Ten years ago, in 2010, I sat in an Algebra I Class, doodling in a notebook. I was a freshman in college, and honestly, math just did not interest me. I was more interested in English, History, Science, Theater… Anything but math.
I had previously drawn single-panel comics about shape characters (Square Hold Round Peg, 2010), then I stepped up to single-panel comics about food characters (Food For Thought, 2011), but I then wanted to do more, expand my boundaries, and make something of this. I had decided on a name.
Food For Thought.
I wrote several names of different foods down, and then human names next to them. They were all alliterative, memorable, and unique. I then decided on four core characters:
Ben Banana. Artie Apple. Toby Tangerine. Paulie Pineapple.
On and off over the next few years I worked to flesh out this vast list of names and food types and gave them something more personal to separate them from just any anthropomorphic food: character. I gave them all jobs, likes, dislikes, a place to live, and I started to pair them off with one another and put them in groups. I drew them all countless times, and tried to capture the essence of the characters I had written about in each one.
History. Just who were the main characters?
Challenges. What was the conflict?
Goals. What would this all be about in the end?
After stewing on this idea, having it percolate and fizz in my mind, I realized in 2013 that I had the makings of a series on my hands:
I created my core and tertiary characters.
I had written over sixty possible episode synopses.
I made a seven-minute half-pilot (now shortened to five) using pencil, paper, a scanner, and a computer.
I visited animation studios and talks with show creators and animators, taking copious notes, and even made friends and contacts along the way that have helped my even to this day.
In my spare time I had not only made a few doodles and names in a notebook, but I had fleshed out a story in my mind that not only has a clear arc, but option to live on past that arc if need be.
I present to you this proof of concept in the video link below: Food For Thought: Butter Blues:
“A Proof of Concept for the series “Food For Thought”, created by Jesse Hecht.
The series centers on two friends, friendly photographer Ben Banana and womanizing tour guide Artie Apple, living in a new apartment with hyperactive tech-savvy Toby Tangerine and soft-spoken chef Paulie Pineapple.
Together, they help their community, swim through the dating pool, get into technological and scientific hi-jinks, and survive living together under one roof. Things are further complicated by the frequent appearances of the Meat Mob, the Nut Nomads, corrupt city officials, and others they meet who want to disrupt the harmony of their lives.
© 2020 Jesse Hecht C.R.E.A.T.I.V.E.”
If someone asked me what my magnum opus would be, I would show them this post.
I would show them how far I have come.
I believe that true, great art is not just the masterpiece seen in an art gallery, or the movie that wins the academy award, or the song that wins the golden record, but it’s the sketches, the unused takes, the demos, the initial idea – the true great art of our time is the creative process. The time, blood, sweat, tears, care given, hugs given, and the love carefully placed into the project… The love. Isn’t that what life is truly about, and why we are all here today?
What Food For Thought will ultimately be about is love and the perseverance of the heart. The choices we make and the things we lose along the way. The ideologies we create and strive to believe in no matter what. It’s about letting go of the past and moving on towards of the future, while not forgetting the lessons that made us who we are today. It’s about learning to treat others with more love, respect, and kindness. It’s about being positive and never giving up. Life is a delicate balance of all of these things.
In this show, heart, humor, action, adventure, dark themes, and fun will all be balanced in an effort to make something truly meaningful. To help people think about life, and what it means to not just the group, but to the individual as well.
And it’s about four food people trying to live in an apartment together.
Just a little food for thought…
© Jesse Hecht C.R.E.A.T.I.V.E. 2020