educational film / 5 minutes
commissioned by deutsche bahn / 2007
Studio Soi got commissioned to create an educational film for children to prevent them from having accidents close to railroad tracks. Since some of Studio Soi‘s colleagues themselves played near the tracks when they were young we wanted to make a film that focuses more on an unlucky accident. We wanted to catch the feeling you experience when you, all of a sudden, lose control. When a thing you‘ve done for years suddenly becomes life threatening.
Our concept was to have two pillars to reach the children: the only purpose of the film was to create a feeling and dramatic excitement, we wanted to shock the kids. The educational aspect had to be covered by the material that were handed to the kids after they had witnessed an experience they felt threatened by and couldn‘t explain to themselves.
Thomas Bracht, Carsten Bunte, Bernhard Haux, Tanja Krampfert, Anna Kubik, Jan Lachauer, Perrine Marais, Klaus Morschheuser, Mathias Schreck, Jakob Schuh, Michael Sieber. Saschka Unseld, Johannes Weiland, Michael Sieber.
Here’s what Animation World Magazine wrote in 2007: The most painless educational film you may ever see is Oli’s Chance (“Lucky Oli”). If you’re living in Europe your child may actually see it before you do. It was produced by Studio Soi, makers of Annie & Boo and the show-opening, show-stopping spark plug Bunnies from The Animation Show year two, and it was commissioned by Deutsche Bahn AG as a public service to raise schoolchildren’s consciousness about railyard safety.
It’s learning without the hugging, and more dramatic than moralizing, skipping over didacticism and getting to real emotional truths. Directors Saschka Unseld and Johannes Weiland have created fantastic 3D environments full of sunbeams and late-afternoon particulate matter, backed with impressionistic cloud backdrops and seen through an organically hovering hand-held camera. The character designs are untethered by realism, with friendly cartoon proportions that earn quick sympathy. Most startling of all is the acting — the facial articulation is so keen, the movements so subtle, and the animators’ choices so right, a whole panoply of emotions is communicated with the smallest gestures."
Studio Soi also contributed additional educational materials to Deutsche Bahn AG and Stiftung Lesen. After pupils watch Lucky Oli the materials help them understand how accidents on railyards can happen so unexpectedly.
by Jakob Schuh
Oli’s Chance was nominated for the Cartoon d’Or in 2007 as one of the Best European Shorts. The film won Tricks for Kids at International Trickfilmfestival in Stuttgart 2006 // Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival SICAF 2007 // Deutscher Wirtschaftsfilmpreis 2006, Sonderpreis für besondere künstlerische Leistung sowie Runner-Up Kategorie Nachwuchs // Sarasota Filmfestival 2008. The short was nominated in at Annecy International Animated Film Festival // SIGGRAPH 2007 // Chicago International Children’s Filmfestival 2007 // Imagina 2007 // Anima 2007 // KROK Festival 2007 and for the Goldener Spatz 2007 as best animated short film for children.