29 September, 2008

28 September, 2008

Table Reference

I want a fairly modern looking table to rest the bottle on. I like this first image for the base and the second for the shape of the tabletop. The organic shape of the base is inviting and draws the viewer's eye. It also looks as if it could be tipped if knocked into.

Background reference

What I'm thinking for a background is something simple. A long hall like these from the Milwaukee art museum. A long hall could represent the life line with the rafting equaling the notches of his life. And having it stark in contrast to the Dan's image shows that nothing in his life is as important as his own appearance. Plus it almost looks like a sci-fi hospital! I think that's why it was used as a setting for the "Lipitor" commercial too. Should be fairly easy to model as well, I can get away with using instances (Thanks Jeff!) for the supports to keep my geo down.

27 September, 2008

Thinkin bout research

Since this is all about death and humanity, I'm thinking I should begin my search with some info about how we humans psychologically deal with death and dying. Parallel that to my own experiences and find why the hell we're so afraid of it. Why each of us inherently quests for some kind of long life and strive to keep our youth. Or I could just be babbling...

Screenplay first draft

The first draft screenplay for Thanatol!
I think it's coming together nicely, now to beef up the dialog...


21 September, 2008

What's in a name. (part 2)

Have to come up with a name for this guy. Bob's overused, boring and doesn't fit. Dan, I think this guy's a Dan. Taken from Daniel, which I guess in the biblical sense means "God is my judge." I think that pertains quite nicely to my story. Dan it is.

How to technically do the transition from old to younger

A bright shiny light coming from within to mask the character swap or morph from one to the other? Still thinking...

Working outline

A: Opening
1. A bottle of Thanatol sits on a table in full frame.
2. The old man is seen grabbing the bottle, he looks it over but doesn't dwell on it.
3. Narrator begins to describe life and explains that we still grow old and
4. Character reacts to this revelation and pops a pill.

B: Conflict
1. Voice introduces “Thanatol” and its benefits.
2. Character de-ages becomes a younger (middle aged) arrogant man.
3. Narrator begins to list the harmful side effects.
4. Character is tortured by all the side effects.

C: Resolution
1. Character explodes/disintegrates/collapses, leaving only the eyeballs behind.
2. Logo treatment appears, final tag line is read. Ends w/ “Consult your mortician.”


This is really about death, dying and the inevitability of it all. Our inability to accept it and what we'll go through to prevent or delay it. The pill becomes a metaphor for our desire for an immediate solution to everything including staving off aging and death.

Target audience / Message

I'm really targeting average adult. We are so overwhelmed by media (TV,Movies,Games,Magazines, etc...) bombarding us with artificial means to keep our youth, that we forget that we're supposed to grow old and die. We've become so fixated on youth, that many will resort to anything to retain it. It really becomes a major psychological debate about the fear of death and dying and wanting to hold on to the past to the point where the present and old age can't be enjoyed for what they are. We forget that the real source of immortality is the imprint we leave on those who've survived us.

15 September, 2008

Video Reference

Character / Pace / Voice
Touch of Gray (Just for Men)

Character / Pace / Motion Graphics / Music / Voice
Lindsay Lohan (Proactive)

Pace / Motion Graphics / Music / Voice / Side Effects
Atherosclerosis (Crestor)

Character / Pace / Motion Graphics / Music / Side Effects
Human Heart (Lipitor)

Pace / Music / Side Effects
NSAID's Cardio Warning (Celebrex)

Pace / Animation / Voice / Tag Line
Depression (Zoloft)

Pace / Acting / Voice / Music / Side Effects
Gotta Go (Detrol LA)

Pace / Music / Acting / Side Effects
2 Sources (Vytorin)

14 September, 2008

Character color, tone, and texture

I'm going for the "soft real" look for the character. Similar to Presto and more recent incarnations of Pixar's characters. I really think this tone lends to creating human characters that feel more real yet retain their cartoon sensibilities.

Character reference

Not just for look, but overall feel of what I'm going for in the characters. John McCain makes a angry old man!

And for the younger version...

What's in a name...

Ah yes, the title... I chose Thanatol as it's rooted from the Greek word Thanatos, meaning death. The -ol I just tacked on to make it sound like a pill. Originally I thought of Thanatin, but I found that Thanatin already exists as a particularly potent pesticide. Other options included: Thanatyl, Thanatose, Thanatonin, Thanator, and my other favorite; Thanatoft. But I may get sued for that one.


It's all 3D baby! Modeling, rigging, animating done in MAYA. Compositing and titles in Aftereffects. I'll have to out source the titles to somebody else, I suck at those.

Narration notes

The narrator’s voice, should be even tempered and cool in tone. The idea is to create the straight man, funny man relationship between the two characters, the narrator and the victim. It is important to note that the narrator must not drive the comedy. In order for this to be successful, the acting of the victim must drive the emotion. Which is why I wish the narrator to be as dry and as possible.

Thoughts on story and color

Traditionally we hold true the notion that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Therefore, I've chosen to have the eyes remain colored throughout the short. The idea is that they possess the only thing immortal about man; the soul. This keeps to my theme that any artificial means of elongating the life of the body is futile as we all die. The only thing that lives on is our spirit. Not necessarily in the religious sense, but the intangible spirit of who we are that is imprinted on our surviving friends, family, culture. So the eyes become a visual metaphor for the soul in surviving the whole ordeal.

Color notes

The setting will be a stark, sterile void. Just a plain floor and area around the character. This is meant to contrast the character who is brightly colored in appearance. As the character progressively is affected by the drug; his color eventually fades to the point where by the time his body suffers rigor mortis, all color has faded from it. The exception being his eye color which remains as they have been removed from his body. It also focuses all attention on the acting of the character. The pill color will be a cool color, inviting to the senses and not threatening or dangerous.

Camera notes

Camera shots will range from full to medium, focusing on the character’s full body in motion. Close ups will be used where emphasis on facial expression is needed. The opening frame will be on the bottle resting on the table.

Background description

An empty white space, simple background.

An end table sits off to the side w/ the bottle set on it for the character to interact with.

Character description

He must be proud, tall, fit, confident/arrogant, well dressed, clean cut, middle aged/mid 50’s.

Resembling the douche bag yuppie from the, “Don’t trust anyone over 90 Touch of grey,” spot.

The audience must be sickened by this guy, but seduced by the product so they appreciate/enjoy what’s happening to him, and not to feel sorry for him.

By the end he must be broken down to show his humility.


Spot opens on the product bottle sitting on a small end table, a hand swipes bottle as the camera pulls back, revealing a middle aged yuppie looking guy. He pops a tab by tossing it up and snatching it out of the air with his tongue like a frog. Our man then smirks like an ass, and dusts himself off feeling vigorous and proud.