Tinfoil Project .pdf
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What does it take to let you breathe?
“Do not hold your breath for anyone,
Do not wish your lungs to be still,
It may delay the cracks from spreading,
But eventually they will.
Sometimes to keep yourself together
You must allow yourself to leave,
Even if breaking your own heart
Is what it takes to let you breathe.”
― Erin Hanson
Tinfoil can be classified as a psychological thriller more than a
“classic” horror TV Show. Nevertheless, it contains some triggering issues,
such as suicide, toxic relationships and depression; hence would be
targeting a mature audience. On the TV Parental Guidelines system, it would
be rated as
TV-MA (17 and older). As many other TV Shows in the same genre,
Tinfoil would be projected on FX at night, meaning around 10:30 P.M. to be
(more or less) sure to target a mature audience. The goal to project this
show at this slot is also to immerse the viewer into the dark and heavy
atmosphere of Tinfoil
The TV Serial would be a
miniseries made of 10 episodes of 52 minutes
each, and would consist in only one season. There would be one episode
released every Friday, with two advertisement-breaks every 20-ish minutes
so that it will keep the viewer in suspense.
Daniel’s ex girlfriend mysteriously disappears after their last encounter.
By digging into the conundrum, he realizes that he might be trapped in the
same situation as she were.
Why this show? Why now?
In the 1980s, the mind of criminals became a prominent field of
investigation for the police, and especially the FBI. Indeed, with the
mediatisation of serial killers like Charles Manson, they wanted to dive
into the psychology of monsters in order to understand how they act, who
they target and why, so that they could prevent such events to happen
again. Those services were the more prone to do so, for the reason that
they were the first entities to be in touch with criminals, and with
perversity as a whole. As a consequence, police officers and FBI members
had to follow a different type of formation, which consisted in psychology
and criminology classes. Many professions started to emerge as well, such
as profilers. In that respect, one of the first movie to involve this
mindset was the
Silence of the Lambs (1991), a worldwide commercial success
that opened the path on a new trend that was criminal psychology.
Henceforth, a lot of individuals discovered the field of criminology
and were passionate about it. It led to the emergence of new fields of
studies — especially in the USA and in Canada, whose goals were to train a
new generation of psychological experts meant to work with the police.
Therefore, in the 2000s, many TV Shows took over this concept such as
to Me (2009) and The Mentalist (2008), both of which also blew up in North
America and in Europe.
Nowadays, thanks to those TV Shows, psychology has become more
accessible, and is not only limited to science and the police. A good share
of individuals have developed a genuine interest for this field and a
desire to understand the complexity of the Human’s mind. Many documentaries
and docudrama have approached this theme as well, hence democratizing this
type of knowledge for a greater public. As a matter of fact, both those TV
Shows and documentaries witness a great audience.
This explains our choice to portray a narcissistic pervert, which is
to hold the weight of the plot of our TV show. Far from the police
Tinfoil’s narcissistic pervert is not unlike Norman Bates in
Bates Motel (2011): a psychological monster ruining the life of his
surroundings more or less against his will. This type of monster showed
great success with North American and Western European audiences, and will
most likely attract viewers that search for a deep and complex TV show. The
aim of Tinfoil is to be a reference to the genre of psychological monster
and develop the myth of hidden monster. It will not fail to provide
reflexion and uneasiness to the viewer and therefore check all the boxes
necessary to a good psychological thriller in today’s criterias.
Therefore, the idea of a psychological thriller was to us, a good idea, to
the extent that it has not been very developed in quite a subtle yet
explicit manner. We saw that
13 Reasons Why (2017) was also about toxic
relationships, yet it did not deal with direct symptoms. However, the TV
Show was a huge success.
Henceforth, what people like to see in TV Shows are not so much
“classic” visual monsters, even though they keep liking them; the audience
wants to discover new issues and new fears while watching a TV Show.
American Horror Story (2011) also owns a good part of the market shares
while playing on the different sensitive points of the Human mind, such as
psychological torture (c.f. Det. John Lowe in Season 5: Hotel) and
psychotic disorders (c.f. Tate in Season 1: Murder House).
Following the concept of Brad Falchuk & Ryan Murphy, we seeked to
dive into a sensitive issue. It might be a bit delicate as we want to
trigger something very deep in people, something that they might relate to
on a certain level; this idea of deep unease because of social relations.
The goal of the TV Show is to raise awareness about one’s surrounding. The
path to Hell is paved with good intentions, everything is not what it seems
and sometimes what appears to be the best relationships are the most
The serie takes place in the Canadian City of Aurora
in the north of
Toronto. The original city of Aurora exists, but the characters do not
evolve in this city. Aurora in Tinfoil is made up, and resembles Toronto on
a smaller scale. It has a city center with building which is where Daniel
works in his law firm but the suburbs are still quite calm. The name
“aurora” was chosen regarding the northern lights phenomenons we can
sometimes witness in Artic. Indeed, these lights have a mythical
connotation and an aura of mystery surrounds them. There are numerous myths
around them and this confers our city a mysterious atmosphere, as well as a
mythical one where surreal things might happen. The name also refers to the
french “aurore”, meaning the beginning, the awakening. The city of Aurora
will be the theater of the “birth” of Daniel and its realisation of his
situation and the problems he has in his relations his friends. He will go
out of the dark and into the light, as “aurore” signifies it (from night to
is situated in the artsy suburbs of Aurora. The outside is
not very stylish, the building is not noticeable at all. The interior if
very large and composed of only one room. It is made of wood and has a worn
out vibe to it. The walls can be a little bit decrepit. It’s very artsy
with the sculptures Coby is working on scattered around the workshop. There
is light coming into the workshop because of two large windows.
Dan’s apartmentis clean, tidy and cosy. He lives next to the city center,
and his apartment is located in a chill neighborhood with lots of cafés and
shops. His apartment is well lit, not too crowded and it seems to be very
well taken care of. The furniture inside is mostly made of wood and he has
The Forest(to be developed in visuals) is a typical Canadian forest. The
atmosphere is comforting, because there are long-shots to portray the red
maples. Everything is calm yet lively. The Forest is actually the only
place to bring colors to the show, it is the only place where Dan seems
alive. It consists in a break in the show as it is somewhere away from the
problems and the questions that float over Aurora.
Woodrow’s placeseems expensive. It is built in the style of rich
traditional canadian buildings, has a Haussmannian vibe to it. The elevator
opens directly in the apartment, there are marble stairs leading up to
another part of the apartment (2 stories), a huge fireplace, lots of room,
very tidy because he has housekeeping and house cleaning. It is very
ostentatoire and reflects well how Woodrow grew up and in what social
class. He also has visibly expensive items lying around.
THEMES & STYLE
Inspired from the movie
We Need to Talk about Kevin (2011) by Lynn Ramsay,
Tinfoil is a riddle TV show about the transformation, more specifically the
descent into hell of one of its characters, Daniel. As the character tries
to resolve the main enigma (the disappearance of Georgina), we witness a
growth in him. Starting from a joyful, tranquil Daniel, he slowly falls
into depression and anxiety, drowning in his own introspective thoughts
until he is left destroyed and out of strength. While in Ramsay’s movie the
transformation is very explicit from the beginning — in the sense that the
viewer understands Kevin’s troubles from a very young age, Daniel’s
transformation is more latent. On another note, if it is easy to understand
where Kevin’s disorders came from, meaning an unexpected pregnancy and a
mother who behaves accordingly, the whole trick of
Tinfoil is to find the
cause of Daniel’s mental damages. In the TV show, he is literally poisoned
by his own existence, yet cannot find the true origin of his uneasiness. As
We Need to Talk about Kevin, the ending is very tragic, unpredictable
and violent, since it deals with unexpected death. All in all, both works
have a deep sociological pattern.
Toxic relationships are more and more discussed in contemporary TV shows.
Yet, these TV shows do not treat the symptoms in the way we wanted to. For
13 Reasons Why (2017) dealt in some way with poisonous
relationships, but it was not about friendship since Hannah ended up
without any friend besides Clay. In addition, 13RW was more about suicide
and bullying issues rather than someone being trapped in a toxic
relationship. Nonetheless, the show Swedish show
Quicksand (2019) took an
approach that we wanted
Tinfoil to resemble. In the series, Maja is trapped
in a tumultuous relationship with her boyfriend Sebastian. They both
isolate themselves and drag each other down, to the point that they end up
committing a shooting in school. However,
Quicksand only dealt with
toxicity within a romantic scope. Thus, we wanted Tinfoil to shed a new
light onto this issue, by exposing poisonous friendships. Indeed, it is
easier to be trapped in a toxic romantic relationship, notably because of
jealousy and possessivity, and the will to impress the partner. Yet, these
problems of competition and envy are less present in friendship, or rather
less apparent and it is thus logic that one would not suspect anything
toxic at first glance.
Tinfoil is closer to Quicksand than to 13 Reasons Why, in the
sense that the viewer is really to be into the protagonist’s shoes (here:
Dan) and to dive into the relationship themselves. The flashbacks are
really important because they help to understand more precisely the bonds
that tie the three main characters, hence the emergence of a toxic
Human vs. self
One of the main components of the TV show is Dan’s introspection. It
a great part of the show is dedicated to
Dan’s existential crisis and introspection. Following this, Tinfoil took
American Beauty, which portrays very well the crisis one
can experience at different stages of life: adolescence, thirty-year
crisis, etc. Likewise, Dan experiences a crisis where he has to put into
question the most precious things he has — and at the same time the only
thing he never doubted, his two best friends. The whole quest to discover
who really are Woodrow and Coby is destructive for Dan since it makes him
questions most of his life. What if all he had lived with them only
happened out of calculation? What if, more than once, they manipulated Dan
into things he would not have done or thought in the first place while he
did not notice? Realizing that you’ve been experiencing coercion without
noticing is truly disturbing and, de facto, truly alters our protagonist’s
mental health. Therefore, Tinfoil deals with the quest for one’s origin of
unhappiness and troubles, one of the hardest in one’s life because it the
answer will perturbate and displace the equilibrium of one’s conception of
the world. Is Georgina the source of Dan’s preoccupations? Is it Woodrow’s
chaotic and selfish behavior, or Coby’s manipulative affection? Does it
have something to do with a past trauma? Or is it Brianna, his new
encounter who messed up with his life? It is worth noting that Woodrow is
going through the same process as Dan; his irritability and spite that
develop throughout the show is only the consequence of a questioning of the
situation, coming to the conclusion that he hates who he is and who he is
The style to reflect this theme is inspired from Skam, with the importance
of music but also of moments of silence, notably when Dan is in his room.
Jealousy is an omnipresent yet less obvious of a theme in
the prominent poisonous relationship between the three friends is partly
due to jealousy and envy. As other characters such as Holly in
You Get Me
(2017) or Rebecca in
The Roommate (2011), Coby is jealous of everyone that
would get closer to Dan than him. He pushes everyone away so as to isolate
Dan from his surrounding (i.e. Georgina and, to a lesser extent, Woodrow).
The series also deals the moment where Coby is ready to throw Woody under
the bus — therefore to betray his friend — in the whole Georgina’s story so
that Dan would not stop trusting him. The worst part is that it is
efficient, since Dan not only takes his distances with Woodrow but also
came to the conclusion that Georgina was not a person of good influence
over him (ep.1). This is clearly what Coby wanted him to believe,
manipulating him into thinking that the only person that Dan really needs
in his life is him. Yet, unlike the two movies mentioned previously, we did
not want the viewer to quickly understand both who the toxic person is and
how the toxicity manifests itself. The viewer is to understand that there
is something rotten in the air, ahd that is overwhelming jealousy and
As in the TV Show
Dark (2017), several episodes will start with a black
screen with a quote on them, reflecting the different themes and allowing
the viewer to dive into the atmosphere from the very beginning.
- “Beginning to sink, he cried, saying: Lord, save me” Matthew 14:30
- “Hell is empty, and all the devils are here!” Shakespeare,
❖ Jacob (Coby) Vanseen
Late 20s, skinny, tall and very pale. He is a sculpter. He looks like an
angel with his gold locks and his wide almond-shaped eyes. Average beauty
but very charming. He comes from an upper class family and is the last
child after his 2 sisters. He is the sweetest, most balanced friend, being
always rational and comforting. Both Woodrow and especially Dan like to
talk to him to vent and to get advice. Yet, he has a weird sneaky way to
show his love and tends to become very overwhelming with Dan in a subtle
way. He is the main reason for Dan’s poor mental health. His name comes
storhets]vansinne, “megalomania” or “craziness” in Swedish.
❖ Daniel (Dan) Truman
Same age as Coby, a bit tan, more handsome yet shorter than Coby. He is on
his way to become a lawyer. He represents the nice average man, not too
fancy nor too basic, so that most of the viewers may associate themselves
to him. He used to date Georgina. After they broke up, he thought that she
was maybe a bit overwhelming, but in the end he was brainwashed by Coby. He
is dating Brianna.
He comes from the upper/middle class. He values his friendship with Woody
and Coby more than anything in the world. His name comes from “true man”,
because he is the only honest and pure member of the group
❖ Woodrow (Woody) Sinclair
Same age as his two other friends. He doesn’t really work and fills his
life with internships offered by his father’s investment fund. He is the
only spoiled child of an overloving aristocratic family. He does not really
demonstrate his love to his friends and take them a bit for granted. Most
of the time, he calls them to talk about himself, either to complain or to
brag. He keeps hanging out with new people only to party, hence the
short-term relationships he has with them. Coby and Dan are his only
long-lasting friends. He tends to be the annoying one of the group, yet he
is the one who suffers the most from Coby’s toxicity.
❖ Brianna Murphy
Early 30s. She is to become a surgeon after following a psychiatrist
studies for a while. Very aware of people’s disorders and toxicity and very
careful about them because of this. She hangs out with Woodrow’s short-term
new group of friends but is not very keen on him. She is the one who will,
in the end, push Dan to doubt everyone including Coby. She is both of the
reasons of Dan’s poor mental health (because she pushes him to doubt) and
Dan’s hope to find a stable relationship. He only likes her in a romantic
way because of her help and her personality.
❖ Georgina O’Connell
A bit younger than Dan. Georgina has been dating Dan for three years. They
were in symbiosis but decided to end everything when Dan knew he was going
to work in the UK. She’s been ignoring him and it is not like her to do
such things, because she is a sweet woman. She is the missing piece to the
puzzle: she represents the essence of Coby’s toxicity.
❖ Mrs. Canmore
In her mid-40s, she is dynamic and ambitious. She rules over her law
company with a tight hand. Very demanding but will congratulate you when
you are over. She is fair but needs her employees to be 100% into the job,
or she scolds them hard. Not happy with Dan’s work because he does not seem
❖ Matthew Plantagenêt(The police officer)
Very professional, understanding of the situation of Daniel, encouraging.
He is the police officer dealing with the suicide of Woodrow. Originally a
routine procedure to check that it was really a suicide. He interrogates
Daniel and learns more about the situation the three friends were in and
the dynamics of the group. He is the trigger that makes Dan tell his story.
❖ Anastasia Sinclair
Woodrow’s mother. She loves her son very much and always apologizes on his
behalf. She has an enormous esteem of Dan, but never really clicked with
Coby. Saying that she does not like him would be an overstatement. She
seems to have a weak temperament yet she is not naive. She is a turning
point in Dan’s thinking process.
The first scene shows Daniel sitting in front of a cop in an
interrogation room. Something seems to be wrong, the atmosphere is heavy.
The cops is asking questions, trying to make Daniel talk. There has
apparently been an incident. At last, Daniel agrees to answer.
The viewer comes back in time: the next shot pictures the situation
one month ago. Woodrow, Coby and Daniel are in a café, laughing about the
previous night’s party. We learn that Daniel had sex with his ex-girlfriend
Georgina. It doesn’t seem to mean anything to him and the three friends
talk about it freely, with Daniel being just a little bit awkward. The only
thing he is worried about is that she hasn’t returned any of his texts,
which is not something she does usually. They used to date, and it would be
the normal thing to answer casual texts checking if she got home safe. Coby
tries to tell him not to worry because in any case it’s not that big of a
loss because she could be very annoying at times, to which Dan agrees.
Next, we are introduced to the new internship of Daniel, in a law
firm where he will work pro bono. The secretary presents the firm and where
he will work. He learns that Georgina quit the internship last night. This
is surprising and he is shocked, he was hoping to see her there and talk to
her. He calls Coby to tell him what happened.
In scene 4, Dan is chilling in his bed, stalking Georgina, Coby appears and
has a small chat with him, reassuring him and arguing that she was quite
weird even when they were dating. That it is like her to not answer, and
that Daniel should not worry. He convinces him that he will have news soon,
probably and Daniel seems more reassured. He feels better with Coby’s words
and convinces himself to not worry about Georgina.
Next shot is Daniel stalking Georgina. At some point he has had
enough and decides to send a text to a mutual friend, to see why Georgina
has been deliberately ignoring him, and why she changed internship without
telling him. He chats with his friend, who tells him that he hasn’t seen
Georgina for a week, but that she has been sending him texts so he is
reassured. He even facetimed her two nights ago. Daniel has the
confirmation that Georgina is safe and tried to ask why she left the
internship but the mutual friend has no idea what he is talking about and
tells him that when he talked to her she did not mention the internship at
all. He is a little bit awkward, with Daniel asking all these questions.
Daniel realises he is acting like a stalker ex boyfriend and stops the
conversation. He is however happy to know that she is safe, but the mystery
of why she is ignoring him still stands. He does not tell Coby or Woodrow
that he talked to Georgina’s friend because he knows that they would judge
him and maybe even scold him for seeming so obsessed with her. They would
just assume that he wants to get back together with her and is trying to do
so by stalking her. He decides to tone the research done a little bit and
realises that Georgina has the right to not want to tell him what she is
doing. They are not in a relationship anymore.
This same afternoon, Daniel is at his internship, working on case
files. He seems to have different trials approaching and appears stressed.
He keeps checking his phone in case Georgina sent him a text. He meets with
his new boss. She is quite strict and will expect a lot from him, and this
adds another pressure. She insists on the fact that she wants only the best
in her firm, even for a pro bono case and that this is a huge opportunity
for Daniel. He agrees to this and says that he won’t let her down and that
he will work a lot without anything else clouding his mind. He understands
that if he is not focused enough Daniel will lose the internship and he
can’t afford to, seeing that it is a huge opportunity for him. Daniel
leaves the meeting super stressed and immediately sits down to his desk and
He works late that night, until 10pm. He’s alone with the secretary
and another lawyer associate. At some point he decides to do a pause, and
go get coffee in the kitchen. The secretary is here. They strike a
conversation and start gossiping about the office. What Daniel really wants
to know is why Georgina quit the internship and he turns the conversation
to this subject, asking if she has intel on this. It does not appear
suspicious, because he went to college with her, and therefore wants to
keep up with her life. Finally, she remembers that Georgina told the boss
she had another internship in Toronto. That struck the boss because the
firm was a rival to this one and it unnerved Mrs Canmore. Daniel seems
shocked and can’t seem to fathom why Georgina would leave town and not tell
him, especially after what had happened between them at the party. After
what he has learnt, he can’t concentrate and decides to call it a day,
going back to his apartment, depressed and full of questions. He seems
shook and we understand that he will not let the matter go until Georgina
Next scene pictures Woodrow sitting in his bed, he smiles fondly at
the screen and shakes his head. The shot changes and we realise that he is
chatting with Georgina on facebook. There is a weird vibe in the air, and
the viewer clearly senses that Woodrow is talking to Georgina without
Daniel knowing it. The shot fades and this is the last scene of the pilot
SCENE 1: POLICE STATION
First shot: GLASS MIRROR. CRANE SHOT. CAMERA GOES THROUGH GLASS MIRROR. SO
AS TO BE FACING MARVIN. THE SHOT IS TAKEN FROM BEHIND DANIEL'S HEAD. EAR
REVERSE SHOT ON DANIEL. HE EMERGES FROM HIS THOUGHTS AND SLIGHTLY SHUDDERS.
I know you're still in shock but I need you to talk.
I am very aware that it's much too soon for you. I need you to tell me
precisely what happened this morning.
stammering, head down
I don't know. I think it started a month ago... But the issue's been around
for much longer.
SCENE 2: COFFEE SHOP
GREEN DAY MUSIC. BIRD-EYE SHOT ON THE CITY. COLOURFUL SCENE. THEN TRACKING
SHOT, FOLLOWING COBY IN THE STREETS FULL OF PEOPLE. WE FOLLOW HIM AS HE
ENTERS THE COFFEE SHOP TO MEET HIS FRIENDS.
THEY WERE ALREADY TALKING. GREETINGS.
making fun of his friends
We were just talking about Woody's new conquest from last night.
whispering to Coby
She's worse than the last one.
Don't you have something to tell me too?
You thought we would forget?
That you banged Georginaaa?
making fun of them but being serious all of a sudden
No but guys, seriously what annoys me is that she won’t answer my texts,
like at all. Worst part is that I wasn’t overwhelming like just asking if
she got home safe and stuff. I know we would not get back together but it
didn’t look that radical last night.Like I thought she would AT LEAST
answer my texts, we didn’t leave on bad terms, I don’t get it.
Man, for real? You’re not gonna cry for this are you? She probably just has
another dude in her life and she doesn’t know how to tell you that she
doesn’t have time for this. Let it go.
DANIEL SAYS NOTHING, LOOKING SAD-ISH.
with a sweet voice
We've already talked about that Dan... Do you really want to get back with
her? She was a lot of work remember how overwhelming and demanding she
could be. You weren't happy sometimes.
I guess you’re right. It’s just that… It’s not very like her to just ghost
me. Especially me.
changing topic, laughing
Maaaaaah who do you think you are bro. You ain’t special lol
I guess, I’ll just see her this afternoon at the internship.
Ohhh right it’s your first day of internship!
Look at him! We always knew you would make it to the top.
SCENE 3: THE FIRM
WE SEE DANIEL ARRIVING AT THE LAW FIRM. TRAVELLING SHOT OF HIM BEING SHOWN
AROUND BY THE SECRETARY. SHE GIVES HIM A CUBICLE IN A WIDE, WELL LIT ROOM.
HE SITS DOWN, MEDIUM SHOT ON HIM, WE CAN SEE HIM CHECKING IF GEORGINA IS
So, this is where you’ll be working for the next month. Mrs Canmore’s
office is this way, I don’t think you want to go there often. She can be a
little bit… much.
I mean, you’ll see. Printer, scanner and blank paper are in this area over
there, you can use them freely and there’s the kitchen and lounge room. If
you have any other questions feel free to ask I’m down the hall.
Okay, well I think I get everything, thanks a lot. I’ll ask you later if
something pops in my head. Do you think I should go see Mrs Canmore to
Oh, no, she’s not here at the moment, she has a meeting. She’ll come to you
when she comes back. In the meantime, she gave me those files that you can
start working on, the trials are due in two weeks.
goes to take files in the cubicle next to Daniel’s
I’m afraid you’ll have more work for one week or so than you planned, one
of our interns dropped us last night and we haven’t had time to find
another intern. But that should be done in a week.
very surprised, quite suspicious, frowns his eyebrows slightly
Oh! I’m sorry, must have been stressful. Who was it? Maybe I know them from
grad school. I mean if it isn’t too personal.
Oh no, it’s fine I don’t think it’s confidential? Hum if I recall well,
CLOSE UP OF DANIEL FURROWING HIS EYEBROWS. HE IS TROUBLED AND SURPRISED, WE
SEE IN HIS EYES THAT HE IS SHOCKED.
I had to do all the paperwork to cancel her internship so this name is
pretty much stuck in my mind.
trying to act normal but still alarmed in his eyes
Oh yeah she went to school with me, but I remembered her as pretty solid,
not flaky at all so that’s weird coming from her!
Yeah I don’t know much. Anyway, I should probably get to work and you too,
seeing the workload they gave you. Come to me if you need any help!
she smiles gently at him and he reciprocates
Oh, yeah, of course, I’ll get to it now. Thank you!
secretary nods and leaves the scene
Daniel is startled, takes his phone and hesitates on who to send a text in
his contact list, Woodrow or Coby. He finally clicks on Coby’s name, and
calls him discreetly. Coby answers after 2 rings
hey man something fucked up happened, Georgina quit the internship, I..?
END OF SCENE. WE UNDERSTAND THAT DANIEL IS TELLING COBY WHAT HAPPENED.
SCENE 4: AT DAN’S
CLOSE UP ON DAN. HE IS QUIETLY SCROLLING ON HIS PHONE IN HIS BED, BITING
HIS NAILS. CLOSE UP ON HIS PHONE: HE IS STALKING GEORGINA. HE SEES THAT
SHE’S BEEN ACTIVE ALL DAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA, YET SHE HASN’T RESPONDED HIS
SUDDENLY, THE SCENE IS DISTURBED BY COBY WHO KNOCKS ON THE DOOR OF THE
Hey man! You good?
Yeah yeah i’m fine, I was just… chilling.
Ohhh I’m sorry I thought you were in a better mood! Am I disturbing? I just
wanted to know if you could come at some point to help in my workshop, we
could also have a talk about Georgina and stuff? But I can come back later
if it suits you best.
No no you’re good. You’re never disturbing.
he keeps his head down, as he wanted to say something
You know… I can’t help it but to overthink about Georgina. I know she’s
safe and all but what would she be so radical with me? I’ve never done
anything to her.
all subtle and nice
I get it Dan. I get it very well. But sometimes people have very weird and
random reactions, and to be fair Georgina wasn’t the last one to be strange
It’s funny cause as much as I totally agree with you, it didn’t strike me
that much that she was weird. But thinking about it now… I think you’re
100% correct. But it’s always hard to accept that the person you loved
wasn’t the one you thought she was…
halfway through the door
I can’t imagine but I’m sure it must be a tough moment for you. You’ll
probably have news from somebody else though, clearly not us I guess, but
if it can help you move on…
I’m going but be sure to hit me up if you need anything!
COBY GENTLY WAVES AND LEAVES. DAN IS ALONE IN THE SILENT ROOM, ON HIS BED.
EPISODE SUMMARIES FOR THE FIRST SEASON
➢ Episode 2
Daniel is shocked by what he just learned, and can’t seem to figure out why
Georgina would leave Aurora. However, he does not ponder on it that much,
as he rationalizes the situation and figures that she might have had
another job opportunity. His friends see that he is not at his best and
decide to take him out for a guy’s night. They take him to a party that
Woodrow’s friend is throwing. There are a lot of Woodrow-like persons and
Daniel does not really feel at ease. He wanders around the house and ends
up on the couch, staring at his phone screen, waiting for a sign from
Georgina. Another person sits on the couch - Brianna. She notices Daniel
and strikes the conversation, joking about his visible boredom. They talk
for a while and we learn that she is a medicine student, learning surgery.
She wanted to be a psychiatrist but was not at ease with “seeing freaks
24/7”. She had read about so many psychiatric diseases that it freaked her
out and she ended up in surgery to avoid these situations. He jokes about
her chickening out and they start talking about the cases that Brianna
studied. While they are talking, Woodrow is drunk and tells Coby that he
talked to Georgina. Coby gets into an argument with him but tells him he
won’t say anything to Daniel. As for Daniel, while he is still talking with
Brianna he receives a call from Coby telling him that they are leaving and
offering to drive him home. Daniel accepts and has to leave in a hurry.
However, Brianna still insists that he takes her number. Coby brings Daniel
back home and on the way home he makes jokes about Daniel being a lady’s
man etc since he saw him with Brianna. Finally, Coby has to pee so they
enter Daniel’s apartment. There, Coby asks about Georgina. When Daniel says
that he has no news and is quite worried Coby decides to tell him that
Woodrow was talking to her recently - after she ghosted Coby. He seems
apologetic and uncomfortable - he did not want to tell but does it to
protect his friend. Daniel gets really angry but decides to wait till the
morning to ask Woodrow about it. The next morning he drives to Woodrow’s
appartement to confront him, and they both argue about it. Woodrow says
that Georgina told him not to tell Daniel and that, being his friend too,
he could not betray her trust. Daniel does not believe him and leaves
fuming, thinking that his friend betrayed him and might be having a thing
with Georgina. He goes straight to Coby’s workshop to explain the
situation. Coby listens to him and they both talk about the situation, with
Coby understanding what he feels and making him feel secure.
➢ Episode 3
Daniel is more reassured now that he knows Georgina was talking to Woodrow.
However, he wants explanation for the ghosting and decides to visit her
appartement to check if she really left Aurora like he was told. When
arriving there, he speaks to the landlord and realises that Georgina was
being harassed. The landlord explains that she used to receive late night
calls and threatening letters. Daniel leaves full of questions. He starts
thinking about why she could have been harassed but finds no answer, and
does not want to ask Woodrow. To change his mind he decides to ask Brianna
out on a coffee date. They talk more about psychology, among other things,
and he starts to be interested in the topic. He does not bring Georgina up
though because it would have been awkward, but he talks about his fight
with Woodrow and his relation with his friends. Brianna tells him that he
has a weird dynamic with his friends and that it could become too much and
toxic. She warns him about those close to him and especially his friends.
He discards her arguments, explaining that she doesn't know what she's
talking about. The next morning he goes to his internship. He can’t focus
during work - and gets reprimanded by his boss - because he thinks about
what Brianna said. He decides that she did not even finish her psychiatric
studies and is wrong, but the idea still crosses his mind that if he had to
be aware of someone in his circle, it would be Woodrow because he is always
so annoying and was talking to Georgina behind his back. The workday
finishes and he decides to see Coby for a cup of coffee. His phone is dead,
and he is still very much worried about Georgina so he asks Coby if he can
log in with his phone to check if she answered. She hasn’t. He forgets to
log out. The day finishes and he goes to sleep wondering why Georgina
received such packages. He has trouble falling asleep that night.
➢ Episode 4
The episode opens up on Dan’s nightmare: he is alone near a lake,
everything is quite, and while looking at the lake he sees a face. Suddenly
something drags him into the water and make him drown. He wakes up.
This is an episode where Daniel questions himself and reassesses the
situation. Daniel meets Coby in his art workshop for dinner, after a long
day at work. He tells Coby about what he found out about Georgina at her
apartment. Coby is shocked and seems worried for her. Daniel also tells
Coby that he is not feeling that good at work and that he is starting to
question going to work in Europe. Coby reassures him but at the same time
encourages him to not leave to London (“do how you feel it” “i’ll always be
here for you anyway”) like a supportive friend. They start talking about
Woodrow, Daniel tells Coby about the discussion he had with Brianna. Both
end up joking about it, saying that she’s a bit nuts (“no wonder why she’s
Woodrow’s friend”). Daniel goes home, discovers an email from his boss
angered that he did not submit the daily report. Dan completely forgot with
all the problems - problems in his work too. Insomnia that night. Thinks
about all the problems, and decides to send yet another text to Georgina “I
just want to know if you’re okay”. Answer 3 minutes later from Georgina
can’t talk to you, I’ll have problems”
. Total insomnia now, he tries to
call her, but the phone disconnects. Around 3 am, receives an email from
Brianna. It’s an article about toxic relationships and toxic surroundings,
highlighted with little notes on the side about his friends - especially
Woodrow though. Some about Coby but less prominent. Watcher begins to think
Woodrow is not all great and might be shady. At this point in the serie,
Daniel begins not to feel at ease - starts to feel depressed, does not want
to go to work, etc. Will grow in intensity
➢ Episode 5
Daniel hasn’t slept a minute that night. He is very pale, with prominent
dark circles. His mother calls him to remind him of a family gathering and
he bursts into tears on the phone. Therefore, he calls in sick for work and
decides to switch off his phone and to go for a walk in the forest during
his day off. He leaves alone, with his backpack only, outside Aurora.
Beautiful long shots of the Canadian forests with gorgeous vermillion red
maples, birds are singing, there’s a sweet and warm sunlight, shots of
squirrels and deers: very welcoming atmosphere. At some point, Dan finds a
large cottage where maple syrup is stored. He decides to get in to have a
taste of the maple syrup. The sun still breaks through the wall planks.
When inside, there’s an atrocious smell. Daniel realizes that the maple
syrup is actually rotting in every single barrel of the cottage. Disturbed,
he keeps walking in the forest. While walking, a bird falls from the sky,
dead. He examines it and the bird does not show any wound, as if it had
just stopped breathing. He feels extremely ill-at-ease, hence decides to go
back to the city. When he arrives, he switches on his phone and receives a
call from Woodrow, panicking, stating that Coby severely broke his leg.
Woodrow is mad at Daniele because he has not picked up his phone all day,
therefore he could not help his friend. Daniel gets very guilty and starts
to believe that things would have gone differently if he had stayed in
Aurora. When visits Coby at the hospital, Coby implies that it was more or
less Woodrow’s fault that he broke his leg, because he was supposed to help
him in his workshop with his sculpting project and cancelled last minute to
go on a date, so Coby had to do everything by himself and fell off the
scale while sculpting.
➢ Episode 6
After Coby left the hospital, he becomes very dependent on Daniel and
Woodrow because of his injury. He calls them for almost anything (cooking,
cleaning…) affirming that he cannot do such things on his own, yet always
appearing embarrassed: “I’m very sorry for being bothering guys”. It is
impossible for both Dan and Woody to live for more than 2 hours without
receiving either a text or a call from Coby. At the end of the day, Coby
asks them to come over to help him change his bedsheets. Daniel accepts,
and after hanging up, gets into an argument with Woodrow who argues that
he’s sick of being Coby’s minion. Daniel tries to calm him down by
explaining that Coby is always the nicest in the group and the less
demanding, hence they can do him a favor and show him gratitude for always
listening to both of them. Even though he tries to convince his friend, he
does not seem very convinced himself because he’s also starting to feel
annoyed by Coby, but he tries to remain rational. Later on, he goes to see
Brianna for lunch. They talk about the article that she sent him and
explains that he feels that his friends are being very burdensome lately,
and that he must be biased because he read the article, and because the
whole Georgina story is starting to drive him crazy. She explains that
maybe, on the contrary, he is being enlightened. After their date, Daniel
goes back to his internship. He is very much irritable with his colleagues.
His boss goes to him at the printer and asks him how he has been feeling
lately. Daniel responds that he is just a bit tired because of the work,
but his boss tells him that it’s okay not to feel right: “You have the
sense of responsibilities but you can't take responsibility for
everything”. He tries to reassure him and shows him that he cares about his
mental health, and ensures that so do his colleagues. Daniel does not
really respond and goes back to his work, still stuck in his thoughts.
➢ Episode 7
Daniel wakes up from a nightmare where Georgina tries to kill him. Quick
flashback when we see Daniel doing cocaine in order to work all night and
not fall asleep. He fell asleep when the cocaine stopped having effects,
hence woke up dizzy with his clothes still on. Dan goes to see his friends
for lunch, where Woodrow asks him a favor: helping his parents with a short
case they have to deal with, since he is a lawyer. Dan’s phone is dead,
therefore he asks to borrow Woodrow’s phone in order to call them, who
refuses explaining that he needs to save his battery. He takes Coby’s phone
and realizes that he is still logged onto his phone, and Coby receives all
of his notifications. Later that day, he talks to Brianna about this, who
tells him to be very careful with Coby. He messes with her, saying that
this statement is ironical coming from a friend of Woodrow’s. After work,
Daniele goes to Woodrow to pick him up in order to go to Coby’s and help
him for the evening. He finds Woodrow drunk, very irritated, venting how
much he does not bear taking care of Coby anymore, claiming he’s just an
manipulator and an assisted person. Dan argues with him about that, trying
to question his point of view. Woodrow doesn’t listen and turns the blender
on every single time Daniel tries to say something. Dan finally leaves
powerless, saying “No wonder you can’t take care of someone else when
you’ve been taken care of your entire life”. After leaving Woodrow’s place,
he goes to Brianna where both of them have sex. The next day, he goes to
Woodrow’s parents who catch up with him. Dan is being evasive about the
heavy atmosphere that has been influencing the dynamics of his group of
friends lately. The Sinclairs remind him how much Woodrow loves Dan and how
much he talks about him. He modestly answers that he must talk at least as
much about the sweet Coby, yet they respond that “Coby lives by proxy”
➢ Episode 8
Flashback episode, introduced by Daniel who wants to talk to Coby about the
doubts he’s lately had, hoping that he is going to reassure him. Dan finds
himself in a very ambiguous situation, in the sense that he wants to
confront him because he is starting to feel that he may be toxic, but at
the same time he only wants to talk and to be reassured by anyone that
happens to be Coby. He is starting to think that maybe Woodrow’s toxic
behavior has been influencing Dan’s own opinion on Coby, messing with his
own thoughts. Flashback for the rest of this episode which emphasizes Dan’s
troubled state of mind and that he turned into an overthinker. The
flashbacks tell relate the story of the three men’s friendship story, from
kindergarten to college. The viewer understands that, while it was needed
to dig into Woodrow’s personality to find how much of a great person he is,
Coby always appeared as an evidence. Coby has always been the Teddy Bear
that Dan needed, the sweet artist who’s always been comprehensive, even at
times when Woodrow would behave like the spoiled only child he is. Yet,
some things come to his minds: while Woodrow was very popular and never had
the same friends for more than six months besides them, Coby never really
had other friends that Woody and Dan. While Woodrow would sleep with a new
girl every two days, Coby never really dated a girl. He happened to mention
one or two but it’s like they disappeared into thin air after a couple
weeks. Last but not least, Woodrow would always apologize to him when he
would behave stupidly, and would always show him somehow how much he deems
Dan as a brother, whereas Coby puts all his friendship efforts with Dan on
smooth talk and reassurance, often by dragging Woody down behind his back.
End of the flashback.
➢ Episode 9
After his thinking process, Daniel goes to Coby’s workshop as initially
announced in the last episode. The workshop is open, but Coby isn’t there.
Dan’s surprised because he cannot understand where would have Coby gone
with his broken leg. Daniel stays a bit in order to admire Coby’s
sculpture, a magnificent marble statue that represents a two God-like men
half naked, one carrying the other in an intense way. However, Dan notices
that the statue is quite small, a bit smaller than him. At this point, he
has a flashback about Coby being in the hospital, explaining that he fell
“from the scale while sculpting”. Since the elements don’t add up, he
chooses to look for a scale around Coby’s workshop. There is none. He
starts to wonder how Coby could have done this, and in his sort of
paranoia, starts thinking that he could have done this to himself on
purpose. Coby enters the workshop, limping. Dan confronts him about his
leg, being very puzzled because he could not even get up two days before.
Coby responds that he’s felt better that day and he felt like going grocery
shopping. Then, Dan brings up the fact that he could not find any scale at
Coby’s. The latter starts to act in a pitiful way, trying to make Dan
guilty for doubting him. Dan feels way too overwhelmed and decides to go
home, where Woody meets him. Both of them talk about the situation and
Woodrow offers Dan to talk to Georgina through him. By talking to Georgina,
Daniel understands that Coby threatened her after their last encounter, so
she would not mess with Dan anymore. Woodrow shatters as well because he
was told that Georgina stopped talking to Dan because she just did want to
have a thing with him anymore.
➢ Episode 10
Both Woodrow and Daniel are shocked and they get to talking. The more they
talk the more they realise that Coby was not who he was pretending to be.
They decide to confront Coby, in the hopes that there is a rational
explanation to all this. They both drive to Coby’s sculpture workshop where
they find him. They both tell him that they talked to Georgina and that
they know everything. Coby tries to get out of it at first, by arguing that
she is lying, etc. They argue more and more and Coby ends up saying hurtful
things to both of them, and especially Woodrow. The shell cracks and the
mask falls, he mostly focuses on Woodrow but says things that touch him to
the core, regarding his education, parents, how people talk behind his back
and use him. At some point, Woodrow can’t take it anymore and leaves.
Daniel is left alone with Coby, he is horrified by the behavior of his
friend and tells him. He leaves fuming, and calls Brianna, telling her the
whole story. Daniel is shook, his friend of 20 years was capable of doing
such things. He decides to meet up with Brianna so she can help calm him
down. On the way over, he sends a text to Woodrow checking if he is okay
after what happened. He has no answer but is too angry to really notice.
He is meeting with Brianna: the scene is important because shots alternate
between Dan and Bri’s happy moment and someone organizing its suicide
(rope, chair, climbing on the chair, etc), slow motions, with the Swan Lake
music. At some point, Dan receives a call from the police. We don’t hear
the call, only see him drive. He seems disoriented. Finally he arrives at
the “crime scene”. There is a body being transported out of a house, the
viewer does not know who it is but suspects that it might be Coby’s.
However, Daniel crosses the stare of Coby, from the other side of the
street. He is crying but there is no emotion in his eyes, while Daniel is
still in shock. Finally, we see the name on the body: Woodrow Sinclair.
The next and last scene is the first scene of the pilot: Daniel is sitting
in the police station in shock and the cop is asking questions. Exact same
scene as the beginning.
We decided not to create other seasons for this show as the end is
sufficient on its own, and we wanted to avoid a chaotic following that
would not have any sense since the monster is discovered. (c.f. 13 Reasons
Why season 2)
The tone of Tinfoil is rather sombre, with an atmosphere that could
be described as tense and hefty. The overall vibe of the series should be
between dark, obscure but also full of anguish. It should make the viewer
uneasy, without him really knowing why and how. The viewer must always be
on guard, searching for clues as to where Georgina is, what the characters
are doing and must suspect throughout the episodes that Woodrow is the
problem in the series. The importance of small details is crucial, because
it the series depict the coming of age of Daniel and the realisation of the
toxicity of some of his friends. This is done through shots focused solely
on Daniel’s facial expressions and emotions, but also through travelling
shots that accompany the characters, like the viewer accompanies Daniel in
his discovery. The palette of colors is similar to the one used in
Netflix’s Dark (2017). It is mostly composed of greyish colors, black but
also tinted green and grey-ish purples, in reference to the large forests
surrounding the city of Aurora. The colors must inform the viewer that this
is not a happy series, and deepen the sombre atmosphere of the original
However, when Daniel treks through the forest during episode 5, we
expect big shots of the trees, with Daniel seeming quite small among them.
The green trees and red maples contrast with the grey of the clouds and the
lack of luminosity of the rest of the show to produce an pleasant vibe in
which the viewer feels more at ease that in the city (see Annexes). This
episode 5 really plays with visuals, as there is not a lot of dialogue
compared to other episodes. When the maple syrup has rotten, the color of
the syrup if a faded orange, yellow contrasting with the grey tones of the
rest of the episodes. Therefore, even though Dan’s away from his problems,
the rotten maple syrup shows that what is rotting is not only around him
(his friendships) but also his mental health. He cannot just runaway from
all of this.
The series also plays on contrasts when it comes to colors. While the
main tone is rather dark and grey, sometimes bright colors come in the
frame. This is the case for Coby, whose yellow jacket contrasts with the
overall vibe of the series. This underlines his importance and the fact
that he is a rather disruptive element in the series - even though he does
not appear as such at first.
The style of the character and their own visuals reveals much about
their personalities and importance in the series. For instance, when it
comes to Woodrow’s apartment, there is a large white marble stairway. Most
of the scenes shot in Woodrow’s apartment have this marble starway in the
frama. It throws off a cold vibe corresponding to Woodrow’s personality and
tendency to ignore others. But, Daniel’s apartment is mostly made of wood,
and the color palette of the scenes in his apartment are of a rather cosy
brown. This reflects his warm personality. Each color and each vibe given
to a special setting or character reflects its personality and there is an
important link between visuals and the rest of the story.
Tone and Atmosphere:
Jacob Vanseen represents the very essence of the monster in disguise.
Sweet artist, caring friend, he has all the qualities that makes a charming
character. On another note, he is not the most omnipresent character, and
contrasts a lot with Woodrow’s growing infamous behavior. We tried to
represent Coby as a perfect toxic person; meaning someones who apparently
only wants our well-being and knows what we want and deserve more than
anyone else in the world. The goal was actually that the viewer was more
likely to feel that Woodrow was the poisonous friend, yet he is only
becoming nastier because of Coby’s effects on him. Like Daniel though,
Woodrow does not understand that the source of his uneasiness comes from
Coby. This is where lies all the abilities of toxic people: to brainwash
the people they are devoted to, so that they will see things the way they
want them to.
In order for the viewer not to have doubts on Coby as the two other
protagonists, we tried our best to make him appear as innocent. First off,
he is never referred to as “Jacob” but always as “Coby”, a sweet name given
to kids. We want him to be portrayed by a tall, skinny blond guy — the
archetype of a cherubim. On top of that, his artistic career conveys, as
much as the other characteristics, the image of a non-violent and harmless
person. However, it is worth noting that Coby appears extremely lovable
because he contrasts with Woodrow’s behavior, and Dan represents the
perfect balance between the both of them. This also explains why we chose
to call our TV show “Tinfoil”, related to foil paper which reflects the
light of other objects. Indeed, Coby makes Woodrow’s defaults appear more
obvious, while Woody’s behavior makes Coby appear even sweeter. Therefore,
it enhances the viewer’s likeliness to hate Woodrow and appreciate Coby,
caught in the same illusion as Dan.
To another extent, Coby represents the source of one’s unhappiness
that is impossible to unfold. Toxic relationships, may they come from
friends, parents, or a romantic partner, always dampen one’s spirit. It is
often hard to identify the source because we question ourselves before
questioning the people that surround us. Because of his flawless
appearance, it is hard to imagine that he could be malicious. Nevertheless,
many details are left for the reader to understand he is not innocent in
the situation. For instance, he pops up in ep.1 when Dan is scrolling on
his phone stalking Georgina. He is often present at the “right moment”,
portrayed as a relief while in fact he is portrayed as the cause for all of
this. Moreover, Dan’s discourse always matches is “I think you’re right”,
“I didn’t think about things that way”. He thinks that he is being
enlightened while in fact, it is the contrary.
The violent end shows that toxic people are not necessarily people
with a bad temperament. They are not necessarily openly evil, they are
often very sneaky. Woodrow committing suicide is just the completion of a
vicious circle perpetrated by Coby and experienced by both Woody and Dan.
It’s his final step, understanding that he won’t be believed by anyone and
that he’ll always have to bear the role of the guilty one.
Holiday - Green Day
Lights and Camera - Yuna
Narkotika - Herreløse
Who Are They? - Nathan Larson
Wolf - Chinese Man
➢ Scenes reflecting Dan’s introspection/mental health/nightmares
I’m God - Clams Casino
Chlorine - Twenty One Pilots
(when Dan gets high on cocaine)
Nectar Drop - DJ Drez
I can see the end - Lovett
Straumnes - Sigur Ros
➢ Argument between Coby and Dan
Trouble - Coldplay
Old Money - Lana del Rey
➢ Forest Episode
Samana - EastForest
An ending (Ascent) - Brian
All alright - Sigur Ros
Misty Morning - Sol Rising
➢ Scene where Dan and Woody argue(blender scene)
TINFOIL - Linkin Park
POWERLESS - Linkin Park
➢ Suicide discover scene
Swan Lake, Op. 20, Act II, No. 10 - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
➢ Other useful songs
Magica - Dream Runner
Brooklyn Love - Lolo Zouaï
The Opening - Sol Rising
Every breath you take - The Police
Numb - Clams Casino
Moonlight - XXXTENTACION
People Help the People - Cherry Ghost
I was born to love you - Queen
Our soundtrack mostly consists in lyrics free songs. The absence of lyrics
is made to leave the viewer free to interpret the moment as they wish, to
put whatever words they want on the moment instead of being influenced by
lyrics. All songs may be defined as psychedelic songs (more or less), so
that it is easier for the viewer to dive into Dan’s state of mind.
Therefore, music is very important in this TV show, that is why we came up
with precise titles of songs and precise genres as well as precise
situations in which they play.