Tuesdays with “TIM”

First, let me extend a hearty THANK YOU to those of you who may have given TIM a financial pledge in the past few days on Kickstarter! Over the weekend, we jumped up over $5000 in pledges!

Today I wanted to share some thoughts with you about the art that has been the face of my film from the beginning. Appropriately, it was also the first painting I did in the development of TIM. My producing partner Brian Joseph Ochab and I needed something that could very quickly say what our project was all about while invoking the spirit of the animated projects of Tim Burton.


Chad Frye Illustration Guy
Chad Frye at his drafting desk working on an original watercolor painting for “TIM”.


Anyone familiar with those Burton produced films can easily see in this piece the influence primarily from The Nightmare Before Christmas. While it may feel as though it is directly out of that movie, I was careful to put my own hand in it. Brian and I did sit and watch Nightmare together, and while sitting there in front of the television with a sketchbook in my lap, the following extremely rough drawing spilled forth:


Burton-esque Cemetary
1. The first rough sketch. Notice the double moons? I was undecided on how large it should be and where it should go.


Drawings such as the one above are quick brain blorts of mine. It was probably whipped out in about a minute or two just to quickly get a visual idea on paper. That image mulled in my head for a few days to the point where it felt like there might be an idea there needing to be developed further. So, I grabbed my sketchbook again and did the following drawing:


TIM cemetary gate
2. The second pass at this idea, still just a sketchbook drawing.


It still wasn’t quite right, but that was it! Later I sat down at my drafting table and worked on a large tight pencil drawing on tracing paper choosing a low vantage point looking up at the cemetery gate and moon, add in a couple of jack-o-lanterns, and finesse the whole scene. You can see that originally I intended to include even more jack-o-lanterns than what appeared in the final, but later while working on the painting, they just felt excessive.


TIM the movie pencil art
3. The final actual size pencil drawing with all the details worked out.


From that final pencil drawing, I created the watercolor painting with a limited creepy color palette. That low vantage point was intentionally designed so that your eye is guided right up there to the title of the film, but also the use and placement of color and lighting was to achieve that same end result. Colored pencils were used to further tie things up and accent other details.


TIM development poster
4. The final watercolored painting along with the tagline direct from our script.


When I go to a museum to look at paintings, I love getting my nose up as close as I can without setting off alarms so that I can really see the details of what the artist had done. With that idea in mind, here are a few close-ups of the final painting. Enjoy!


The angel statue is a direct homage to the angel that “catches” Jack Skellington in Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas.”
You can really see how the colored pencil was utilized in the piece from this close-up.
And a close-up view of a jack-o-lantern showing every gritty paint and pencil stroke.


TIM is still very much in need of every pledge small and large if we are to reach our goal by March 29. If we don’t reach that goal, then all those fine and generous pledges will not be able to be fulfilled. The fate of our film is in YOUR hands! Click on any of the images above to come support TIM!