Jasmine's pond of dreams

Jasmine's pond of dreams

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lost in the story- Storyteller's log star date 11-26-2012

Lost in the story. What does that mean? If your audience is lost in your story, that is a great thing. It means that they are totally engrossed in the imaginary worlds that you've created. This is exactly what you want. 

You also don't need to suspend your disbelief. I've never gone into a movie theatre and yelled out, "Stop the projector!, I forgot to suspend my disbelief." I wouldn't even know how to begin to suspend my disbelief, do you? When I'm "lost in the story" the only way I come out is if the director does something stupid to bump me out of it, like a jump cut, or if I have to go to the bathroom. 

But there is another sense of being lost in the story, when you're writing a story and don't know what to do to fix it. This is a horrible kind of being lost in the story. Unfortunately, its very common. Every movie I've every worked on our whole crew has been lost in the story at times. For those of you who work in animation you know how often we'll do act one over an over and over and over. And then when we finally get to act three we realize we have to redo act one again to fit with act three. We all longed for the day when we could just put the whole movie up as fast as possible and then critique it. There's a reason for this that we'll learn along the way.

Is this destiny?

I know when I work on my own stories I get lost in the story. What do I do next? Where do I go? Does this even work? Should I add another character, a car chase, a song? Well, one of the places I went was to map my way was screenwriting books. I've read thousands of them. (Well, maybe a hundred, maybe twenty) but it feels like thousands. Each one has made me a better writer and storyteller. Each one has it's own unique take on storytelling that has something valuable to offer. And each one shares certain assumptions, some dating back as far as Aristotle.

Well, I had an intuition that there had to be a better way. I went down many dead ends but also learned insights along the way. I read stuff no animator would read. Survey question: How many of you have read, Gregory Bateson's Steps to an Ecology of Mind? What can I say, I'm weird that way.

As I promised, at my Creative Talent Network Animation Expo presentation, I'm going to share with you the writing process of my next book on my new theory of story. My students helped improve my first two books. I would love your input and feedback. Don't be shy.

So join, Iggy, the impulsive pig, Scared Bunny and me as we search for the untold secrets of storytelling.

You really didn't think I'd tell you it all the secrets in the first blog did you? What kind of storyteller would I be if I did that. Scheherazade knew the secret of storytelling is story delaying. Leave your audience with a cliff hanger.

That way they'll stick around to see what happens.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Iggy's Incredibly Easy Way to Write a Story

Well, the  CTN Animation Expo was amazing. I finally got to meet my Focal Press publishers of the Animator's Eye and Directing the Story. They were wonderful. I hope you checked out some of their awesome animation titles.

This is why I've be swamped. I presented my new revolutionary VISUAL approach to story structure at CTN. 340 image slides told the story, explained film examples and showed the audience how they can do it. There was consensus that everyone would like to see the development of the theory posted here in my blog as I create it. 

I self-published a book on Amazon.com to present with the workshop. It stars Iggy, the impulsive pig and Scared Bunny, two characters from my Focal Press book the Animator's Eye. It's an introduction to the story process in three parts. First, is the story of Iggy, the impulsive pig, who tries to make it big in Hollywood leaving behind his best friend, Scared Bunny. See what Iggy learns and then read an overview of the process and finally learn how to do it yourself in a step by step demonstration.

It's called- Iggy's Incredibly Easy Way to Write a Story.
Amazon link: Iggy's Incredibly Easy Way to Write a Story

Friday, November 23, 2012

CTN Animation Expo 2012

Well, I'm finally recovering from CTN. Four hours of reviewing portfolios, two scary hours of drawing in front of the crowds and then my hour presentation on my new story theory. It was awesome! This was my first time at an event like this and I met so many old friends and made new ones. It was like walking around LACMA, incredible art wherever you looked. A big shout out to Tina Price and her whole crew who brought us all together. Thank you.

The first day a drew a story about my characters Iggy, the impulsive pig and Scared Bunny. The second day I thought I'd revisit Aladdin's Whole New World 22 years later and imagine what I might do different. I drew Aladdin and Jasmine riding the magic carpet over NYC. Jasmine's taking pictures with her iPhone and the Genie is acting like King Kong on top of the Empire state building. Also did a cool image of Jasmine hanging 10 on the carpet surfing a sand dune.

Hope to start posting some really cool stuff really soon.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

CTN presentation!

Sorry that I haven't added many posts lately but BIG things have been in the works. I'm presenting my new theory of story at CTN animation expo in Burbank CA on Sunday Nov. 18 at 2 pm. And I've been self publishing a book which demonstrates how to use the new theory. A bigger more comprehensive book in also in the works, but one step at a time.

I'm really excited about it. After researching and studying story for over 20 years, stories are coming to me fully formed! Of course there is still a lot of work to writing a story but this method helps you not to get lost along the way.

I hope to see you there.

Don't forget about The Animator's Eye contest at Focal Press! Win free books.
Check it out at: http://www.focalpress.com/character_mentor_contest/