed with Fergus' passion for his subject which has inspired the children, giving them lots of material to help them in their learning across the curriculum in Science, English and Geography.

"Importantly, we also learnt a lot about perseverance, following your dreams and the real possibility of being able to travel into space."

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Fergus said of his school visit: "It was fantastic, I really enjoyed their enthusiasm."

Fergus said he has always been interested in astronomy, and a few years ago he decided to ditch his job and focus on documentary-making as his goal.

He has ended up working with a range of talented people including electronic music artist John Beltran, whose music fits well.

The documentary covers stars and planets, an animation of the Big Bang, a journey to the Moon, and the Apollo 11 landing, the spaceflight that landed the first man on the moon.

Viewers also journey through the solar system, travelling to the furthest reaches of the galaxy.

Sean Fergus Fields and co-producer Simon Quinn on the post production studio day.

Sean Fergus Fields and co-producer Simon Quinn on the post production studio day. - Credit: Sean Fergus Fields

Simon Quinn, who works on big budget Hollywood feature films, assisted with post-production and enlisted Sylvester McCoy as Narrator.

He said: "This is a huge achievement for an amateur film maker!"