I’m neck-deep in my JBA session at the moment and the students are doing well with stop-motion animation… at least the process. The thing the kids are having problems with is story development. To help them out we watched (from Bloop Animation on YouTube) a series of story-telling structure tips used by Pixar. The basic structure that Pixar uses in their stories is…
Once a upon a time there was a _____________ and everyday _____________. One day _____________. Because of that _____________, because of that _____________, until finally _____________.
Fill in the blanks and you have a story to tell with structure.
Another good video from Chris Do has five ways of thinking of story-telling.
- Conflict – you have a character with a want/desire and an obstacle to overcome
- Subjective reality VS Objective reality and the conflict that causes (think of the Matrix)
- Normal reality followed by some sort of explosive event and the resulting new reality
- Delay the story resolution. Drag it out for as long as you can
- Make DRAMATIC what ever the story is about. Exaggerate, make whatever it is, life or death (whether or not it is)
The biggest problem they have though, is making the story way too complex.
You should begin practicing the first Pixar formula. I might (probably will) ask someone each class period to give me a practice story scenario using the Pixar structure above. Practice of coming up with stories that you might translate into animations later in the semester. Become a story-teller first and that will ultimately translate to your animation assignments. Here’s the link to the Bloop Animation YouTube Video.