Growing up in the south of the Netherlands I had an amazing youth, always playing around in the woods. You could say the vibes of stand by me and even It come to mind minus the freaky clown. That amazing feeling of adventure always stuck with me in perhaps a nostalgia kind of way. I grew up on Stephen King books and watched tons of horror movies. Since a few years I found my real passion and that is making stories come to life.
WhatKilledTimmyBenson is such a story.
A few things happened that made me start this movie. I had a band for 12 years and we had a lot of fun, played at amazing places met my wife at a show and had lifechanging experiences. Alas everything ends eventually that is without saying but it came so abruptly with some great songs on the shelf so it was not the best of endings and never had a feeling of closure.
So I had time on my hands but sadly that was not the only thing. My now wife was struggling with depression for years already and it was painful to watch her suffer. It strained our relationship to extremes and without an idea how to support her our situation became very bad. I needed an outlet to keep myself from going under.
Around that dark time I had a nightmare and man I love a good one. I can't remember much except the last visual image. It grabbed me and stuck with me. It often came back to me and I knew I had to do something with it so it became the last shot of the movie.
At the time I had a colleague who was an amazing artist, a great animator and lots more. I hate those people, those naturals :D But they give you drive to do better so the ingredients were aligning.
I had an immense desire and drive to create, the time was available, there was a darkness in my thoughts and an image that would not leave me alone. So I decided to do the thing I had no experience in what so ever...make a 3D animated horror short film.
The depression part inspired me to fuse some kind of metaphor into the story. The feeling of drowning.
I kept a blog about the whole creation process of the animation at www.whatkilledtimmybenson.blogspot.com.
Here you can find more in depth making off and frustrating rants about the ordeal.
It was all worth it at the end and I am very happy with how it all turned out. I knew I was never able to get to a level of Pixar and that was never my intention. My idea was to make something small, something dark and adult, something that I personally would love to see.
Animation as in the proces of animating will honestly never be my thing and I can say frankly that I only did it to tell a story. 3D animation is something you can control and is manageable within the limitations of your ability of course. It provides freedom to create and adjust until one is satisfied.
The making of this film gave me relief, stress, and so much joy even though the struggle. It is dark as F but it gave me something so I could cope.
My wife and I are all good now and happily married for almost 4 and together for almost 19 years.... the darkness she carries with her will always be a part of our lives but it is manageable now.
When I was in the proces of creating the short I needed to expand the world of Timmy Benson. I created a whole story around the mysterie of his death and especially what happens next. It is my dream to someday make it happen. It could be such a vibrant fantastic whodunit horror story. I will hopefully collaborate with some people in the future and who knows what will happen.
Thanks for getting this far, I appreciate it. Don't hesitate to drop me a line if you have questions about something.
Those struggling with depression, get help! We did and it changed everything.