Tag Archives: Animation

Beware of Trains in the news

Beware of Trains is doing well and got great press reviews from being shown in Annecy, here are a few:

two versions of the woman sit in a large therapy room.
In the psychotherapy room

Variety

“Annecy’s official short film competition is one of the festival’s centerpieces. Many years, at least one ends up snagging an Oscar nomination. Every year, Variety watches the shorts in Annecy’s main competition selection and picks 10 of our favorites.

If the word “dreamlike” might be the single most overused adjective in all animation, in this case circumstances force our hand. For there is no better way to describe Emma Calder’s mixed-media tour through the subconscious than to call it a particularly masterful nightmare. Mixing sex, violence, memory, and guilt as it explores the various obsessions supercharging a poor woman’s anxieties, “Beware of Train” fuses diverse textures and visual styles, jumbling theme and image together in a propulsive montage. BC

Read in full

Put on Your Shorts: Annecy 2022

“AWN’s Animation Pimp and Ottawa Animation Festival artistic director Chris Robinson takes a look at seven intriguing short films competing at this year’s Annecy International Animation Festival, which runs June 13-18.

Emma Calder (The Queen’s Monastery) returns with this brilliant, timely, and unsettling take on the mental health of a woman suffering from anxiety, obsession, and some general personality disorders.

During a therapy session, the woman recounts her main obsessions: a dying father, a chance meeting with a stranger on a train, her daughter’s well-being, and a murder she dreams she committed. Her preoccupations are so strong that they are seeping into her reality to the point where she’s losing sight of what’s real and what’s imagined.

Calder beautifully mirrors the woman’s fragmented inner state through a magnificent blend of collage, cut-out, objects, and live-action. This freewheeling mix of techniques creates an unbalanced viewing experience, injecting us into the woman’s confused state of being.

Calder has crafted not just a bold and empathetic take on an individual’s torment, but also an apt reflection of a society struggling to keep it together in the face of overwhelming anxiety, uncertainty, and paranoia.”

Read in full

Animation for adults

https://animacionparaadultos.es/2022-beware-of-trains

Links to some Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10226593150030378&set=a.4028449545041

https://www.facebook.com/emma.calder.16/videos/559716065650827

Beware of Trains

Beware of Trains poster
Beware of Trains poster

‘Beware of Trains’. Dark, thrilling and funny. Full Press Release.

Pearly Oyster Productions, is happy to announce the completion of Emma Calder’s latest animated film Beware of Trains, funded by the British Film Institute’s Film Fund. 

“One-night I dreamt that I had murdered someone, and I couldn’t get it out of my head. The next day I wrote a stream of conscious story triggered by this nightmare.” Emma Calder.

A woman with extreme anxiety is devoured by four major preoccupations – the man she met by chance on a train, her dying father, her daughter’s safety and the murder she dreams she has committed.

Award winning animation director Emma Calder takes you on an emotional rollercoaster through a world vision collaged from traditional pencil drawings to complex colourful digital manipulation of models and photographs.

Pearly Oyster premiere Roger Ballen’s Theatre of Apparitions at Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) 2016

Roger Ballen watches the show

Roger Ballen in The Theatre of Apparitions

Pearly Oyster premiere Roger Ballen’s Theatre of Apparitions at Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) 2016 ‘The McLaren Award: New British Animation 2’, Thursday 23 June 16:15 Filmhouse 1

EIFF-laurel-11

The 70th EIFF will take place from 15 to 26 June 2016. Full program can be found here.

Emma Calder and Ged Haney have created the new short animated film: Roger Ballen’s Theatre of Apparitions using images from the renown art-photographer Roger Ballen, that plunge the audience deep into his mind. An animated theatre of dismembered people, beasts and ghosts, dance, tumble, make love and tear themselves apart, a nightmarish subconscious world, in black and white.

Emma Calder and Ged Haney have used 2d computer animation and a brilliant music score by composer John Webb to turn these images into a film reminiscent of an old music hall or circus.

Dog eating man's head

Act 2

The film coincides with the publication of Roger Ballen’s new book A Theatre of Apparitions on September 29th by Thames & Hudson.

Emma Calder Workshop and Exhibition Cakovec

I have just returned from running an animation workshop with Zsusanna Szabo at the School of Animation in Cakovec (SAF).

Emma Calder Exhibition Poster

Emma Calder Exhibition Poster

The workshop this year was part of the 40th anniversary celebrations. So I was honored to have been invited. Even better I was asked if I wanted to have a small exhibition at the near by Cultural Centre.

Emmas Exhibition

Emma in Cultural Centre

See below a quick snap shot of the private view,

The Workshop runs all year round for children between 8 and 15 years old. It’s current leaders are Edo Lukman who founded SAF in 1975 and Jasminka Bijelić Ljubić. Jasminka joined SAF in 1998. More info on SAF can be found on their website.

The high light of the trip was the closing night ceremony, where we were treated to some of SAF’s vintage films and their latest 40 min film from 2015. SAF is unique in the world, the quality and the volume of children’s animation, over 250 films and 150 workshops produced over the years. I would love it if someone could set up something in the UK like this, but with the state of current funding, there doesn’t seem much hope of that.

cut out spider

Linda’s Laughing Spider age 11

We showed our workshop film at the ceremony. Our film was created by each child picking two different words from a Hat and creating a tiny film from that. The kids got stuff like Laughing Spider, Winged Carrot, Party Baby etc…It was quite ambitious for the time allowed, but still showed what can be done in a short space of time, with talented and keen participants.

SAF teens filming

SAF workshop children, filming the title sequence in Cakovec Castle

We also got the children to do some pixelation on the first day, as a fun way to get to know each other. The children came from the UK, USA, Romania and Croatia.

Reel Lives, Social Media Film Competition

Everyone Is Waiting For Something To Happen.

A few months ago, I read an ad for a competition called ReelLives. They were asking for film makers to compete for six awards to make mini biographical documentaries based on a chosen persons social media image. The film had to be cut exclusively from the subjects social media data, although you were allowed to make an original soundtrack as long as it related to the social media content.

Being a great lover of collage, I liked the idea of the challenge and decided to enter with fellow animator Richard Wright my facebook pal, as my subject.

cake mixing

Richard Wright is baking

I left it until the deadline to apply but had a good chat on the phone with the funders and Richard before writing a treatment, which I did in break neck speed. Luckily I got the money.

Synopsis: 

Prior to being diagnosed with bowel cancer Richard Wright, an artist/animator, had a social media persona that was characterised by annoying and anarchic humour. After initially feeling unable to communicate at all, his general healing process became entwined with the resurrection of his social media presence, helped by an obsessive regime of cooking and baking.

The film uses character and abstract animation, created from collages of Richards photos and quotes posted on social media including a fifty two page blog which he wrote for a bowel cancer forum and interviews with Richard talking about his posts.

The result is a humorous and visually stimulating film that explores one creative individuals strategy for coping with a life threatening illness and how he was able to share this with his social media community.

The Film is part of a EPSRC UK research project being delivered by The University of Birmingham, The Open University and The University of Edinburgh Informatics.