Calling the Shots are excited to announce our latest partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine.

Since May we’ve been working hard on a series of nine short films, collectively known as… Animated Thinking.
Each of the 5-6-minute films explores new ideas from academic researchers across the UK, brought to life by early-career professional animators, underlining Calling the Shots’ reputation for nurturing outstanding emerging talent and creative collaboration with partners in higher education.
The Animated Thinking films provide diverse perspectives on propaganda photography in Nazi Germany, the origins of a medieval ‘Witch Bottle’, the history of the brown hare in Britain and the nature of grief during the pandemic.
Other films explore the experience of autistic girls and women, the history of visits to Britain by the Indigenous people of North America, corruption in Ancient Greece and Rome, women’s publishing in Mexican prisons and the impact on women’s lives of new high-rise housing in Mumbai.
Production took place throughout lockdown and presented many challenges for the animators and producers. Animated Thoughts producer at Calling the Shots, Holly Churches, says, “Creating this project from home, during lockdown, could have felt like a quite lonely experience, but luckily working with such talented and creative people it has never felt that way, there has been a real sense of teamwork.  There is certainly something fantastic about all of these films being made out of peoples living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens… and the incredibly hard work that they have all put into them is absolutely clear in the finished product.”
Animated Thinking is the latest in a series of exciting collaborations between Calling the Shots and university researchers over the last few years.
In 2018 Calling the Shots partnered the University of Exeter on their Wellcome Trust project Exploring Diagnosis, working with autistic artists from Canada, the US and the UK to teach animation skills and produce three original films featuring the voices and experiences of autistic adults. From 2015-2019 Calling the Shots worked with the University of Bath and Grade II-listed Arnos Vale Cemetery on the Future Cemetery project, funded by AHRC’s REACT programme, exploring new ways to connect cemeteries to local and wider communities through original arts commissions and digital interpretation.  In 2015 Calling the Shots worked with the University of Bristol on the AHRC Connected Communities project, Know Your Bristol, which saw multiple communities across Bristol co-producing work with researchers.
You can watch the Animated Thinking films by visiting BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine. A new film will be released every day for the next nine days.