If you thought you could not get an emotional reaction by animating triangles, Tom Jobbins’ video for Hiatus’s We Can Be Ghosts Now will make you think again. The track is based upon a story of a couple trying to find each other amid the Twin Towers disaster – and Tom has translated this into a sort of geometric retelling of Romeo and Juliet in stop-motion animation, where two laser-cut triangles, one red and one blue, find each other amid warring blocks of red and blue squares.
Says Tom: “We wanted to keep its elements and emotion but without referencing the Twin Towers, after feeling the connotations surrounding this are too strong, so we decided to use simple geometric characters to abstract it, but still keep a level of empathy. It turned out to be a good decision as we could keep the action simple, which in turn kept the pace fast and the love story whole.
“I wanted to use a laser cut technique after touching upon the medium for my graduation film at the NFTS. The triangles turned out to be great actors, simple, but emotive. It was lucky we had such fantastic production design (John Jobe Reynolds) and cinematography (Matthias Pilz) it really gave the story that epic edge. This was an impressive task as the triangles themselves were only two centimetres tall! Thanks goes out to all the incredible crew and to Film Club and Th1ng for their studio and support.”
And Cyrus Shahrad, aka Hiatus, is more than delighted with the result. “The song has been played on Radio 1, 6Music and XFM among other stations in the UK, but it’s the video that has been the real star,” he declares. “To my mind, Tom has done the impossible, turning mournful subject matter into a geometric stop motion animation that manages to be as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking. Tom and a small unpaid team of friends worked flat out for months on the project, squeezing in night shoots around day jobs and freelance commissions, and calling in favours to get the thing finished. I personally think it’s a masterpiece and believe that it deserves all the attention it can get.”