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Resident artist creates animated film on Diefenbunker

On Thursday, July 20, the Diefenbunker will unveil a film about the Diefenbunker, in the Diefenbunker.

Canadian Filmmaker Pixie Cram is the Diefenbunker Museum Artist in Residence for 2017. Her work, Emergency Broadcast, is a seven-minute, stop-motion production filmed entirely within the Diefenbunker.

“I really wanted to explore the idea of what would happen in a fallout scenario,” Cram told the West Carleton Review. “This project is a continuation of some of the themes I’ve worked on before. I wanted to do it with just the objects in the bunker. There’s something eerie about objects moving on their own.”

Cram’s residency started in January with her pre-work which included research, selecting props and other pre-production work. She started filming in April with some assistance from fellow animator Tina Le Moine. In June, Cram began working on sound editing with the help of audio engineer Kevin Komaranski.

“I took audio clips from the U.S. Civil Defense and CBC Emergency Broadcast archives,” Cram said. “In the event of the war, this is the actual audio that would have been used. Seventy per cent of the sound effects were created here with actual objects.”

Cram, who lives in Centretown in Ottawa, was born near the end of the cold war era in the mid 1970s. Her work includes fiction, animation, documentary films and art installations.

“Grew up in Ottawa and had always been fascinated with this place,” Cram said. “Being a filmmaker and visitor to the place, I saw the potential here. I always wanted to do a project here.”

In fact, Cram had done some filming in the Diefenbunker before.

“I wanted to use the blast tunnel entrance for a fictional film I was working on,” she said. “That scene was cut but I still wanted to work here and the residency was my entrance to it.”

Cram says the museum staff made it easy for her to complete her task.

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