“Hopkins & Delaney LLP” Reveals the Odd Allure of the Corporate, Bureaucratic Office
On first watch, Sean Buckelew‘s animated short Hopkins & Delaney LLP might seem like a slice-of-like portrayal of the daily grind of corporate life, but underneath the facade of simplicity hides something much more complex. In the short, Buckelew forgoes a typical narrative structure and instead presents his story, which is about a busy law office who gets a visit from a client accused of copyright infringement, in a loose way that sits back and merely observes its subjects. In a long essay posted on Medium, Buckelew explains the concept of the film, including some interesting ideas on tropes:
I wanted to make a movie about an office space with cubicles that rebels against the traditional depictions of these kinds of spaces. I think animation is particularly guilty of this trope, but it extends to culture more broadly. I was thinking about those shots in movies where it’s just a grid of workers sitting like drones at computers (and how the one guy who breaks free is the hero). What if all the workers were doing cancer research? Then the one guy who breaks free is the asshole and the workers represent the excitement of human progress and ingenuity.
It’s clear a lot of thought has been put into this. Even the Hopkins & Delaney LLP tumblr page is full of fake Facebook profiles, webpages, and chat conversations created to fill in the plot and tie the intricacies of the story together for those who need it. Of course, if you’re the type of person who likes to judge things as they are, you might come to an entirely different conclusion.