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The Late Night Work Club debut Ghost Stories

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After months of waiting, Late Night Work Club released their first compilation of shorts – Ghost Stories. The trailer for the project debuted back in January this year and since then the team have been working hard to create an incredible, 40-minute animation anthology.

(Visit the Vimeo page if you wish to tip the video)

The Late Night Work Club is a group of talented animators who work in various areas of the animation spectrum. The brilliant club is made up of Dave Prosser, Charles Huettner, Sean Buckelew, Ciaran Duffy, Conor Finnegan, Scott Benson, Jake Armstrong, Erin Kilkenny, Caleb Wood, Louise Bagnall , Eamonn O’Neill and Alex Grigg, alongside various other members – who while not able to contribute to Ghost Stories will be involved with further projects – as well as talented sound designers and musicians David Kamp and SCNTFC.

Ghost Stories is a brilliant, eccentric culmination of creative animations revolving around the themes of ghosts, death or some form of the supernatural. Whether it’s driving off a cliff or drowning in your own filth, the compilation manages to deliver in every single sense. Each director brings their own inventive style to their work as a way of keeping you absorbed in each and every piece. The amount of detail  put into each piece is incredible, even to the point where there is a special Ghost Stories ident in between each short!

While each director has their own style, most make brilliant use of clear geometrical shapes, creating clean, sharp visuals that reflect the narratives perfectly, matched with the use of bright or neon colours which gives a strong impact on any audience member. Though each member uses both shapes and colour in their own unique way to tell the story and every way is effective.

The anthology kicks off with I Will Miss You by Dave Prosser. Prosser is no newbie to the animation world and is one of the talented folks behind the BAFTA-winning, Oscar nominated Studio AKA. I Will Miss You tells the story of a man’s experiences with the internet and in particular GIF’s. Prosser makes brilliant use of primary colours to drive the story forwards. An awesome short to kick it off!

I Will Miss You by David Prosser

I Will Miss You by David Prosser

We then continue onto Charles Huettner’s The Jump. Huettner is a man with the imagination of ten men! His work includes a large variety of experimental work in both 2D and 3D. Though I’m not sure what software he uses, perhaps he could tell us one day ( The Jump tells the story of a boy and a girl who jump into the souls of the dead to see just how they died. The animation is perfect and the story had me hooked from the very beginning. The brilliant way the story is told keeps you intrigued as to just where it will go.


The Jump by Charles Huettner

We then proceed to The American Dream by Sean Buckelew. Buckelew is an animator residing in LA. He’s soon to be studying at the highly acclaimed CalArts. Sean’s piece stands out from the crowd for all the right reasons. While many of the pieces in Ghost Stories make use of bright colours, clean shapes and a high usageof digital work. The American Dream is a completely greyscale animation which uses the good old pencil to it’s maximum potential. Buckelew’s hand drawn style shows the highly applaudable amount of effort he has put into each drawing and the skill he poses. Everything about this piece screams perfect and will leave you wanting more. The lovely design, the unusual camera angles, and the thought- provoking character who also narrates her journey through this short.


The American Dream by Sean Buckelew

Fourth up is the brilliant – Mountain Ash, the only piece with two directors. Directed by Jake Armstrong & Erin Kilkenny, Mountain Ash presents a very charming and delightful story that might even leave you smiling by the end. The characters that Armstrong and Kilkenny have managed to create will keep you engrossed from start to finish. Everyone loves an animal animation and this one uses the charming animalistic features to it’s deliver a brilliant piece.


Mountain Ash by Jake Armstrong and Erin Kilkenny

Next up, Rat Trap by Caleb Wood. Caleb Wood is an independent animator residing in Minnesota. If you’ve not seen Wood’s work before, Rat Trap is the perfect summary of it. Rat Trap is a very abstract and intense piece. Certainly the most abstract piece out of all the stories. Wood makes brilliant use of typography giving his film a very dark and fierce piece. The use of wording really defines the tone for the rest of the film.

Louise Bagnall’s Loose Ends is a minute and a half of brilliant, fluid animation. Every scene is a treat. Loose Ends tells the story of a woman who has trouble moving on. It reflects the struggles we all often have and it’s narrative structure creates a great amount of sympathy for our character. Moving on is never easy and Bagnall shows us this with her poetic animation. Bagnall is able to deliver the message of the film in a nice short and sweet animation and communicate all the feelings and emotions of the main character from the very beginning.


Loose Ends by Louise Bagnall

Now we’re half way through when we get to Alex Grigg’s Phantom Limb. Grigg is an incredibly talented animator and has the experience to prove it. He’s worked with companies such as Cartoon Network and the NSPCC. Now as the title hints at, it tells the story of a woman who lost an arm in a tragic accident and her partner starts seeing the ghost of the arm in all sorts of places! While it may sound comedic, it is actually extremely powerful and emotional. The animation is stunning and uses a nice pallete of colours. The animation beautifully builds up tension and mystery along with some incredibly engaging characters. A very moving piece with a heartfelt ending.


The Phantom Limb by Alex Grigg

Conor Finnegan’s short – Asshole is a much more light-hearted piece compared to the rest. Finnegan gained a lot of attention earlier this year for his short film – Fear of Flying and now he’s back to deliver another masterpiece! As you can tell from the title, this short is a much more playful and comical piece. The animation really reflects the tone of the piece with the much brighter lighting and the nice use of geometric shapes to help create comedy.


Asshole by Conor Finnegan

Only three left, and this time we turn to Ombilda by Ciaran Duffy. Ombilda is another greyscale animation which uses this black and white to the highest potential. The use of greyscale really contributes to the film’s tone of isolation and loneliness and gives quite a cold chill to the film. The main character’s design makes him very appealing for the audience and we take to him as a very gentle guy. This reflects the entire piece as the atmosphere is very soft and mellow.


Ombilda by Ciaran Duffy

Eamonn O’Neill’s Post Personal comes to life. O’Neill gained a lot of attention earlier this year after his BAFTA nomination for his short film – I’m Fine Thanks. Post Personal shares some similarities with I’m Fine Thanks and before even looking at the credits, I could tell this was O’Neill. Post Personal’s use of various shades of blue gives the short a very futuristic look to it all. This futuristic look is assisted by the voices which sound extremely edited to give a very computerised style. The use of very bright, stand out-ish colours such as blue and pink really gives the film a big impact against white backgrounds.


Post Personal by Eamonn O’Neill

And last but certainly not least – Scott Benson’s Last Lives. Benson is the original founder of Late Night Work Club as well as being an independent animator. Benson’s style is clear from the very first frame. The use of neon colours to make an object look as if it is glowing. Placed on top of a very dark foreboding background shows a beautiful contrast to make certain objects stand out.  His use of shapes creates a very stylised image and keeps everything nice and clean. Benson’s futuristic storyline creates a deep sense of mystery as well as slowly building up tension to a dramatic point. It will surely keep you engaged throughout.


Last Lives by Scott Benson

The best part about Ghost Stories is that there’s something for everyone. The themes of death, ghosts and ghouls often lessens a piece to something of horror or something quite dark however the Late Night Work Club have managed to produce an anthology with variety, and completely breaking away from the trend.

Late Night Work Club is a completely unique group within the animation community. It’s also fairly new. Ghost Stories is the first piece produced from the LNWC and after watching it and reviewing it, I can definitely say – if this is their first project together, then I cannot wait to see how they’ll top it! A poetic, creative, entertaining mashup of all things brilliant about animation. An incredible way to launch this new club to the world!

See more work on the club’s Tumblr here

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