Calvin’s comic capers win festival success

Calvin Dyson - won acclaim for his animated film
Calvin Dyson - won acclaim for his animated film

A film made by a former Brighouse student Calvin Dyson has been shortlisted for a prestigious international festival.

‘The Bride of Vernon’, a 15-minute animated film, was made by Calvin and his friend and collaborator Jonathan Dyson as part of their final year degree project at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Poster for The Bride of Vernon.

Poster for The Bride of Vernon.

A former pupil at St Andrew’s Infants and Junior Schools and Brighouse High School, 23-year-old Calvin wrote and directed the film. It took 18 months of work to create the 15-minute stop-motion animation which was screened this week at the six-day Anibar International Animation Festival in Kosovo.

‘The Bride of Vernon’ has attracted the support of top acting talent with Katherine Parkinson, from The IT Crowd, Dan Clark of BBC’s How Not to Live Your Life, and David Schofield, who has appeared in Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean and An American Werewolf in London, providing the voices. It has already won prizes, taking the Cobbetts UK Short Film Award at the Manchester Film Festival and an award at the Leeds Young Filmmakers Festival, both last year.

Calvin, who was brought up at Smithy Carr Lane, said: “I grew up loving films and I’ve always been mad about animation. As a kid I loved Disney films and Wallace and Gromit.

“We are thrilled that the animation is being recognised and is doing well on the festival circuit. When we were making it, we just wanted to get a good degree - we had no idea that all the time, hard work and creativity that we were putting into it would pay off like this. I’m very proud of the film and what we continue to achieve with it.”

‘The Bride of Vernon’ is an animated romantic comedy which has fun with the conventions of a horror film. Its main character, Vernon Van Dyke, is a young scientist who is trying to create the perfect bride with his Frankenstein experiments.

“He’s the worst mad scientist in the world!” said Calvin who undertook an internship with Disney after graduating.

“We really wanted to make sure we had actors who would put in great performances. We aimed high and sent the script to the agents of Katherine, Dan and David - and they all came back and said they wanted to do it. It wasn’t a paid job for them - they did it because they loved our script. We were very happy that they wanted to be part of it.”