The Imaginary Friends Project
I was so pleased when I was contacted by Alix Lambert and Rose Seyfried because I have been following and in awe of their work for a while. They were working on a series of shorts about notable people talking about their imaginary friends, to sell to prestige TV and short film festivals. I know, it's a brilliant idea, right?

We producsed several that ended up with Tinhouse before the project ran out of run. This is one of the most fun projects I've ever had the pleasure to be a part of.
Animating to vocal cues is harder than it looks, because you don't want to visually spoil what hasn't been said yet, so the animation is always reactionary, and it's a fine line: too anticipatory, and you end up revealing something too soon. Too late, and it comes off as sluggish and dull-witted. Calibrating the exact timing of a visual reveal to communicate a wry urbane witticism is no small feat.
Alix and Rose found and edited three Imaginary Friends scripts, and we started production as they went to sell them. I made the first, and my collaborator Marcy Stone-Francios made the second with art direction input from myself and the team.

We sketched on paper, created artboards and collages all in Photoshop, and then assembled and animated in After Effects.
The project is on hiatus, but the first few episodes have been featured in Tin House and as Showtime bumpers.
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All work copyright Joe Alterio © 2021 unless otherwise noted.