GSK – Coughin’ Hell

 “This script instantly captured my imagination. I was(darkly) excited to dramatise the unnecessary hell of pertussis through some dark, fiendish animation.”


We created a film noir-esque, hellish and bold metaphorical representation of the struggle that victims of pertussis experience. We wanted to piggyback on the dream-like and dark metaphors described, and push the visuals into a surrealistic space. We did this by playing with scale, shrouding objects in shadow, repeating objects and warping objects.

Gritty, film-noir


When this brief landed on our desk, Bonnie knew she wanted to tackle it head-on; inspired by film noir. She wanted to enhance the drama by pushing the balance between negative space, playing with shadow and textural details. 

Bonnie focussed on strong silhouettes to indicate form, and used small details like carefully illustrated internal line-work and gradients to direct the audience’s focus. 

She minimised environments down to a few forms here and there so that the focus is on the visual and narrated metaphors. 

Bonnie especially loved working in such a cinematic way with no multiple aspect ratio deliveries and an open ended length of film. It was almost straight storytelling as opposed to advertising for TVC or social. She got to fully stretch her creative potential, thoroughly enjoying the challenge. 


We crafted this spot with a combination of 2D and 3D animation. The 2D animators were responsible for the character animation and bringing to life the more abstract transitions. 3D animation introduced elements like the bathroom, bedroom and house, which were flat rendered to bring into the illustrative style. This was especially helpful with the slow, rotating or pushing in cameras. The overall style was developed with a lot of compositing in after effects – bringing texture and volume to the look through noise effects and the dissolve texture.

  • Director
    Bonnie Forsyth
  • Head of Production
    Tina Braham
  • Producer
    Chloe Marshall
  • Producer
    Diana Angelius
  • CG Lead
    Ben Seager
  • Storyboard Artist
    Aaron McDonald
  • Designs
    Avinash Weerasekera, Laurent Ferrante
  • Animation
    Alex Dray, Aaron McDonald, Darcy Woodbridge, Jasmine Veljanovski
  • VFX Animation
    Milo Gluth
  • Compositor
    Supriya Bhonsle, Derek Lau, Chris Angelius, Darrin Hanley, Jerry Scott, Bethany Levy
  • Nexus Head of Production
    Rachel Moss
  • Nexus Producer
    Rebecca Archer