Thursday 13 September 2012

Back From the Woods

Random Person decided to come on holiday with us. Here she is in our 1963 Mark 2a Land Rover leaving London, with her strange little random friend, that I made some years ago from pipe cleaners.

We camped in a friends wood. Saw no one, went no where, most of the time. I decided to make a special holiday Random Person episode. I'd brought a few props and my camera.

I didn't really have a plan. No story board. All though these films are random. I normally do have a bit of a plan. At least a script. But it was my holiday, so what the hell. The woods were so inspiring. 

Random Person Resting between shots

My Partner Julian Cripps, the brilliant architect, was busy carving wooden spoons from bits of sycamore and when he wasn't looking,

 I borrowed one for random person to play with.

My son Oliver decided to make a couple of hand carved Harry Potter style brooms for Random Person. So she could do some cleaning when she gets home! But she didn't, as you can see when you watch the film.

Thursday 16 August 2012

Quantum Cloud

The latest live episode in my new viral series Random Person is Quantum Cloud. 

Please don't ask me what inspired it, because I can't remember exactly. I keep a book of random things that I come across and quickly storyboard out an idea. In this book is a note about Quantum Clouds and beside it a note about algebra. I know nothing about either, but deep down I probably just really wanted to make a hairy film as I had recently discovered my childhood locks in the tin, that I mentioned in my 1st blog about Random Person.

The circa 1960 tin that contained the random stuff that inspired Random Person

Plus I had just purchased some colourful hair switches from the Pimlico car boot. 

 Emma Calder animating Random Person

Or did I get them after I had the idea. Any how it doesn't really matter. Maybe it does matter that head lice have been the bane of my life ever since my kids started school. Or that when stressed, I pull my hair out.

nits from Quantum Cloud (hair courtesy of Julian Cripps)

My fine blond childhood hair, ran out as I animated, so I hunted down my partner Julian's old hair, from before he went grey. I found 4 massive balls of it, all mothy in a draw. It was fantastic to animate but, horrible because of all the insects living in it. If you look carefully at the animation you can actually see a moth flying out and lots of tiny moth eggs dropping out of the hair. The film might have been longer but, to be honest animating moth eaten old hair was not the greatest fun.

My daughter Coco Cripps now 16, composed a music track for the film in Garage band, without a keyboard whilst ill in bed with a cold. 

Please watch, like, share enjoy.

more coming soon.

Saturday 4 August 2012

BBC Persian Click

This is the second blog dedicated to my new viral animation series Random Person.

I have been busy all year making the episodes and have now completed eight, this is over half way towards the thirteen planned for the first series.

Of course, I am well behind schedule, as I am making these films whilst doing paid work to keep going. I am hoping sooner or later to get some investment but, at the moment I am just getting on with the creative part.

Random People take time out to appear in a sting for the BBC.

Still from BBC Persian Click

The most important part of the success of this series will be you, my audience and the more I can get my friends and followers to like, subscribe and share over the internet the better.

You can do this via, you tube or face book, or twitter. So please do spread the word and enjoy. All the buttons to press are on this page.

It is Random, but hopefully fun and I am certainly having fun making it. The whole series can be watched here.  

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Random Person the beginning

The first blog about my new animation series "Random Person".

It all started with this man lying unconscious outside the pub. I was with a woman a friend of a friend, in her boyfriends four wheel drive, waiting for a lift home. Finally the boyfriend got into the car and started to drive off, I said, “mind that man, don't run him over." I couldn't see him any longer, I was worried. Then the friend of a friends boyfriend said to me. “What man?” His girl friend replied with a yawn, “just a random person”.

From Emma Calder's note book 2012

I was quite shocked, so this poor unfortunate man was just a random what did that mean?

I thought, if he is random, or could be so described, what am I?

Then I started thinking about how my own life and activities were becoming more and more random.

Random person wears Moody Days Woman's dress, Sindy's lost arms and my partner Julian's Hair before it went grey

It just so happened, that I had done a completely random bit of animation one day last summer, whilst preparing tests for a different film. I had used a doll mask that I had just made and some bits and pieces, I had randomly found in an old tin, that I hadn't opened for over twenty years. The scene had little relevance to the film I was working on, I had just wanted to make the face and use it for something. Now that doll face had a role, it was to become my Random Person.

Taking my Random face from it's plaster caste

I put together the animation with a animated title, filmed from an old jigsaw I had bought in a jumble shop, The Title music was my speeded up and cut up version of a track from the Open Music Archive. I shamelessly hacked all the words out and didn't try to keep to the beat.

I wrote 52 different film ideas down in a day. Selected props, backgrounds and sound effects blind folded and then I started to make some very random films. The idea is that each film is completely random, was made randomly and is about the idea of random or randomosity.

To celebrate randomness I have randomly selected the third episode as the first to go live. (No Bag). In this film Random person goes shopping blind folded...It all goes well until.. 

Sunday 1 April 2012


I have just returned from Cairo, as a guest and jury member of The Children's International Film Festival. I took quite a few pictures, here are some of them.

Images of Graffiti around Tahrir Square

Whilst we were there, two demonstrations took place because of alleged current corruption in the parliament and liberal opposition to the Muslim brotherhood.

Some of the people I met, thought there would soon be another revolution. 

Many of the young helpers from the festival had been involved in the revolution last year. One of them a woman in her early twenties took me to Tahrir Square to show me all the graffiti, post revolution. Many taken in Mohammed Mahmoud Street. The site of many clashes between protesters and the police.

As we walked, we talked and she told me how she had been beaten up and sexually molested by soldiers at the demonstration, before she was rescued by some other demonstrators. If she hadn't managed to run away, she would have been imprisoned, like so many other people.

The art on the walls is amazing. Some depicts the martyrs who died in the Port Said football riots February 2012
(many in Egypt believe the the interim military government had something to do with their deaths). 

 The graffiti also depicts the bad guys, many with Hitler style moustaches. 

I hope things can work out for Egypt. So many lies, so much poverty. The rich and powerful people in Cairo, should be ashamed. 

But... many of the young people I met, hope for a brighter future, they just thought it would take a lot of time.

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Serial rapists could have been escaping justice because of police failures

I was listening to the BBC Radio news this morning and heard something about, if the police had a more joined up approach to serial rape, they might actually catch the perpetrators. This took me right back to the summer of 1983. 

 Emma Calder outside Nottingwood House In July 1983

The pictures that I drew right after the event, are used to illustrate the story. Rough and drawn in haste.

It was a hot Friday in July and my flat mate and her boyfriend had just gone away for the weekend, something they never did, my boy friend was also not around. I was very pleased to have our council flat in Notting Hill, all to myself.

The flat was dirty, my flat mate and her boyfriend had turned into slobs and just drank Thunderbird and whiskey, they never cleaned and I also had been very busy finishing my M.A and didn't clean either.

I put the radio on, John Peel to start with, got out the mop and hoovered and cleaned and cleaned all evening. It was hot, all the lights were all on, I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

Exhausted I went to bed it must have been about 2am. The window was ajar, I was unaware that my boyfriend had removed the window locks, because of the heat.

Around about seven I woke, I could hear something by the window. Before I opened my eyes, I had thought it was my dad, as he lived just up the road, bringing me post, or a pint of milk, as he often did but, it wasn't him.

We lived in a first floor flat, with a walkway balcony outside. I looked towards my bedroom window. 
 Emma Calder's notebook 1983

A small black head with short dreads was popping over the top of the window, then he was pushing it right down, in his hand he had a very long, very sharp kitchen knife. As he started to climb over the window, he saw me looking at him from my bed and he said,

 “I am going to fucking rape you!”

I can remember my fear, like it happened yesterday. I leapt out of bed completely naked, ran towards the window, right at him, knife and all and I screamed. 

The most primeval scream, I have ever heard, or made and I screamed and screamed and screamed, it echoed all around the housing estate. Then he backed off from the window and climbed down and ran away. Despite my screams, no one came to my assistance. I phoned the police. 

The police came, asked questions but, they mainly, just took fingerprints. They said someone from the rape squad would call me. The following day or so, a woman from the rape squad did come. I can still remember her quite well, she was about thirty with long brown hair. What she had to say though, completely shocked me and is why nearly thirty years on I am writing this blog and I am wondering what has changed.

“Well” she said. “You know the local police aren't going to be interested in solving this crime, don't you? Because the guy who tried to break in and rape you, was black and he fits the description of the Shepherds Bush rapist. They reckon he got the first tube, it all fits, he always does it early on in the morning. They won't bother trying to catch him, because your police are the Notting Hill police and they want to catch the Notting Hill rapist and he's white, so it's not him, but they won't catch the Shepherds Bush rapist because he's not their responsibility and the Shepherds Bush police won't bother coming up here to question you, because it isn't on their patch.”

Then she said, that the man had tried to get into another flat upstairs, before they had tried my flat and she said we should go up together to talk to those people as it might make us all feel better. They were a mother and grown up daughter, I didn't know them, it was not a very sociable estate. We went into their flat and the policewoman said, that I was the other person that the rapist had tried to attack, they were very quiet and embarrassed. I suddenly thought they would have heard me scream, but they had done nothing, they had seen the man and they still did nothing, not even call the police. I said to them did you hear me scream, they were speechless. We left the flat, the police woman said they were probably too frightened, although I had always thought she took me up there to deliberately shame them. She said when questioned, people from all over the estate had heard me scream but, no one had rung them.

The policewoman said, I would not hear another word from the police as they were all having too much fun busting the black guys for drugs in St Marks Road W.11. She left me a number to call for counselling and that was it. I think they did eventually catch the Notting Hill rapist but, I never found out about the Shepherds Bush one.

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Coco's locket

This is brief as I have been working hard and now have done my back in, so haven't done blog lately. But, more coming soon on my new animation series, which I will be previewing bits from soon.

Tomorrow is my daughters sixteenth birthday. As my back is painful I had to do something very quickly and small, so here's is my old Victorian locket now with watercolours of myself and Coco's father Julian. I hope she likes it. I have been meaning to do it every year since she was born.

Emma Cader and Julian Cripps inside Coco's locket