Chilling animation earns DMU students coveted award


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A chilling depiction of the invasion of women’s autonomy has earned two De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduates an award from the Royal Television Society (RTS).

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Still from Paranoia

Katherine Lindhorst and Connor Snape’s collaboration, called Paranoia, won Craft Skills: Sound in the RTS Midlands Students Awards 2020 and was also nominated in the Animation category.

A body, surreal and psychological horror short, Paranoia follows the story of a woman and her descent into madness after discovering she is being secretly watched in her home. Even after removing the spy cameras, she is observed by inescapable eyeballs and cameras in her own body.

The film – which also won Best Animated Horror Short at the Tabloid Witch Awards 2019 - is a hybrid of 3D backgrounds and 2D character animation in greyscale, dramatically punctuated by the colour red and a post-dubstep score.

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Katherine Lindhorst

“Winning this award feels like an awesome achievement,” said 22-year-old Animation graduate Katherine from North Wales.

“I was influenced by the spy cam epidemic in South Korea, where women are secretly recorded while undressing or going to the bathroom, and having their videos posted online without their consent. It particularly resonated with me and I wanted to show how violating it can feel.”

Katherine and Connor were introduced during their last year at DMU by a tutor they had in common, in the hope that they would work together on their final projects and enter the RTS awards.

25-year-old Creative Music Technology graduate Connor, from Nuneaton, said: “Collaborations can be a struggle sometimes, but this seemed to come so naturally. At the time, I was looking at merging orchestral film scores with dance music and that really gelled with Katherine’s work.

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Connor Snape

“The dark ambience of Katherine’s animation worked well with my post-dubstep influence so I started composing synth sounds that complemented the visuals and it evolved from there.

“We were both working on the project at the same time so we could communicate what we were thinking in real time, which was really helpful.”

Katherine added: “I don’t have a musical talent, so it was very daunting passing over the creative reigns to the music. We obviously spoke about what we both wanted to achieve, but I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.”

Since graduating from DMU, Katherine has been working as a freelancer creating animated educational films for the Ariel Trust, a charity improving the chances of young people.

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Later this month she will be starting an internship with Enter Edem – a company of artists creating art, theatre and entertainment for family audiences – thanks to DMU’s Graduate Champions scheme.

“I was so determined to study at DMU that I didn’t have any back-up universities lined up,” said Katherine.

“The facilities are some of the best I’ve seen for animation courses, the lecturers are amazing and the disability support I received was exceptional. I could sing DMU’s praises all day.”

Supported by The Crucible Project, DMU’s entrepreneurship programme, Connor runs his own music events and clothing brand called RYVM.

He said: “The Crucible Project has taught me a lot about running my own business and managing multiple income streams. I’ve recently signed up with a record label and I really feel like I’m on the cusp of something though.

“DMU is wicked. I’ve been really impressed with it, and as an electronic musician, it’s one of the few courses in the country that offered exactly what I was looking for.”

Posted on Thursday 6th August 2020

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