Script to Screen: Storytelling

Today we were introduced to and briefed for our new module. This module focuses on the preproduction of animation and the creative side of working on a project. As part of the brief we were introduced to storytelling methodologies and conventions such as Freytags Pyramid.

The brief is, to create two original characters and develop a story in which these characters struggle with a problem or a want. The story should exceed no more than 90 seconds. For this I’ll need to write a script, and draw a storyboard. I’ll also need to create a production Bible showing artwork and character turnarounds etc. And finally I will create an Animatic with sounds. This will need to be handed in by the 8th May.

We watched a Ted Talk given by director and screenwriter Andrew Stanton. In this talk he made some interesting points about storytelling. One of which that has stuck with me is his Unifying theory of 2 + 2. This is based on the observation that as an audience, it is the absense of information what draws us in. Audiences want to be able to work things out and decode where the story is going themselves. So, he stated, “don’t give the audience 4, give them 2 + 2”. I find this principle very interesting as it tells us a lot about our psychology. It tells us that we are all natural problem solvers even if we don’t know it.

One other quote he said was “storytelling has guidlines, not hard rules”. This was in regard to how pixar changed the rules on how animated stories had to be told. They no longer had to stick to the formula of having songs, love stories, cheesy villains etc. They were adamant that there was a different way to tell a story.

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