For the design of the the characters, I decided to go with the classic and instantly recognizable images of a Troll and a Wizard. I felt it best, in the case of this short film to not waste time establishing who these characters are, rather the audience should just know by their appearances who's who. My vision of how these character might appear in a feature length film is quite different.
When designing most things such as props, sets and mechanical rigs, I will most often draw sketches, but for characters I prefer clay because the ability to view a character sculpture from different angles is key to understanding their appearance as it will appear in motion.
When designing Trevor, I went directly into puppet construction, sculpting him only once because the image I had for him was quite clear in my mind. The Wizard Isomer was a different story, I knew basically what I wanted his face to look like but, a great deal of his character is represented by his costume. I wanted for it to have a feeling of royalty, not the typical understated robe of a mystic or monk. In the parent script TRUE MAGIC, Isomer is the lone occupant of the Takakjian Fortress which is seen in the short, and so his roll can be seen as not only a wizard but also as a kind of ruler or king.
I sculpted this 10" Sculpey design for Isomer prior to the puppet being constructed. The only change to the design was the cape because I couldn't find a leather or similar looking fabric that would move well enough for animation .In the script TRUE MAGIC, Isomers' personality is quite different from the gentle and wise part I wrote for him in 'Gravity'. He is a far more mysterious and intimidating character. The Takakjian Fortress was once occupied by a sophisticated and powerful society who ruled all of the known world for more than a thousand years. Then, for reasons unknown, they fell silent. The infrequent comings and goings of this wizard who's name is not know, is now the only living soul within the enormous castle. The plot of TRUE MAGIC is largly centered around the mystery of Isomers' identity and the fear and rumors about him in the Village Jhenn, Trevors' home which lies in the shadow of the Takakjian Fortress.
(Trivia- I picked the name Takakjian for the name of the fortress and its' people when I had writers' block and couldn't make up a name I liked so, I dropped in the last name of my good friend and writer director of the film Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor... Glenn Takakjian. After writing it in to the script numerous times, it stuck and will forever remain. Here's to you Glenn, Cheers!)