Ian Emes

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Ian Emes
Ian Emes 2005.jpg
Emes in 2005
Ian Ronald Emes

(1949-08-17) 17 August 1949 (age 71)
Birmingham, England
  • British Academy Award (3)
  • Palme d'Or Award
  • Oscar nomination
Patron(s)Pink Floyd

Ian Ronald Emes (born 17 August 1949) is a British artist and film director. He is known for using innovative and experimental film techniques, and for being Pink Floyd's original animator.[1]

Emes' animations have featured in major exhibitions, including Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains at the V&A (2017)[2] and the National Film Theatre Retrospective (1980). His works have also been used in live music tours, such as Roger Waters Us + Them (2017), David Gilmour Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2016) and Mike Oldfield's In Concert Tour (1980). He is the winner of three BAFTA Awards (1994, 2009, 2011), a Palme d'Or (1979), a British Animation Award (2014), and is an Emmy Award (2017) and Oscar Academy Award (1984) nominee.


Early career and Pink Floyd[edit]

After training at Birmingham College of Art, Emes' career began as a painter, sculptor, and kinetic artist.[1] In 1972 his experimental animated film French Windows[3] (set to Pink Floyd's One of These Days) was shown on the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test, bringing him to the attention of Rick Wright and subsequently Pink Floyd.[4] The "french windows" film was included as part of the box set, The Early Years 1965–1972.

Emes became the first filmmaker to create synchronized moving images for Pink Floyd. He laid the foundation for the band's future visuals and still remains influential to this day,[5] his graphic style evident in the large-scale digital animations used in Roger Waters' The Wall concert projections.

In 1974, the band commissioned animations of "Speak to Me", (the cardiogram and prism) "Time" (the flying clocks) and "On the Run" (twin towers explosion) by Emes to visualise The Dark Side of the Moon.[2]

His work is featured in the Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains exhibition,[2] the first international retrospective of the band. Presented by the V&A, Pink Floyd and Iconic Entertainment Studios.


During the late seventies, Emes created film sequences for numerous other musicians, including M.C. Escher-inspired animations for Mike Oldfield's In Concert Tour in 1980 and The Oriental Nightfish for Paul and Linda McCartney,[1] which received a Short Film Palme d'Or nomination at Cannes.[6] His Camden studio became world-famous for its ground-breaking visuals and in 1980 Emes was cited as Britain's foremost animator, his achievements celebrated in a Retrospective at the National Film Theatre (1980). Collaborations with musicians continued, notably, The Chauffeur for Duran Duran starring Perri Lister, and The Wall – Live in Berlin (1990), which was Roger Waters' first solo performance of the album, attended by the then largest concert audience of all time.[7] The interpretive film by Emes starred Rupert Everett, Ute Lemper and Marianne Faithful, and included sequences of the Marching Hammers projected onto the remains of the Berlin Wall.

Film & Television[edit]

Concurrently Emes diversified into live-action, writing and directing short films, amongst them the ballroom dancing comedy Goodie Two Shoes (1983), produced by Jeff Katzenberg then of Paramount Pictures, for which Emes received an Oscar nomination and a BAFTA Award.[8]

A career in film and television followed, including the series How to Be Cool starring Roger Daltrey, adapted by Emes from the book by Philip Pullman (author of The Golden Compass), Streetwise starring Andy Serkis (1989), and The Invisible Man (2000) for Universal Studios.[9]

In 1987 Emes wrote and directed his feature debut Knights & Emeralds, produced by Sir David Puttnam for Goldcrest Films and Warner Brothers.[10] Television movies include the cult film The Yob (1987) for The Comic Strip starring Keith Allen,[11] The Munsters' Scary Little Christmas[12] produced by John Landis and the critically acclaimed Deadly Summer (1997).[citation needed]

In the mid-nineties, Emes became an in-house director for Ridley Scott at Ridley Scott Associates.[1]


  • ECHOES, No 20 Arts (2018)
  • Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains, V&A (2017)
  • On the Run, City Gallery, Wroclaw (2016)
  • Ikons' Icons, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2015)
  • This Time Tomorrow, Ray Davies, Konk Gallery, London (2014)
  • Time, BIAD, Birmingham (2013)
  • One of These Days, Unit 24 Southbank, London (2012)
  • It Was a Thursday Night, The Horse Hospital, London (2010)
  • National Film Theatre Retrospective, London (1980)


  • Roger Waters Us + Them, US Tour (2017)
  • David Gilmour European Tour, Royal Albert Hall, London (2016)
  • Mike Oldfield In Concert Tour (1980)
  • Pink Floyd, Knebworth (1976)
  • Pink Floyd World Tour, The Hollywood Bowl (1975)
  • Pink Floyd, Empire Pool Wembley (1974)


  • The Endless River, Pink Floyd (2019)
  • Nothing Part 14, Pink Floyd (2016)
  • The War of the Worlds, Jeff Wayne (2013)
  • Rats (2001)
  • The Invisible Man, Universal Studios (2000)
  • Deadly Summer, C5 (Feature Film) (1997)
  • The Munsters, Universal Studios (Feature Film) (1996)
  • In-House Director, Ridley Scott Associates (1992 - 1998)
  • The Wall: Live in Berlin, Roger Waters (1990)
  • How to be Cool, Granada, Phillip Pullman (1989)
  • The Yob (Feature Film), The Comic Strip - C4 (1987)
  • Knights and Emeralds (Feature Film), David Puttnam, Warner Bros (1986)
  • The Box of Delights, BBC (1985)
  • Goodie Two Shoes, Jeff Katzenberg (DreamWorks), Paramount Pictures (1983)
  • The Magic Shop (1982)
  • The Chauffeur, Duran Duran (1982)
  • The Beard (1979)
  • Hyde (1979)
  • The Oriental Nightfish, Paul and Linda McCartney (1978)
  • Hearts Right, Roger Daltry (1976)
  • Tubular Bells, Mike Oldfield (1975)
  • The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd (1974)
  • One of These Days, Pink Floyd (1973)

Awards and Nominations[edit]

  • Emmy Nomination (2017)
  • British Animation Award Winner (2014)
  • BAFTA Award Winner (2011)
  • BAFTA Award Winner (2009)
  • BAFTA Award Nomination (2002)
  • RTS Directing Award (1989)
  • RTS Design Award (1989)
  • BAFTA Award Winner (1984)
  • Oscar Nomination (1984)
  • Palme d'Or Winner (1979)
  • Award de Qualité (1979)

Personal life[edit]

Ian Emes was born in Handsworth, Birmingham, England. He was educated at Marsh Hill Boys Grammar Technical School in Birmingham's Erdington district and then studied at Birmingham College of Art. He now lives in London.


  1. ^ a b c d "Birmingham School of Art : Ian Emes". www.bcu.ac.uk. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Pink Floyd V&A Exhibition: Nick Mason Discusses The Iconic Items Set For 'Their Mortal Remains'". NME. 8 September 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  3. ^ Pink Floyd: One of These Days (1972), retrieved 28 June 2017
  4. ^ Young, Graham (6 December 2013). "The young artist from Birmingham who was ahead of his time". birminghampost. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  5. ^ "The Essential Pink Floyd: Movies, Music Videos, Concert Animation And More". Decider | Where To Stream Movies & Shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant, HBO Go. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  6. ^ 1978 Cannes Film Festival
  7. ^ Kirschbaum, Erik (7 November 2014). "Rocking the Wall -- The Berlin Concert that Changed the World". Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  8. ^ Goodie-Two-Shoes (1984), retrieved 28 June 2017
  9. ^ The Invisible Man (TV Series 2000–2002), retrieved 28 June 2017
  10. ^ Knights & Emeralds (1986), retrieved 28 June 2017
  11. ^ "The Comic Strip Presents..." The Yob (TV Episode 1988), retrieved 28 June 2017
  12. ^ The Munsters' Scary Little Christmas (TV Movie 1996), retrieved 28 June 2017

External links[edit]