Late Night Work Club is a collective of artists and animators who are collaborating to create some really exciting indie animation.

Here’s the trailer for their first anthology: Ghost Stories.

Scott Benson is the fearless leader of the Late Night Work Club and in true LNWC style, he responded to our questions at 4am.

Animation Ideas: Tells us what the LNWC project is all about? To me it sounds like LNWC is to animation what Flight was to comics. Any parallels there?

Scott Benson: It’s about getting talented independent animators together and making great stuff.

There are some parallels to comic anthologies. I remember last spring I was flipping through an issue of NoBrow and thinking “the stuff in here is basically the comic version of the kind of animation I like and that people I know make”.

There’s this whole world of animation happening online that’s really idiosyncratic and smart and personal and honest and just plain weird. I guess this project is about saying “Hey! This scene exists! Online! Right now! Get into it! It’s not just people far away and more experienced than you! It’s you! It’s your scene too!”

AI: What are the influences on LNWC?

SB: Everyone involved has their own points of reference, but I tend to go back to discovering punk rock and DIY culture when I was a teen in the 90s. That kind of saved me at that age, and instilled this idea of making your own thing, making your own scene, just doing something because it means something to you, and doing it right.

Tons of people already do that in animation. We do that, so we thought it would cool to do something together.

I remember back then I would get these free CDs from tiny indie labels, obviously packaged in someone’s living room by a bunch of friends. Hand-made inserts, some pictures the one person who could draw did, burned discs with paper labels. They would have all of these bands on the back and you’d go through each of them, get introduced to some new bands and seek them out. LNWC is kind of like that.

AI: So is it a film festival? A mixed tape? How would you describe it?

SB: Less a mini film fest, more a compilation of artists you should check out, follow and support.

The hope is that other people copy this and do it themselves. Don’t wait for an outside reason to do it. Just do it, take it seriously and do it right.

AI: Where did Ghost Stories come from? Is there a progression of themes you’d like to tackle?

SB: Ghost Stories was the first idea for a theme and everyone just smiled really big and nodded their heads. Who doesn’t have one to tell? There is a .txt file with other theme ideas, so hopefully we’ll tackle those in the future.

AI: Presumably this is the first of more anthologies. What’s your schedule looking like?

SB: Assuming everything goes well, there will most certainly be more LNWC projects in the future. We’ll see how it goes, but we’re not really going anywhere. What else are we going to do?

AI: How did you reach out to the animators involved? Did you know them all in real life, or are some just folks you connected with on the internet? Aside from being ass-kickingly good, is there any way to volunteer or contribute to LNWC?

SB: Everyone was a friend or a friend of a friend or someone we just kinda knew online. Mostly internet friends, I think. We’re scattered across the world.

A few people we just cold-called and said “I love your work. You into this?”. We ended up with something like an 80% yes rate, so it got big quickly.

AI: Any advice for animators who want to do something similar?

SB: If anyone really wants to be a part of something like this, I would say that they should get something going on their own or with some friends. LNWC may be somewhat exclusive, but this community isn’t. So just get going! If you’re making your own stuff, you already are a part of it, so you know… act accordingly.

AI: Could you have done this project ten years ago without the internet? How has social media helped or hindered your progress?

SB: Nope! Social media has made this possible. Without twitter, Vimeo, Google Hangouts and whatnot there would be no project. There wouldn’t be regular conference chats between Charles Huettner, Eimhin McNamara, Eamonn O’Neill and I. We’ve never met, but some combo of us talk every few weeks, and every day on twitter. I sent them cookies at Christmas. Those conversations are what birthed LNWC. Thanks, internet!

Want to learn more? You can see the full roster of LNWC artists on the LNWC website.

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