Google inks deal for CERN project

Films of Record may develop feature film

LONDON — Google and U.K. documentary specialist Films of Record are collaborating to post footage of scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN lab in Switzerland on YouTube.

The “CERN People” project will also form the basis of a feature documentary, if funding can be raised from international backers.

CERN is the world’s biggest scientific research institute and is where the Collider was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research to recreate conditions just after the Big Bang to help physicists answer questions about the fundamental nature of the universe.

Announcing the project, Films of Record topper Roger Graef said that up to three short films, directed by New York-born Liz Mermin, would appear on the YouTube CERN channel and a Google Plus page every month in what promises to be an extraordinary year in particle physics.

He said, “The subject matter might seem intimidating but regardless of the topic all our films are ultimately about people and ‘CERN People’ is no exception.

“Television is linear. New media is not. It is able to take elements and put them in a different order. This is almost like a new physics of TV.”

Google is providing funding for the shorts. The online giant had previously backed Kevin Macdonald’s “Life in a Day” and “Jamie’s Dream School,” fronted by British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Google’s U.K. director of communications Peter Barron stressed the finance amounted to “seed money and technical support.”

He said the company was partnering with Films of Record to demonstrate the “potential of the Google platform,” adding, “Google does not commission content.”

Nevertheless, the collaboration is another sign of the search engine’s desire to beef up YouTube as a destination for professionally made exclusive fare.