This year has seen a multi-billion upgrade to the rail network between York and Manchester. And to mark the momentous occasion, PASSION Animation, a division of PASSION PICTURES, has created a meticulously stop-motioned short film directed by Tom O'Meara.
Tom, who specialises in storytelling filled with "charm, craft and fun", brings a homespun wholesomeness to the project as he shoots a model of the line's rolling stock whizzing through the northern landscape and entertaining crowds. It's an upbeat, endearing film that indicates that the route is, as the overall project name suggests, "on track to better".
No stranger to stop-motion animation, Tom is a graduate of the RCA Thomas who worked on Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs'. In this animation, he packs the screen with playful detail where miniature models juxtapose the life-size props, such as guitars and fans that mirror the voiceover.
Meanwhile, the train which gallops across the Transpennine route is a perfect scale replica of its real-world counterpart. Painstakingly animated by hand, one frame at a time, the level of craft on display in the short results in a satisfyingly tactile film that reflects the care and attention that went into upgrading the Transpennine Main Line itself.
Tom said of the animation: "This project gave me the chance to create some really expansive landscapes. I loved recreating the Yorkshire Dales, Pennine mountains and northern cityscapes. To get close to the trains, we used a new periscope lens by Laowa. This is one of the first stop motion projects shot on the new glass."