Tuesdays with “TIM”

Yes, I know. It’s Monday. Our fundraising effort for TIM ends in the wee early hours (12:42am to be exact) of Tuesday morning for some of you, so I thought I’d post this week’s Tuesdays with TIM column today to give you one final look at some of my art created in the development of this short film before donation time runs out. For my Pacific coast friends, our fundraising on Kickstarter ends at 9:42pm TONIGHT!


Today I offer you an insider’s look at one of my illustrations showing Timothy Todd moping about in a cemetery dressed like his hero Tim Burton. The purpose for this development piece was to show the dichotomy of Timothy’s world. On the right, you can see the world he actually lives in. It’s a bright, cheery, and very straight-laced version of suburbia not unlike that portrayed in Burton’s Edward Scissorhands. The cemetery reflects the imagination of little Timothy Todd – an imagination that sees a dark, muted and skewed environment such as is common in a creepy Burton world.


Tim Burton kid
Timothy Todd ponders his youth well spent, while sitting atop the grave of Vincent.


In looking at the evolution of this illustration, you can see that I hadn’t quite figured out the two worlds. In the first drawing below, both the world of his imagination and that of his real life were depicted as eerily creepy. In looking at Tim Burton animation projects, it is hard to find a straight line anywhere in the creepy scenes. I had my “eureka” moment when watching The Nightmare Before Christmas – in the “real life” world where Christmas is celebrated, straight lines abound!


Tim Burton tribute
This was the first drawing that made Timothy Todd’s home look too creepy.


Having a different look for the “real life” world is necessary for our story not only to create the separation between Timothy’s life and his imagination, but it also helps you as the viewer to relate. Even though Timothy’s real world is cartoony, by having it be more straight and suburban, it reminds us of the suburbia we all see around us. So, in this next drawing, the house is made a bit more boring, and the picket fence was changed to define the yard. The car was just in the way.


Tim Burton parody
This second pass worked much better in showing the difference between the two worlds.


And then we get to the final watercolor & colored pencil illustration. Really, the only changes here are the addition of curly branches in the cemetery trees (which was always the plan), and a little dog in the yard. While it may be tough to tell in these scans, the tombstones all reflect past Tim Burton projects. Of course, little Timothy is sitting atop the tombstone for Vincent, the short animated film Burton made in the 1980s that we are parodying with TIM.


Tim Burton tribute parody
You can almost hear the voice of Christopher Lee, our wonderful narrator, speaking over this image.


This is your LAST day to lend us a hand by pledging some money to make TIM. To make this film become a reality, we need to hire professional puppet builders, miniature set builders, animators, and many other creative people. Stop-motion animated films require many different talents pooled together to make something special. You can click on any of the images above to go right to Kickstarter. Here is our promo video one last time:


Thank you so much for taking the time to look at these Tuesdays with TIM updates over the past two months. Even though our Kickstarter fundraising ends tonight, I’ll continue to have these updates periodically should we proceed with making TIM.