Mill+ was proud to partner with RPA to contribute to the Imaginary Friend Society, a collection of animated short films for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. As one of 20 kid-friendly films created by a variety of collaborators, ‘Losing Your Hair’ uses the power of design and character animation to educate and empower those navigating childhood cancer.
Directed by Lisha Tan of Mill+, ‘Losing Your Hair’ brings to life a colorful, 3D-animated imaginary friend named Jerry. With a lively attitude and plenty of props to go around, Jerry explains to children and their families what can happen as a result of chemotherapy and other treatments – and in his own comforting fashion, some ideas on what to do next.
In order to emulate the look and feel of claymation, the design and animation team created the film entirely in Cinema 4D. Lisha worked with Creative Director Justin Demetrician to execute the concept, conducting multiple tests and builds to reach the final product.
“We spent time researching and developing Jerry’s characteristics to get him to a place we were happy with,” says Creative Director Justin Demetrician. “He’s a unique character with an important message, so we needed to work through some technically challenging features: how to properly rig his arms; how to measure out just the right amount of ‘thumbprints’; how to smooth out the animation of his lips using a morph shape rig. We wanted to push the animation to a new level to deliver the best possible result.”
Lisha adds, “We’re honored to have had the opportunity to be part of this project. Not only was it a pleasure to work on a portion of it, but it was inspiring to see so many companies come together to create something bigger.”
The short film series premiered in Los Angeles during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Watch all 20 films on the Imaginary Friend Society website.