Ghosts is a captivating, provocative and ultimately moving film providing a timely comment on the millions disabled by WW1, in the aftermath of which, cities and countries witnessed enormous numbers of their young returning, alive, but permanently injured. In this short film a cast of disabled veterans from across the spectrum of WW1 awake and prepare for the day ahead. Using motion captured 3D characters and set on a minimal battlefield the characters, based on historic photographs, chat, eat, play sport and dance. Mckeown presents a warm and poignant perspective on war and disability as he offers up an unexpected take on the legacies of war and disability in Europe today. The disability of WW1 is familiar to us all in more than one sense.

  • Simon Mckeown
    Motion Disabled
  • Simon Mckeown
  • Tim Brunton
    Key Cast
  • Simon Mckeown
    Key Cast
  • Craig McMullen
  • Simon Mckeown
  • Series Producers Judith Knight & Deborah May
  • David Archbold, Vincent Burns & Conor Doyle
  • Music Director Ellen Brookes
  • Arthur Bliss String Quartet in A Major performed by Enigma String Quartet
  • Danny McCormack
    Sound Recording
  • Nigel Crookes, Teesside University
    Sound Design
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short, Television
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 1, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Shooting Format:
    Animation & motion capture
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Picture This Film Festival
    March 16, 2015
    Channel Four - Broadcast - UK
    Performance Under Ten Minutes
Director Biography - Simon Mckeown

Simon Mckeown is an award winning internationally exhibiting artist renowned for his work which touches on and considers disability as well as our digital futures.

His latest work 'Preserved Memories' featured in the media, including the UK's Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail and in Ireland on NewsTalk Radio in Ireland as well as UK Radio in the UK.

In September 2015 he presented a huge outdoor event entitled ‘Cork Ignite’ which was an international commission, conceived during 2013 and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Cork City Council with partners National Sculpture Factory and Create Ireland. Additionally, the project was supported by Arts Council England and Teesside University. It represents a culmination of many of his research interests including, large scale complex outdoor projection, theatrical works, soundscapes, water and collaboration with disabled artists. It was premiered in Cork and played out to an audience of around 10,000. He has worked in film, television and computer games and is an expert in motion capture, as used in 'Ghosts'.

Mckeown is a Principal Lecturer (Reader) in the School of Arts and Media at Teesside University.

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Director Statement

'Ghosts' is an award winning short film, which looks at disability as generated by World War One. As we commemorate The Battle of the Somme which represents a European disaster in so many ways, I am reminded that whilst we often talk about the dead, we don't often reflect on the disabled population that was created by this and related WW1 events. Service men and women from countries all around the world were disabled in huge numbers at this time. In 2014 I created, with a fantastic team, an award-winning animation to commemorate the service personnel, up to 21 million of them, injured by war and who are as a result our disabled forefathers.