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ThinkStory
03-04-2005, 07:30 PM
Hi!!

I'm a Story Developer currently trying to
take a break from some long-term projects.
As a creative, I think it's good to work on a
few things at once just to keep ideas fresh.

I've been reading a lot of the posts here and
wondering if anybody is stuck on a plotline kink
or a character/relationship design issue.

If you are, send in a post, maybe I can help.
Free of charge. It's a "professional" hobby of mine.

Lique
03-07-2005, 12:28 PM
Hi there, how are you doing?

I've recently asked to make a storyboard for my new students. Since they are just learning 3d software, I have to make the story as simple as possible.

My senior colleage told me to make 5 secs story ... and I was thinking to myself ... 5 secs story ???How can you tell a story in 5 seconds.

Well I was actually thinking to extend it to 15 - 20 secs. I had an idea to make a simple story of a toy with a very simple animation, but I'm quite stuck right now :shrug:

:) Hope you can help me to give some ideas or inspiration.

well anyway cheers

userBrian
03-08-2005, 07:29 AM
Here's a quick idea off the top of my head. Since time is of the essence...
How about a headshot of someone sleeping. An alarm clock with a toon
character with hands for the clock hands goes off...ring ring ring. The sleeper
slaps the clock off. Then the toon in the clock slaps the sleeper back.

ThinkStory
03-09-2005, 09:14 PM
Trying to tell a story in less than a minute can be the worst or most
awesome story you've ever imagined, especially with 3D.

Think: Commercials, Flash ads you see online!
Sometimes they're really cool and other times
you just want to "X" them out of the way.

The key to make something great in a short period of
time is to rely on really good 3d work or an interesting yet simple plot.
Since this is a beginner's class, I suggest the second option.

Here's an idea for starters:
A character (your choice--be creative) is trying to open a BOX.
It's shut tight. In that 15 seconds, make him/her/it do some funny
things to try to open it. This is a very simple idea but it works
because you don't need time to tell this story--INTEREST is not captured
in what happens to the character, instead, your audience should be
focused on what's INSIDE the BOX.

This should be flexible enough to let you put whatever you find most suitable
for a beginner's class.

Let me know if this helps.

ThinkStory

Lique
03-10-2005, 11:05 PM
userBrian, although i still think it'd a little bit hard for them, I must say that short story has really made me laugh out loud. very interesting, i can think about similar ideas.:)

ThinkStory. yeah that's a good advice indeed. I'll look example from some tv commercials.

and the your second idea, that's similar with what i have in mind. I actually have been thinking to make something like a surprise box. However i wouldn't want to make them do character animation.

Great!! I've got some ideas to be developed now.
I know i'll be using those 2 ideas.

Thanks a lot for your ideas!!!

I will let you know when i have the final story.

ps: if they've done a good job, i will post the link to their animations as well. :)

kind regards,

Filik Sidarta

ThinkStory
03-11-2005, 01:35 PM
Hi Filik,

you're Very Welcome!

I'll be great to see the students'
work when they're done.

"Imagination is Intelligence having Fun!"
--Anonymous


ThinkStory

floatingrunner
03-12-2005, 07:59 PM
hi, i have a question about my story concepts too.... can i post here???

ThinkStory
03-14-2005, 04:10 PM
Sure, of course.

Post whatever questions you have, Floatingrunner.

floatingrunner
03-14-2005, 09:26 PM
ok..... right now, in a nut-shell
i have several worlds (stories) going on... and i pretty much have its histories, places and all sorts figured out.
but i think it just kinda gets a little too too big for me to handle. i mean i'd like to cover everything but stick to the main plot.
i don't even know whether i should start on this big historical chapters before i focus on the main characters or just skim it through with a prologue.

also, i am not sure which type of prospective i should attack the story.

i mean i like to go with first person... but then it lacked the freedom.
then i though of actually using like thirdperson and be able to into every character's mind.

or even like a story telling of each single character's situation and have them mingle together....

and the stories pretty much just expands when i have new ideas.... so its all bloated and stuff.
what do i do?

ThinkStory
03-15-2005, 03:05 PM
Hi Floatingrunner,

believe me, I know what you mean.
A lot of times that's the problem with being able too
develop lots of good ideas and I don't mean this in a
sarcastic sort of way. Usually, the best creatives are
the ones with lots of great ideas and gets stuck on how
to incorporate everything into one single story.

The answer will be tough to accept if you're really passionate
about all your plots/backgrounds/characters. I key to solving
this is to type of problem is to first develop a "BIG-picture" plotline.
Know what your story is Really about. Then, figure out what's the
best way to tell that story in the most interesting way.

First person narration can make writing flow more swiftly, but due to
the complexity of your story, I'd suggest third person would probably
be more suitable and easier to correct, add, and make changes later
whereas it can become very difficult to changes to plots with first person
narration at times.

However, what's most important is who's the intended audience of your
story? This will make a significant impact on what style and approach
you should tell it in. What medium will this be told? Is this intended
for reading only? Which age range is this for? Younger audiences
have shorter patience for long intros.

If you'd like, send me some more info and we can discuss in greater detail.

"Imagination is Intelligence having Fun!!"
--Anonymous

ThinkStory

Totoro
03-18-2005, 04:10 PM
Hey ThinkStory,

I'm working on a story for my graduation project and need some advice. My intention is to make a short that's max 5 minutes. I don't have much experience in estimating how long a animation will going to be based on a story. But after reading my story I think it will be longer than 5 minutes. I've already posted the story in another thread but didn't get much replies yet.

Here's the link
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=220490

I basically have the same problem as floatingrunner, a story that's too big to handle.
What I wanna tell in my story is that you have to confront and conquer danger in dreams; to fight rather than run or hide for your problems. I wanted to do it in a fantasy like way hence the dreamworld an demons.
Do you think there's a way to make the story shorter/simpler without loosing the whole concept of the dreamworld? Or should I come up with another story for my project?

MarioV
03-19-2005, 05:50 AM
Hey Totoro,

I posted a reply to your other thread. Check it out!

ThinkStory
03-19-2005, 09:40 PM
Hi Totoro,



interesting concepts! Well defined and has a strong message.



Well, I think the visuals and themes in your story speak for itself.

The problem here is Presentation!! Should you use another story

because of time constraints? Perhaps if it gets too difficult to tell

this one with the ideas that you have but, of course, if you can make

this work that would be best, wouldn't it?

But remember, that Presentation is by far one of the most overlooked

elements to great storytelling, too many Awesome ideas told in Awful

ways turns out looking bad also.



Thanks for explaining the motive of your story on your post, that's was

Very Important. Looking at what you have so far in your plotline, the only

thing that really seems to be missing is a motive or a "soft-point" that your

audience can really cling onto. What I mean is your story is lesson focused,

you're trying to convey the importance of being strong even through feelings of fear.

In order to convey this idea across well, you have to grab your audience from

the get-go and SHOW them why Ken NEEDS to be STRONG. Or else, you loose

that fundamental Emotional element to your story.



Here's an idea:

Open the scene at night outside of Ken's house.

A scream!

Camera zooms into Ken's dark bedroom.

He's sitting up, sweating as if woken up from a nightmare.

He's scared...his eyes glances at the samurai armor...tears...ashamed...

why isn't he strong enough to defeat the monsters in his dreams?

(Sympathy is automatically conveyed here as the audience sees how a

six year old boy is struggling to be strong like his father despite his youth)



Light streams in as the door opens and his grandmother walks into the room.

She comforts him and shows him the statue and tells him about the tale.

(You can do some kind of narration here to Fully explain the background about

the dreamworld without having it seem weird.)



Ken then goes back to sleep.

He then dreams of the beautiful landscape you described in your original post...

the monsters are then defeated as you described....

(A lot of the stuff you already have are very good so I wouldn't recommend changing

it if you don't have to. I've always felt that the original intended ideas are the best ones.)

Feeling safe, he starts playing with his new friend but later sees the samurai armor

and the sword. He has a chance of taking it with him but, already feeling protected,

he chooses not to and leaves it behind as they enter the dreamworld.



When later confronted by the monsters without any help, he regrets not taking

the armor but realizes that strength is not obtained through the use of weapons

but through his own inner strength. (You can use your humor here)



(Remember to reiterate your theme at the wrap-up!!)

After he defeats the monsters and wakes up, his grandmother asks if the statue

worked and what kind of dream he had that night.

He smiles and replies that he dreamed he became brave samurai.



This reduces the plotline to a few simple scenes, making it basic enough to tell

in five minutes. This also focuses more on the samurai theme as a tool to convey

main idea your story. Don't know if you'd like that though. But it's a decent start

for you to build on.



Let me know if this helps.



ThinkStory

xcvbnm
03-21-2005, 07:37 AM
ThinkStory,
I have a story in mind, but can't complete it. Do you mind suggesting something.
It starts like this -
There's a boy [age 10-12] and his cute and useful robot. Its set in near future. The school has vacations, so he decides to go to a resort planet. There's a nice base in tall mountains on that planet, which was set up by his father. It has cool things such as big waterfalls, holographic games, juicy food, pools etc, all managed by robots.
He jumps into his own small spaceship with his robot and takes off. They approach the planet after few days and dock their ship on the base. As soon as the door of the ship opens and they step out, they are attacked by big and dirty looking robots with lasers. They manage to escape but robots destroy their ship. It happens that the resort base was taken over by these robots to carry out their activities against earth.
Now its upto our friend and his lil robot to save themselves and earth.

So this is it. It needs to be fast and last not more than 10 mins. But guess I'm stuck on what happens next? How do our heroes succeed?

Thanks in advance :)

ThinkStory
03-21-2005, 03:40 PM
Hi Psan,

your description sounds like in addition to the solution
to your story, you also need some events and sub-conflicts.

Many plotlines are developed from a few characters
and a beginning scene. To sustain the it though, you'll need
a Reason for the story. Another words, can you "label" your story?
Now I don't mean this in a "lesson" or a "thematic" way.
You're story sounds like a "just-for-fun" type which is Perfectly fine!!
Some of the greatest stories out there are simply fun and don't need
any type of underlying theme kinda thing.

But to move it forward, think about why you're producing it.
Is it for visual purposes?
A client project?
A private project?

If it's for visuals, the conflicts, events, and solutions in your story should be
artistic/scenic based.
If it's for a client, think about the type of audience that they're capturing
and what they are looking for.
If it's for your own use, think about what your own strenghts are, what
kind of stories do you like to tell:
action: where more physical struggles and fighting sequences will be the main focus
adventure: puzzles and obstacles to overcome
comedy: problems involving light jokes or big laughs
drama: inner emotions/motives and relationship based
mystery: who is behind all of this conspiracy of taking over the island?

These are a few examples but, as you can see, depending on the "type" of
your story, it can lead to endless possibilities of both problems and solutions.
Before a coming up with a solution, try typecasting the problem because
depending on the "type" of problem, it'll need to be solved with the same type
of way or else it'll only seem half-done.

A solution comes much Easier, works much Better, and becomes much more
Interesting once the niche to your story is found!

Let me know if this helps.

ThinkStory.

DaddyMack
03-21-2005, 07:13 PM
Hey ThinkStory, just wanted to say great thread...glad I said it...there should be more of this going on around here.

I am about to emabark on some shorts this year with the characters featured in the links in my sig (2nd link is the wip for the new design) I've already got some good stories in the mix but will be doing short 'test stories' 5-15 secs, any input, from anyone at all, will be much appreciated, and credited appropriately.
Cheers;)

xcvbnm
03-22-2005, 08:16 AM
ThinkStory,
Thanks for your help.
The animation is not for any client. It is for producing a demo, so that I get some experience out of it. Perhaps my next anim will be bigger and be covered in many episodes.
Here I want to finish the story within 10 mins. As I'm doing it alone.
The story will have 3-4 characters and 8-10 sets, so it will be visually strong, less dialogues and simple actions, plus a good background score.
It will be mostly minor kiddish action, like tricks that the kid sets up to get rid of dirty robots etc.

Ok, I've thought of an end today. In the end, the kid will recover a standby ship and command the system to restore the mess, contact his dad on radio, who thinks his son has again made a big mischeif there and orders him to return. The kid and his robot zoom through the space worried about what to tell his father, still happy that they did a great adventure.

Now the mid-part is missing, I need some light action events and some physical comedy by the friendly robot. We already know that he defeats the evil robots. :)
We need 2-3 scenarios, where he turns the robots to junk and regains command. That sounds simple, but very difficult for me, I never did story writing before :p
Thanks again.

ThinkStory
03-22-2005, 03:28 PM
Hi Psan,

ah...I see. Sounds Jurassic Park like.

Here's an idea that can show-off your visuals quickly
and make-sense at the same time:
Suppose the "system" that you described that controls
the robots and base can only be opened/accessed through
turning on several switches located in various regions
of the planet. For the purpose of this story, I'd suggest
3 switches located underwater, on land, and in the air.

The water switch can be something like under a hot spring,
you can use steam and water effects here and underwater
sequences tends to work nicely with special coloration and
aquatic designed robots.

The land switch can be located in an area covered with
a group of land mines which will allow for some physcial
comedy elements, setting up traps, and the use of fire
and explosion effects.

The last switch may be one located on an air base where
they discover the standby ship that ultimately leads them
to restore the command system. Here you can use some
wind elements or indoor environments if you'd like.

These concepts may sound complicated but in actuality
can be reduced to a few simple scenes during production.
Think afterschool cartoons and how much they are able to
tell within about 15 minutes.

For a demo on your work, Quality not Quantity should be
stressed here.

Let me know what you think.

ThinkStory.

xcvbnm
03-23-2005, 06:47 AM
Well, that sounds great, sort of a game like story.
Only thing that bothers me is that it will demand more sets and more frames. But I'm keeping these ideas anyway for the next story ;)

For now I plan to keep only one location - the resort base. All action takes place here. Here's the outline -
1.[the space scene] earth to resort planet
2.[the docking scene] resort base
3.[the attack] resort base
4.[the escape] to some hidden area in resort
5.[the fight and destruction of robots] 2-3 sets on the base itself <------ I need advice here
6.[contact dad] resort base
7.[space scene] back to earth

The point [5] would take up 3-4 mins, so I need a few interesting events that take place there.
Thanks for taking the trouble :)

Manuel Ponce
03-23-2005, 04:41 PM
Nice thread by the way,

I'm just like the rest here, with tons of ideas and very little time to explain them all.

I have a short story that I would like assistance and maybe create a movie script: Let me explain---

The year is 2850, and the Earth has been badly damaged from a great war (ww3) the war was a war like no other, it involved an alien race using masive robot machines to organize a takeover. Vampires and Humans fought side by side and destroyed the machines and alien race takeover. The earth is basically unlivable on the surface for humans due to the lack of air and sunlight. The vampires are well advanced and are able to rebuild the earth cities and are able to survive on the surface. Humans take shelter underground and build massive cities and cultivate a new way of life.

For the past 500 years since the end of the great war humans have, been heavily influenced by the martial arts. Humans have formed a diferent society than before bringing back old ways of living, or to say, the survival of humans is the focal point than the political or supremacy.

All is not well for the Vampire society, An Anarchy or Uprising is being buildup. A massive Vampire group is attacking its own leaders and killing Vampire Royalty. With that in Mind, this rouge group has gotten too powerfull to control, and leaving no choice but seek the help of the humans. They call for the help of "The Secret Human Protection Unit" a military group that patrols human society and use swift punishment for tough criminals. The SHPU is formed of Highly trained men and women trained in the martial arts and are weapons experts. This protection unit are deadly and just one member has been known to kill one thousand men.
The Vampires want just three members of this unit to destroy the formed clans. In return the Vampires will repay with technology and disease and virus killing antidotes from the Vampire scientist and technology departments.

http://www.angelfire.com/scifi/hybridstudios/MS3D_Models/Rogue_Vampire_Panzer_Clans.htm

pconsidine
03-23-2005, 06:31 PM
Manuel,

How long were you envisioning this script being? I can imagine two alternatives:

1. Something feature length, where the whole world of the story is laid out and it progresses in a typical feature film fashion. Or;

2. A short film (maybe up to 30 minutes) where you just jump right into the story with both feet. For example, you could open with this scene The Vampires want just three members of this unit to destroy the formed clans, and run with it from there, filling in the little bits of backstory that would be necessary.

I can kinda see it as Force Ten from Navarrone with vampires and martial arts. But ultimately, it will depend on how much of the backstory you want to include. You could probably tell this story without the history about the alien invasion, for example.

Just my 2¢.

ThinkStory
03-23-2005, 08:57 PM
Hi Psan,

hmm...since I'm not familiar with your strengths and skill set,
here's a more simple idea for your short.

Something that stood out to me in your first description of the
story was the holographic games. I quick and flexible solution
to the base sequence is that one of the games went out-of-control
and became real-life fighter robots.
With this, you can focus on as many or few sets as you want where
all the rules to the game is made up by YOU. The advantage to this is
that it solves some of the question marks in your story like does the boy
physically fight the robots at all?
1. If so, how?
2. If not, will he just be giving advice to his robot friend throughout the fights?
3. The whole planet is filled with robots, did they just defeat a few and by chance
find a standby ship?

If this was set in the context of a game:
Answer to question 1 could be that the game automatically gives the boy armor/weapons.
Answer to question 2, the boy will really be doing "something" and play a stronger
role if he did some score-keeping and monitoring of the overall, "big picture" gaming
elements like gas consumption, life bars, bonus points, etc. instead of just giving advice.
Answer to question 3 will be that if they defeat the game, they will be rewarded with
a ship.

You can look for inspiration from previous games that you've played.
What obstacles did you face when playing a game? Some comedic moments
can also come from this like the robot "boss" was able to transform several
times after it has already been defeated; switch their circuits so that the
enemy robots fight each other; the kid sets up an explosive as a trap
for a particularly large group of robots coming their way but his friend robot
hasn't racked-up enough bonus points for the explosive to work!

Your story sounds rather visual based than plotline centered.
So these are some physical things to work with.

ThinkStory.

ThinkStory
03-23-2005, 09:27 PM
Hi Manuel,

yup, I agree with Pconsidine.
You can surely go into various different directions for your script.
Which is exactly the thing I think is most important here--don't limit yourself.
Lots of new developers now are coming out with
scifi/horror/action flicks with looks similar to the Matrix.

However, they're usually...well...let's just say not as good.
The reason for this is that viewers will tend to compare it
with what they've previously seen that is similar.
So try not to set it up so that there's too much of that.
Instead, my advice is really to develop something of your own.
I don't mean your idea is not original--certainly NOT!
Actually, I'm encouraging to add your own element to it,
what's cool about a story is what it's developers puts into it
not what has already been out there that's similar.

You don't need a mind-blowing, jaw-dropping, out-of-this-world new idea
to have a great script.

What makes it stand out is two things, you've got an interesting story to tell
and it is told in its own unique way.

So based on the little I know from your post, the important
thing is not to fall into these common traps.

If you've got it all set-up and have your own style goin' down pat and
would like some more suggestions, feel free to continue your posting!

Let me know if this helps.

ThinkStory

xcvbnm
03-23-2005, 09:32 PM
Hi
Your tip about using holographic game to defeat the robots gave me quite a few ideas to fill in the story. That would indeed make this story more attractive for the children.
I appreciate that a lot. Thanks. :thumbsup:

Now I can actually start writing the full story. :)

ThinkStory
03-23-2005, 09:48 PM
Hi Psan,

Cool!! Glad I could help!

Manuel Ponce
03-24-2005, 01:24 AM
Think Story,

Thats what I thought the first time writing the story, It does sound kinda like the matrix, but I Evisioned a whole different world and outcome for the story. My two roommates (female) here in Chicago said the same thing, but the difference is that the Humans and Vampires are both allies and formed a pact for the further protection and Improvement of the planet. If another alien race race came to conquer or destroy it both societies would be ready.

The back story I have in mind is realy long and probably I have to break it down in parts.

Thanks for the quick reply and comments.

floatingrunner
03-24-2005, 07:13 AM
hi ThinkStory...

i apologise for not replying back... i've been quiet busy with some school stuff..

i'll PM you as soon i get this whole thing over with.

thx for the reply btw.....


until then~

Tughan
03-25-2005, 11:31 AM
Hi ThinkStory,

Great thread my friend. I might just join the fun. :)
I'm working on a 3D Short Animation for a few months. It's about 2 mouse that fights over a big wheel of cheese on a kitchen counter. It'll be a cartoony animation like Tom & Jerry. So, funny action choreography is essential.

I've some action ideas that two mouse character uses environment and props to fight, like Jackie Chan's movies. So what could a mouse could use as a weapon? I think about using spoons, and tootpicks like sword and spear. They can also can push bottles and throw olives to each other. Any interesting ideas my friend?

Also, what is the proper way to make storyboards of these kind of action fight choreography? Or is there other way?

Thanks.

ThinkStory
03-25-2005, 02:56 PM
Hi Tughan,

thanks for joining in.
The ideas you have like spoons, toothpicks, and olives are
definitely in the right direction.

The fundamental element to Jackie Chan's action sequences
is that he uses familiar and arbitrary things in new and
unusual ways. For example, do NOT make the mouse use
a knife, that's boring and predictable. The idea is: rather than
using plain pots with lids (What's the mouse going to do?
Trap his opponent in it? How's the second mouse going to
get out?) use a kettle instead with a lids, spouts, and handles
making it more complex and visually interesting.

Look at the kitchen and think back to your childhood in the park
with slides and tunnels and nets to climb. If you were small enough,
how can you use kitchenware in place of these things?

Another element in Jackie's scenes is the use of RYTHME.
Punches, throws, and kicks rarely comes in single blows,
they are based on a mix of sequential combination of hits,
this comes from the way true kung-fu martial arts are designed.
So mix that into the fighting and props. For example if they are
to fight around the faucet sink, don't use simple turning knobs,
instead use the old-fashioned, revolving ones that could spin
when the mouse push them, turning the water on and off.
The water makes the place slippery for slapsticks and the
spinning arms of the knobs could knock the mouse into the
steaming hot or freezing cold water in the sink.
Zero-in on their reactions for the Tom and Jerry touch
you want to create.

Also, think of ways to use a prop so that BOTH mice
can interact with it at the same time. For example, the
first mouse picks up a spoon to shield himself from the
second's toothpick attack and then tries to lunge the heavy
metal spoon at him. It misses! The spoon drops onto a
dough roller (creating a seesaw). "AHA!" the second mouse
declares victoriously and stands over the cup end of the spoon
flicking his toothpick snobbishly. The first mouse leaps onto
the handle side and sends his opponent into the air.

These are a few suggestions.

Let me know if this helps.

ThinkStory

Tughan
03-25-2005, 05:49 PM
ThinkStory, thanks for the suggestions and ideas my friend. You're right about the rhythm. Actually difficult part of these ideas is to join them together in a meaningful order. So that shots will flow through one after another.

Like, when brown mouse pushes grey mouse, grey mouse must be pushed through the "prop" he'll be using next, so that grey mouse grabs it in no time. :)

Ordering scenes like this needs a lot experience I suppose. I'm just trying difficult shots to challange myself. Hope that'll be something fun to watch. :D

Manuel Ponce
03-26-2005, 07:33 PM
Hello All,

I've been working on the script latlely and wanted to have it viewed on the progress so far. It's in .doc format because I dont have Adobe Acrobat suite.

It's just 4 pages but its picking some flavor so far.

here it goes:


Rouge Vampire Panzer Clans
By
Manuel Ponce










































Thursday, March 24, 2005

FADE IN

EXT. EARTH CITY RUINS

A squadron of Vampire fighter ships heads towards a myriad of Alien controlled mechs and begin an attack formation and fire upon the legion with all their weapons.

The mechs shoot out dozens of rpg’s and many fighters fall, but the human resistance is just as great as the Alien mechs and continue the assault.


The battle continues and with many loses on both sides. The human tactics are swift and take out the main alien communication pod. The loss of the pod causes a wide confusion for the aliens and many mechs are destroyed. The alien race form a retreat but the allied forces surround and destroy them.

EXT. CITY RUINS/AFTERMATH

Smoke, ash, and charred metal are seen for miles all over the Earth. Surviving troops are assembling and carrying wounded. Miles and Miles of convoys of vehicles are moving to protected bases. The end of “The Great War”.

INT. VAMPIRE SECURE STRONGHOLD

Leaders from the Vampire and Human race are grouped in a large round table. And a treaty is signed for the further security of the Earth. The two parties form a pact and rebuilding of the destroyed Earth cities begins.

INT. MILES UNDERGROUND

Digging machines and workers are working in the millions to build massive cities for the surviving humans.
plant generators and water systems are in progress during this massive build.

FADE OUT


500 YEARS PASS



FADE IN

INT. VAMPIRE ROYAL CASLTE



A long marble corridor and expensive paintings and marble Roman columns surround the palace. A Vampire messenger is walking to the Royal Chamber and is holding a box and gives it to the Chamber liaison and whispers into the liaisons ear. The Vampire liaison rushes to the counsel and gives them the message.

Liaison L-Karth:
”Counselor, I have another message from the Clan leader”.

Counselor L-Vasham:
”I know what it’s about, and I don’t make any deals with terrorists. I have no choice but to call on the Royal Consulate and bring this matter to an end”.

The Counselor opens the box and it has a message and a pair of Vampire teeth that belong to a Chamber member. The Counselor picks up the video phone communicator and calls the entire counsel and explains to them the situation.


Counselor L-Vasham:
” We have to order a strike now, I don’t see this matter improving any further”.

VIA VIDEO PHONE
Counselor L-Mason:
” Do you think another strike will destroy theses groups?”
”They are 10 million strong, and more members are joining everyday”.

Counselor L-Vasham:
” We are at war with our own, and our own have the same abilities and know our tactics. I’m talking about a strike involving the Humans”.

VIA VIDEO PHONE
Counselor L-Baraht:
”That would bring a great embarrassment to our military and make the Humans think that our system is crumbling”.

Counselor L-Vasham:
”Whats more important to the counsel? A little embarrassment or our own killing us?”

Counselor L-Vasham:
”Do you think these rebels will stop if they succeed?”
”I said do you think these rebels will stop if they succeed?”

silence on all members, then after a long pause

VIA VIDEO PHONE
Counselor L-Baraht:
”Order the strike”

Counselor L-Mason:
”Order the strike”

Counselor L-Trivac:
”Order the strike”

Counselor Ra-Khaff:

“Order the strike”

Counselor Ra-Mahim:
”Order the strike”

INT. VAMPIRE ROYAL CASLTE

Counselor L-Vasham:
”Done… I will contact the humans and organize a meeting”.

EXT. EARTH
An aerial view of the new cities on Earth after 500 years. Sunlight hasn’t been visible even before the start of the “Great War”. The air is not breathable to humans and the harsh living conditions forced the humans to seek shelter underground. The Vampires are skilled in technology and rebuilt the destruction that the war left behind. Buildings and ships are seen everywhere in the vastness. Artificial lights guide the civilization.




I know I dont have the proper script format, probably because I Need a screenwriting plugin for Microsoft.

floatingrunner
03-27-2005, 07:52 PM
hi....sorry for all thse delays and stuf :)

anyways... i guess my story is pretty straight-forward.
i've since reduced the characters from about 10 to 3, 4 .. . originally i intended for the story to go simultaneously with some cross-overs.. but i am not sure if that's a good idea (ie repeats the plot, even if its from a different POV)
plot is simple: main character went for revenge on the one who killed the people in her village but was chasing the wrong person (and eventually, everything is solved and a happy ending~)
anyway i can expand that?

going back to the problem in some greater detail. from that simple plot. i managed to expand it into 5 centuries - sort of an equavilency of ages (ie: stoneage, ironage, imperial age) - of history
...as well as a world map, many, many minor characters... etc.

too complex! and the story didn't even happened in the 1st era.
and all that because i want to explain in my prologue on how this world came about.

i know what you meant by the bigger picture.... but, as you might have guessed, i am really bad at throwing things away.
maybe you can help me with that :/

thx for your time!!!

ThinkStory
03-29-2005, 08:40 PM
Hi Manuel,

nice descriptions for your beginning script
--visual and to the point.

The vampire teeth was an interesting touch. It really
grabs the audience for a beginning sequence.
The only thing that I would suggest is that since
(I'm assuming) this is a story mainly about vampires
and humans, the alien battle at the beginning can
be downplayed a little. Not that you've "overplayed"
it in any way since it is the basis of the background
to your story but it turn into one of those stand-alone
scenes that doesn't quite fit into the overall movie
unless the battle will be referred to again later in the
story. This is just a nit-picky detail that might not be
that relevant but something to keep in mind.

The mix of column architecture and video conferencing
was also really good in conveying the tone of the
environment you're trying to create!

It would be interesting to see how the story develops!
Overall--A Solid Opening.

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
03-29-2005, 09:01 PM
Hi Floatingrunner,

similar to my comment on Manuel's opening script,
an prologue opening should be elaborate enough
to include the essentials to the story but not too
much that it bores your audience.

Considering that the medium that you will be working
with is more novel-like, you have a bit more leeway in
that and some writers of long novels does tend to go on
a bit about the "world" they are writing about. That's
okay but keep in mind that this may limit your market base
to readers who are interested in such detailed worlds
whereas some readers flip through the pages to get
to the part where the main character shows up.

To resolve this, you may consider limiting the opening and
fill-in the details through having flashbacks from various
different characters. This way you can jump into the main
plot and have those multiple viewpoints that was originally
intended and also don't have to work out all the little details
of the background.

Let me know if this helps.

ThinkStory

nuril83
03-30-2005, 03:54 PM
Reflection



Once upon a time, in a deep jungle, lived a beautiful but cocky Hornbill. His name is Bill. One day, there's a small bird called BulBul wants to be friends with him, but Bill thinks that BulBul is not competent to be his friend because Bill is such a beautiful bird and it certainly is shameful if he was seen befriending a small ugly bird. But BulBul is determined to make Bill his friend. So he came up with an idea. He asked Bill to come with him to see a wonderful place but with one condition, Bill must become his friend. Out of curiosity Bill become Bulbul’s friend. Bulbul is very happy.

So, BulBul bring Bill to a secret place. It is a big enclosed place, in there was filled with lots and lots of mirrors, so BulBul enters the room. He danced and hopped and laughed gaily. After a few moments he exits the room and then he asked Bill to enter the room. Bill thought the room was really fun as he heard Bulbul’s laugh and danced so he enters the room and what a shock did Bill gets. He looks around him and saw many, many birds that look just like him, staring back at him. He freaked out. He was so scared that he actually cried when he came out.

BulBul just looked at him. BulBul told durian that what he saw was actually hundreds of images of himself. BulBul told Bill that selfishness is not a good thing. People around us, friends we have are the things that shape us into what we really are. When we are good to another, then another will treat us with goodness and if we treat them badly, they will treat us the same way we treated them. So, don't do anything that you yourself do not want other people to do to you.

superted27
03-30-2005, 10:34 PM
I noticed this forum and it sounds like just what i need. Im a third year animation student working on my final film but i need more ideas for my story.

The story is of a young boy, around 4 who wishes for a dinosaur when a fairy blows into his window (the little dandylion plant things). Excited, the boy goes to bed and dreams of all the things he and the dinosaur would do together and ways the dinosaur would help him getting around and so on. The dream ends and the boy wakes up, only to find the dinosaur sitting in his room. The boy leaps out of bed and runs over to the dinosaur looking very happy but the confused dinosaur eats him to everyones surprise.

That is the basic story but i had no tutor around to help me develop the idea further so im looking for your help. I have modelled the characters and the boys bedroom i just need to work some new ideas and some ways to bring this all together and make it a cute and funny animation with a dramatic ending.

Im looking for ideas for the dream, transitions between scenes and also any other ideas you or anyone else reading this can think of.

I will be extremely grateful for any feedback, thanks alot!!!

ThinkStory
03-31-2005, 02:43 AM
Hi Nuril83,

well, you've got a good story.
Well rounded and intact.
With a simple, identifiable theme
that's conveyed nicely with the plot.

Given the information you've provided so far,
the only advice is to elaborate it with strong visual details.
The story is simple enough (in a good way) the thing it needs
most at this point to make it really stand out is to tell it in a
visually stunning way.

Think about which direction you plan to go for--cutsie, artistic, etc.

Unless you want to make further additions or change
something about what you already have, for a short film,
it seems to be a solid start that can move into concept art!

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
03-31-2005, 03:10 AM
Hi Superted27,

hmm...not to sound conventional or anything but
why exactly did the dinosaur turn bad guy?
I know that the dinosaur friend was just the boy's
imagination but for somebody who's watching your
piece will KNOW the character as the way it is
presented to them for almost the entire length of the
film--through the boy's viewpoint.

Is there some underlying reason for the abrupt turn in the
story?

Is it just for the surprise? Some story writers do that.
It's not recommended though. Just like advertising a
product poorly simply to make it stand out. The short film
should represent you not just in your artistic ability
but also your thought process, how you plan things out,
work with what you have, and make something out of it.

I ask this question a lot to students, clients, and even
developers I work with. Who's your intended audience?
If this was intended for children, the ending doesn't work
that well. If it's intended for older viewers, the boy,
dinosaur, and fairy is kinda odd also. Grab onto the viewer
with something you have that might interest them and then
create a story out of it.

I don't intend to discourage you in being creative and exploring
new possibilities for ideas in any way but keep in mind that making
it convincing is also very important.

ThinkStory

rooster75
03-31-2005, 09:48 AM
I just crashed the thread, but reading the dino story, I agree with the opinion that you don't need a surprise element in a way that dino eats the baby.

I think the story should be contained in a dream part.. what they do, how dino and child react to each other. Put some funny gags or tell a nice story.
All this should lead to child waking up. Then it notices the dino and surprises itself, hugs the dino and goes to sleep again.

Child is at rest and at ease again. You can make the intro more stressfull so, child would be in a stressfull mood, unable to sleep. Then fairy comes, gives it something to think about.. and at the end it gets a new friend, DINO.

that is how I would do it..

superted27
03-31-2005, 01:42 PM
Thanks for the advice. I wanted the dino to eat the boy at the end simply for the surprise and shock element and to give the story a twist at the end, something unexpected. The story builds up this loving relationship between the 2 characters until all is not as expected. Childrens imaginations see things as being fun and playful, when it reality alot of this isnt so, hence the dinosaur.

I will take into account what you mentioned about changing the end tho. As for the dream, i want to build a relationship between the 2 characters and have the dinosaur helping out the boy in different ways and have some kind of comedy element involved. Can you think of any ways of acheiving this and different ideas to play with?

Thanks

fwtep
03-31-2005, 04:49 PM
Regarding superted's dinosaur story:

Personally, I like the dino eating the kid at the end. The film is essentially a joke and that's the punchline (think of it as a sketch, like Saturday Night Live or Monty Python). I'd make the real dino fairly realistic as opposed to the one in the kid's imagination. The eating doesn't have to be bloody and violent, it's just there for the humor that in a kid's imagination a dino is a fun playmate but in real life they're, well, very unlikely to be fun if you're standing in front of them.

If you have a happy ending where the kid wakes up and the dino is there and is friendly you don't have a story at all, you just have a few minutes of scenes that don't add up to anything. It would be boring. In order to make it work you'd have to make it much longer.

Here's an alternate idea though, and one that might be much easier to create than seeing the kid get eaten: The kid has his dream about playing with the dino, then wakes up to find the real dino but in silhouette against the white wall. He's thrilled, and turns on the light, revealing that it's a real dinosaur, not some kiddie fantasy of one. It jumps at the kid, jaws open wide, and you cut to black just as it makes contact. And if you want to add a corny ending, though one that would get a good laugh, after the credits cut to the dino walking away down the street and hear it say: "God, I love kids."

Fred

rooster75
04-01-2005, 06:36 AM
fwtep:

its ok to make it that way if it were for the adults, but since this is a children short, the surprise ending is a bit too much in my opinion.
A child wants a friend, kid sympatise with it, fairy comes, grants him its wish, kids are happy, everything is cool, and at the end, when kids are happiest, child with whom they identified gets eaten by their "wished friend".. boy that is a bummer... there is no happines in the world.. you'd have a cinema full of crying kids...

As for the dream sequence.. I think it should be about common things kids play with, and situations they get with their real friends. But since it is a dino.. they come with the twist.
Playing hide and seek with the dino? his tail would stuck out all the time.. and kid could pretend it doesn't see it..
playing with toys, that dino smashes accidentaly.. and they laugh about it.. you get the idea..
Take disney and pixar flick and see some of the bonding sequences.. that could give you an idea.
Take Calvin & Hobbes strips, there are some ironic and sarcastic jokes there..
Peanuts and Snoopy are good ide to read.

Hope this helps
If I came too strong over some ideas, forgive me.. eating the kid is fun.. I just think its not for this kind of movie

superted27
04-01-2005, 03:59 PM
Thats great, thanks fwtep and rooster75. My views on the ending are with fwtep i think. Im still thinking it needs this kind of twist to make it funny and show that things arnt all they seem in reality. I didnt intend to make it gory, just show the kid being swallowed whole. Being an animation student the film we be screened in a theatre to fellow course mates so although this isnt really my only target audience i feel like fwtep said, look at it like a monty python sketch. I feel i want to aim towards a audience like this, and not so much very young children.

I love the ending where the dinosaur says 'i love kids'. I think that'l make a good finishing point and get some laughs, cheers!

I like the ideas about the dream sequence rooster75, i'll dig out all my pixar movies and see what i can learn pick up from these. I like the hide and seek and playing with toys so i'll see what i can work on with these.

As for the beggining of my story i was going to have the boy playing with toys in his room, probally a stuffed dinosaur teddy amongst some other things when a small fairy blows in through an open window. As the boy grabs it and prepares to make a wish, looking around his room he see's dinosaur pictures, dinosuar quilt and dinosaur toys so thinks only one thing and wishes for his own real dinosaur. Do you think this beggining could be a little more interesting or exciting? Any other ideas at all?

Thanks alot for your help everyone, im really appreciating all this feedback

Manuel Ponce
04-01-2005, 07:22 PM
Thanks for the Advice Think Story,

I did fix the story so far till' this point, and it's about 12 pages on the Microsoft Word (office).
I'm sorry for posting it like this in the first place everyone, I had to remove the .pdf link befor because the lycos server wont give me priveledges.

I Have a .doc for the story so far and I would like to continue with the script. I will post a real link for the .doc and hopefully one of my roommates can wiz up a .pdf file on her website.

rooster75
04-04-2005, 07:25 AM
superted,


no problem.. I hope we could see it someday here on cgtalk :)
storyboards, or a movie itself.. I enjoyed this disscusion.. makes me feel ALIVE :)))))

digikris
04-05-2005, 07:54 PM
Hi Thinkstory,

I saw the thread and the suggestions you made were really nice. I have a non-fictional comedy drama in my mind. But i don't know how to start with and how to develop the characters. The story is based on a Supervisor who is tough to their team mates and pisses off people all the time. She is kind of a sadist she never lets people out of her team but still gives them trouble and makes their life miserable. so the team decides to get rid of her and fight back. Let me know how to develop this story and characters.

thank you,
Kris

ThinkStory
04-05-2005, 10:45 PM
Hi Kris,

thanks for your complement!

Yeah, nonfiction stories can be tricky to structure.
The important thing is to strike the right balance with
what's real and what's not. Unless, the intention is to
make it completely factual based.

But even so, make sure that the story doesn't
become too one-sided on perspectives. What I mean is
true stories should be dimensional rather than flat.
NOTE: Flat stories don't necessarily make bad stories,
a lot of action-based stories are flat but are still very good.
This is important to your story in particular because of the
character proportions in the plotline:
single female character vs. multiple team members

It can be difficult to pull-off this kind of dynamic tension
between sides because viewers are less simple and accepting
than they used to be. Make sure the balance isn't too
tilted towards the team because that might make it look like
they're picking on a single person. One way to fix this is through
facts. Simply by supplying more facts in your story will "show"
rather than "tell" what your audience should think about your
characters.

Some questions to ask are:
Why is the Supervisor the way she is? Does she have some
kind of background history, how was she brought up, how did
people treated her in the past, what does she think of her
"success" and power?

Can her personality be corrected and will it be corrected?

Is the team inferior to the Supervisor in any way other than
corporate ranking? (The answer to this question can make
the conflict more/less convincing and add/subtract the sympathy
your audience feels for your characters.)

How has the Supervisor's treatment of them affected them
both professionally and personally?

Would your story work better if these characters are more
"human like" or more "icon like"?

To start the story, try looking at it through the different characters'
perspectives, rather than making one whole big story, you may want
to try organizing them into individual case studies of how each character
had to deal with the Supervisor and maybe even show the Supervisor's part
of the story and then integrating all of them towards the conclusion.

Another suggestion is to start out with a representative situation that
shows the exact relationship the Supervisor has with her team. Then
you can follow the story based on the actual timeline of where this
situation fits. Is it right before they decide to fight back? Is it during
their first team meeting? You may have to zoom back or zoom forward
but starting with a strong scene will initate interest from your viewers
as well as YOU as the story writer to continue writing!!

Let me know if this helps.

ThinkStory

digikris
04-06-2005, 01:43 AM
Thinkstory,

You're really cool. You just asked questions that mapped the ideas in my mind in an order. Is there any structure should i follow while doing writing. I found a software called dramatica pro. I'm also writing stories on a daily basis as rough draft and making corrections and enhancements.

Thanks a lot.
kris

ThinkStory
04-06-2005, 04:43 PM
Hi Kris,

I'm glad you found what I wrote helpful!

There's some writing books and software out there
that stresses on story structure and stuff like that
but it's not Really necessary. They can support
your writing but a good story is a good story and
it doesn't have to follow any hard and fast rule or
structure.

Just as long as it doesn't go out of proportions which
you can probably catch by really paying attention to
what you write or simply sketching out the timeline of
your story.

I would suggest, however, to just organize some events
in the story and KNOW (at least approximately) where a
scene is going before you write. This also means to know
what other scenes might follow this one and how the buildup
will work in the plot. It doesn't have to be specific but just
get an idea of what you WANT. A lot of writers just start
writing and when they reach a part where they get stuck,
they don't understand the reason.
They're like, "The story isn't moving, I don't get it--it's just...it's just..."
and I explain, "Well, what you wrote isn't what you want," and
they realize, "Yeah!"
It sounds silly but often the issue is that what's already written
doesn't flow with the writer's concept of the story.
I usually work with them to figure out where they want the story
to go and then figure out the plot, scenes, or characters the
story needs.

Writing without knowing where all the characters, scenes, and stuff
play out can really mix up the plotline and confuse the writer themselves
about what they're story is really about. So I think if you've got that
part figured out, the software can be a supplement but it's not really
the basis of your story's structure.

ThinkStory

spudk
04-06-2005, 11:06 PM
Have you thought about outlining your story and listing all the events that you want to happen? That way you'll have a roadmap of where you want to go.

Manuel Ponce
04-08-2005, 01:59 PM
:) Hello,
Here goes another stab at it again. I have and updated .pdf file of the story script WIP. Constuctive critisizm is always welcome, just keep in mind I'm no pro, just a student trying to learn the screenwriting process.

Title: Rouge Vampire Panzer Clans
http://www.angelfire.com/scifi/hybridstudios/Digital_NRG/RougeVampirePanzerClans.pdf

this time the link should work...

jscheel
04-08-2005, 08:45 PM
ThinkStory, I just want to add my voice thanking you for what you are doing. It's nice to see someone who is willing and eager to help. With that said, for the others asking questions: take a look at the book "Teach Yourself Screenwriting" (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0071419667/qid=1112992964/sr=8-1/ref=pd_ka_1/102-7558427-4412941?v=glance&s=books&n=507846). This book is a great resource, and is formatted in way that more technical oriented people (like those on this forum) can understand it easily. Of couse, you can't forget the classics, but this is a good book, and it's $10 at amazon.

robo3687
04-11-2005, 02:16 AM
Hi Thinkstory,

I'm currently doing an animated short for school. It's required length is 6-8 minutes and I feel as though I may have bitten off more than I can chew. My story is about a penguin (Frank) who is a failed comedian that travels to the city and meets up with 2 other penguins and they form a singing comedy trio.

I have backstories to each character:

- Frank is the comedian that got kicked out of home until he made something of himself

- Steve is obsessed with Star Wars, middle aged, still living with his parents

- Rob is an 'Indian immigrant' who is actually an Australian on the run from the PBI (Penguin Bureau of Investigation).

And in the end they perform at a comedy festival and win the cash needed. Frank sells out Rob to the authorities and convinces Steve to move out of home. He returns back to his home to his family and theres the whole happily ever after thing.

My problem is this: I'm trying to cram all this into 7.5 minutes and in my mind, I feel as though I can do it. But realistically I think it would just come out too rushed and come out as a mess.

I currently have 3 main characters, with about 6 or 7 'extras', about 8-9 location changes, a 10 song soundtrack, and only half a script....I know you're probably looking a little like this -->:eek: and frankly so am I......

On studying the short film genre I realised that most only have 1 or 2 characters and take place in the one location or sometimes a few....I want to keep my main character as Frank, and I still want him to be a pathetic comedian, but I would like a less complex idea....:)

So after that short novel, I'd like your opinions on my current idea (and its feasability) as well as some suggestions on what I could do that could be simpler.

Thanks for your time.

robo_obi

PS: here is the poster for my short
http://www.cgnetworks.com/gallerycrits/23552/23552_1105854908.jpg

^Abe^
04-11-2005, 10:54 AM
Hi ThinkStory.
I'm not sure if this is a topical post but I'd be interested in your response.

I have wanted to write stories since childhood but I have this problem. I am fluent with drawing, it is natural and easy for me to draw things but when I write, which tends to be better for the initial creation of stories, I often get blocked. While I enjoy reading stories, I don't enjoy the aesthetic look of text. I can look at my pictures and problem solve and gather a sense of what is wrong with them (proportions, perspective, etc.) but when I my look at a page of my own writing my first reaction is to look away and go brew a cup of coffee or doing something else. If I'm engrossed in it it is okay but if I look at a page of my writing cold my first reaction is not nice.

I think my difficulties stem from a combination of not liking the look of text and having read a huge amount of novels during my teenage years while not writing much. It kind of like hiking over huge mountain ranges and realising that you have to go back, get down on your hands and knees and start slopping together mud hills (and ones that don't look very nice at that)

With my drawing it is the opposite. I drew volumes during my teenage years but looked at relatively little art.

I have tried drawing stories but I haven't found pictures to be a good medium for story creation. It's like getting knocked over by the ghosts of the past, like writing bad shakespeare. With drawing it is easy for me to get to the core of what I want to communicate, while with writing I feel like am walking on an veneer which is opaque more often than not. While I love to draw it just doesn't feel as satisfying without having that story aspect involved as well.

Any thoughts?

ThinkStory
04-12-2005, 10:41 PM
Hi Manuel,

I won't comment much on screenwriting formats and such
simply because most of those things are probably better
(and more thoroughly) covered in books out there.

So I will talk more on content.

Again, the ideas are conveyed solidly.

However, it's hard to judge on the scenes and plotline at
this point mainly because it's not fully completed yet so
proportions and characterizations are still a little vague.
What I would suggest though is to play close attention to
how the scenes play out on screen.
Like the Int. Meeting Site, this is obviously an essential part
of the plot where the two groups make an agreement but it's
a very quick scene and mainly driven by information.
When presented on screen, it might come out as abrupt and
unnecessary.

The idea is: Make Every Scene Count.

The info exchanged by the two groups is obviously important
to the story but is it important enough to stand in its own?
Should the script spend more time on it or less?
If less, can it be combined with another scene?
Or can this information be conveyed in a more interesting
or engaging way?

These questions will help to develop info scenes to be much stronger
and appealing.

This doesn't mean this scene HAS to be changed it's just something
to consider.

So far, it seems follow very closely to your original idea.

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
04-12-2005, 11:04 PM
Hi Robo_obi,

well, with what you have there,
there's several different directions that
you can go in simplifying your story.

First thing is definitely the characters,
a quick way to do this is to reduce the three
leads into two and focus the story on a pair,
like Frank and Steve's friendship as opposed to
three penguins looking for a career in showbiz.

Another thing you can do is to make these
characters know each other already like childhood
friends so you can skip their intro scenes.

There are also other plotline shortcuts where you can
connect characters to scenes which is more complex
but if done cleverly, it works very well. (This also
involves a detailed description of the plot.)

Second thing is the location changes. On average,
it seems like there's at least 1 change per min. Are they
all necessary? Can they be combined with other locations?
How much can these changes be reduced with the
reduction of characters? If taking out 1 or 2 characters
means 4 or 5 fewer scenes, then maybe it would be
easier to just work with fewer characters.

The third thing is, about the music, if you're really passionate
about the soundtrack what you might want to do is to make it
a music video type story where there will still be dialogue
but the story is music driven. Be careful with this medium
though because music selection is very important and working with
sound and visuals often requires a lot of effort and time to
get it to work right.

Let me know if this helps.

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
04-12-2005, 11:35 PM
Hi ^Abe^,

well, I wouldn't really say this isn't topical.
I actually know quite a bit about general psychology.

On a broad scale, there are several theories on "intelligence" or
"what we're good at" such as the g-factor theory and the multiple
intelligence theory.

What you've described aligns with multiple intelligence which theorizes
that people are good at different things.
Whereas you can be naturally strong in your visual skills, you can be
weaker in verbal skills.
So is this a problem that can't be fixed? Not necessarily.

What you may consider is just practice writing, not so much stories but
in things that generally interests you. Like write a review about a movie
you saw or a book you've read.
Then, try pairing it up with your drawings.
Take a drawing that you like and write paragraph about it.
It could be the story in the drawing or just how you drew it.
Anything that you want.

This may then help you exercise your verbal skills and increase your
interest in writing again. As you feel more comfortable, you can write
a bit more each time till you get a full story together.

Let me know if this helps.

ThinkStory

robo3687
04-13-2005, 01:07 AM
Thinkstory,

Thanks for the reply.

You're response gave me a few ideas at how I could make the story less cluttered, so thanks.

Although I have been thinking...since this is my first full length animation (should have mentioned this before) I think I might have been a tad too confident in believing that I could pull it off...

I'm considering cutting my current concept, but not entirely. I would like to do a short of Frank doing a stand up show, but he needs to be really bad, he needs to have alot go wrong, there needs to be some sort of revelation (maybe a love interest in the crowd?) and then an epiphany of some sort...but I can't get it all together in my head...

do you have any thoughts on these newer ideas?

thanks

robo3687

Manuel Ponce
04-13-2005, 07:24 PM
ThinkStory,


Thanks for your reply, I can not express my thanks for you taking the time and giving my some advise. I have many questions myself like does a movie need a main character? or three window characters that lead to a main character? I need a good plot for this to keep going.

I tend to think in action and I like ALOT of action and special effects in movies that are ment to hold action and special effects. I grew up in the 70's and action movies is all we had. That would be my biggest problem, I tend to leave out alot of dialogue and end everything in cliche'. I joined a screenwriting group in Chicago, but the last meeting I was the only one that showed up. I'm eating up as much advise as I can, right now I have 35 pages in rough draft, and I know I have to re-write most of it. The hardest part for me is to actually write what I'm thinking about and the scenes are just being by-passed. I dont want to mimick any other movie out, I have alot of ideas that would leave everyone jawdropped but the problem of mine is actually putting them well scripted.

thanks again ThinkStory,

ThinkStory
04-16-2005, 02:37 PM
Hi Robo_obi,

a single standup will probably make things more
simpler and more suitable for a first-time animated
short. However, the idea you have will require an angle.

Since Frank is not a good comedian, the fun part of
watching this short will not come from his jokes. Then,
as a developer, think about what will be the story's focal point.
Is it about a pathetic penguin? What is so interesting about
him except that he's pathetic, he needs to have some sort of
strong spot. Play with his strengths as well as weaknesses.

Maybe he isn't such a bad comedian but has a phobia for crowds
and is extremely shy. He has some great jokes but once he gets
up on stage, he messes them up. A good way to do this is
to let your audience see Frank rehearse his jokes ahead of time and
so they know what he "should" say then let him get them mixed up on
stage to create even more comedic moments and fun surprises.

Then, perhaps towards the end of the story, he sees his "love interest,"
finds courage, and says his best joke--with perfection.

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
04-16-2005, 02:52 PM
Hi Manuel,

believe me, I know what you mean about fitting
ideas into words. It's not always easy so sometimes
its better to have a storyboard to follow along with
the script to really see what's going on. But, of course,
that's more work and who wouldn't want a great script
alone even without visuals.

About the three supporting characters that leads to the main
lead, you have to be very careful. This is not impossible but
can be hard to pull-off. It requires a lot of balancing. Sometimes
these supporting characters can take-over the story or are
minimized by the lead character. It depends on how much time
is spent on each of the characters, how likable they are, and how
much of a part do they play in terms of their relationships with each other.

So it's doable but just requires some careful monitoring and balance.

ThinkStory

100%Cam
04-17-2005, 03:36 PM
Hey Thinkstory,

I'm working with friends on a collaborative animation piece. We've just posted the initial script outline. Click here (http://www.jarodpak.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38) to check it out. Love to hear your comments.

Cam :hmm:

cok3
04-17-2005, 06:26 PM
Hi thinkstory,
First off i would like to send my props to you for doin a great thing here in this forum. The advice you offer an invaluable learning experience to both the creators of the stories and even the readers.
Hope you can help me. I've kinda bitten off more than i can chew. And i really really need to reduce, the scale of my college project. HOpefully with your help i can tell more by showing as less as possible.
The short that i'm working on is entitled "Artists block." Basically it is a bout an artists struggle to create a piece of art as he is struck by artist's block. When he is struck by the block, he suddenelly finds himself in a barren wasteland of nothingness. Basically symbolic of the blank canvas and his blank state of mind. Actually this is no longer him, but a personification of his creativity or his inner artist. An encounter with the blank canvas which attempts to defeat him. The blank canvas is somewhat portrayed as a monster, very intimidating. The legs of the easel have stretched and formed into 3 spiderlike legs. THe canvas towers over the artist belittling him, and scaring the sh#t out of him.
At first the artist obviously tries to run away, but being trapped in an environment with nowhere to go (a horizon that leads nowhere), he is forced to defend himself as the canvas is much faster than him.
I want to end it with the canvas being defeated, by a single drop of paint. Since its no longer a blank canvas, the artist's block has been defeated. The single drop of paint is symbolic of the fact that all you have to do to defeat a block is to just start, a teeny weenie step is all it takes. But as I show in my short, that is easier said than done. MAny things fall into play, Fear being the main obstacle, leading to other ones like, hesitation, procrastination, perfectionism, which all prevent the artist from beginning. I read in a book somewhere that "the need to produce great artwork, makes it hard to produce any artwork at all." So after the drop of paint hits the canvas, it staggers back, and becomes a normal canvas and easel again, and the artist is back in his room.
Thats basically the general idea of the story. I've tried simplifying it by beginning straight at the desert of nothingness (which is basically a white/grey plane, and a white sky), with the artist horrified at where he is, then the encounter with the blank canvas. My problem lies in the fight scene. I don't think i have the time to do a long dramatic one, so I would like to just show the canvas is so intimidating, and scary. Perhaps it roars at the artists face, and sort of circles around him observing him. I want to show that it can easily defeat the artist. But surprisingly, the artist just had to swing his brush and the drip flies on to the canvas and then the canvas is in pain and dies. Maybe he closes his eyes when doing this which will be symbolic of letting his instincts take over, just giving in and let the painting take you into a journey to the unknown.
I think that I've somewhat got the main idea established and decided upon, but I have trouble executing it. Please help. I want to make this as short as possible and show as little as possible, but still get the main message through. thx

ThinkStory
04-18-2005, 03:45 PM
Hi 100%Cam,

you've got a thought-provoking script there.

There's really just a single thing I want to comment on
but it's an important one and that's to streamline your story.

It contains a lot of interesting ideas but (I know this sounds strange)
the story might be ten times better if you just took one of those
ideas and elaborate on it and make it bigger with more elements.

Sometimes coming up with good transitions is even more difficult than
coming up with good ideas. Rather than working on how one idea leads
to the other, consider using a single idea and make a center piece out of it.

This way, the story will be more fun to watch and easier to follow for the audience.

Let me know what you think.

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
04-18-2005, 04:28 PM
Hi Cok3,

nice symbolism and the drop of paint was
a smart touch to the story.

I agree with reducing a long fight scene, it'll turn the story
to more action than drama which seems to be the idea
you want to get across to the audience.

Therefore, consider opening the story with the artist sitting in
his work room, staring at a blank canvas on a desk in front of him....
Suddenly, he's in an empty dry desert, holding nothing but a dried brush.
(shows his inability to come up with new ideas)

It seems as if he's just entered into a black and white film, where
only he has color and everything else is black and white.
The artist runs, looking for water to wet his brush and give more color to
the world around him, but there's no water or liquid in a desert.
(shows the useless search for ideas outside of himself)

Eventually, the artist grows tired in thirst and falls onto the sand,
shutting his eyes to tell himself this isn't real.
A drop of sweat rolls down his forehead and onto his brush that rests
beside him. A SPLASH of color ignites from the brush and the camera pulls back
as it fills the desert in a magnificent array of hues.
(shows that only through hard work and commitment, can a artist
get out of a block)

The artist opens his eyes to find himself back in his workroom,
the empty canvas still on the desk he was resting on.
He picks up a brush and dots a drop of paint onto the canvas, the
drop of liquid slides and slips into the form of letters, then words that
make up the credits.

This is a general outline of how you can use non-action scenes and still
develop struggles and excitement in a simple story.

Let me know if this helps.

ThinkStory

cok3
04-18-2005, 05:06 PM
Thx for the reply thinkstory :) I love your idea of the sweat dripping and its symbolic significance, hope you don't mind if i apply it to improve my story.

I did previously want to include the artist in his studio before he is struck by the block, but because i wanted to reduce my story as much as possible so i thought the studio scene in the beginning would be something i could get away with. I was thinking of going straight to the emptyness, the end wich involves a transition back to the studio i thought would have been enough. Let me know your thoughts, of wether i should put back the beginning studio part. Actually the way you explained it i could just show a few seconds of the artist in the studio in the beginning and then imediatelly make the transition to the desert.

I love your take on the idea as well. Using the element of color. I'm happy also that you thought of the artist block sequence as being black and white. People say that we dream in black and white. I was thinking of making it look like an old black and white movie, with artifacts and stuff to give it something of a surreal feel. However, the paint on the artist's brush has color (red) which will portray that the struggle is in fact very real. ANd when the transition back the studio occurs, the artist will be in the exact same position, that he was before (in his blocked state). The canvas is in front of him, and the dot of paint on the canvas drips down like blood, signifying the end of the film.

I really liked your idea of using the splashes of color but it just wasn't the direction i was heading, it was still very insightful though, thank you for that. I just didn't want to give up the scene with the canvas becoming a spiderlike creature. Because I think of the blank canvas as main instrument that instills the fear in the artist causing the block. It stares fear into the artists eye. I dunno, but i feel the blank canvas becoming something like a monster is too important a symbol to me, and it is one of the main ideas that drive my story.

I just don't know if a short sequence with the canvas being defeated by a single dot would be sufficient. There is no way i have the skill and time to do a dramatic epic fight scene between the two, so i would just like to provide something like a shocker, something ironic maybe. The canvas is so scary and intimidating, it looks like it could kill the artist any second, yet it is surprisingly defeated by a single drop of paint. I just don't know how to show this in a short, and impactful way, and its killing me right now. This is my main problem. Hope to get ur reply soon. Thank you for your great advice.

Shoeless
04-19-2005, 02:17 AM
Hey Cok3,


I'm not a writer of Thinkstory's caliber, but I still dabble in words myself. If you want to keep the conflict between the artist and the canvas intact as a visible obstacle with audiences but want to avoid a prolonged or complex action scene then one idea you could consider is to keep it very simple and have the conflict broken into two parts; chase and confrontation.

First though, I think Thinkstory is right, you need to have SOME kinds of scene in the studio to set things up. To have an artist and then jump straight to the desert may be too large a gap for audiences to jump and still make the connection. You need to establish what the artist's struggle is. You need to establish that he IS an artist.

I'm assuming you want to keep dialogue to minimum either for a simpler story or to just avoid the hassle of recording dialogue. However, I think that if you're going to take the "no dialogue" route, then the other sound effects will play a much larger role.

Like for example, I see the opening in the studio to be the artist staring at the canvas. When he tries to start, he can't bring himself to do it. Maybe he paces up and down and you can have a series of dissolves that show things like the artist drinking coffee at one end of the room and staring at the canvas. The artist in the middle of the room, pacing up and down and staring at the canvas, and finally the artist standing at the canvas, looking like he's about to start and then putting the brush down and walking away.

From here you could have a shot with the canvas in the background as the artist walks towards the foreground. He stops as the sound effect of a desolate, lonely wind kicks in. The audience can see the confusion on his face and he slowly turns around and looks back at the canvas. From there, you could cut to a series of zooms between the artist's eyes and the canvas, with each cut back and forth getting faster and faster until finally, as the wind rises to a howl, you crash zoom from the artist's eyes to the canvas and it cuts to the desert.

Once in the desert, when the canvas rises up and you use a lot of low angle and low frequency/bass-y sounds to emphasize how big it is, you have the chase begin. You don't need to show any fighting, but you can have scenes like the artist getting out of the way as one of "legs" of the canvas comes smashing down, with a huge impact and sound effects to again show how heavy and large it is. Depending on how far you want to take your visual symbolism, you might even consider having the canvas corral him to the edge of a cliff or something and it looks like for a few moments, the artist might just give in and jump. Perhaps this is the time when he remembers he has a brush, and when he looks at it, it still has paint, the only color in the monochrome wasteland. As the canvas makes more thunderous sound effects and looks to be coralling the artist off the cliff, he finally takes a stand and swings the brush. A single dollop of paint flies away from it and hits the canvas, causing it to roar in defeat and transport the artist back to his studio. At that point he sees his own canvas with that same drop of paint on it, and begins to compose his new work.

Anyway, that's one way to go about it. It's just a top of the head thing, so take from it what you will. Or don't. Hope this helps...

cok3
04-19-2005, 01:10 PM
Thanks so much for your input Shoeless. Its amazing how almost all the stuff you had mentioned are almost exactly the same things that I was thinking. Basically I had blockd out the events as, studio, struck by block, imediate confrontation, chase, artist makes his 1 move, back in studio, end. The artist thinking, procrastinating, and pacing around as he is unable to begin his art, the gush/whistling of the wind in the baren wasteland, the artist rolling side to side as he just barelly escapes the canvas' legs stomping on the ground. Ocassionally using his pallette on as a shield, and the paintbrush like a sword. I had even thought of a similar scene in which the artist is cornered, and forced to fight back, before i realized that there were absolutely no background elements in the scene I had visualized. The artist being cornered in an edge of a cliff was a nice touch though, and i might considereing changing the environment a bit. IT might be grayish, and have some hints of terrain, that he can trip on, hills and stuff, but no textures. I had also similar thoughts of the artist getting up and beginning to paint on his canvas as the scene fades to the end. I however didn't think of the cinematographic details as much as you have. Thx for that, it gave so much insight insight, on how it should be like. I love the tension built up, cutting to and zooming at the artist and the canvas faster and faster. I had thought of making the canvas roar, at the artist's face, as he attempts to jab his paintbrush at the canvas in the beginning, after which the artist drops his pallete and paintbrush to run away. Not so sure about this yet, but i like your ideas of low frequency sounds for the canvas. Thx so much for your input, it freaked me out a bit that we had such similar thoughts, i have a couple mock storyboards on different takes on the topic, but i had never really thought of the film aspects as much as you. Again thank you for your input.

I'm just wondering if theres a way to even shorten this, getting the drip of paint on the canvas as quick as possible, something of an irony as the canvas clearly shows it overpowers the artist. Haven't found a dramatic way of doing this, and if i don't i guess I might just go with the longer take of it. I apologize for hogging the space a bit in this thread, sorry, i'll try not to post too long next time.

Shoeless
04-19-2005, 03:14 PM
Actually I had an image in my head for that, Cok3. Sort of a Spielberg/Hitchcock" infamous track/zoom out move. Easy to do if you're planning to go CG with this. Well, "easier" than if you were using traditional methods.


I don't know how you feel about fancy camera moves, but one way to really heighten the effect of that critical point would be a high angle close up on the artist as he's looking up at the canvas. Then, all in one shot, the camera shows as he goes into his "wind-up" and begins to slowly pull back from him. He swings his brush, and as he does, the single drop of paint starts to zoom towards the camera. The distortion effect of the Spielberg/Hitchcock track/zoom out begins at this point as the camera zoom out of the drop of paint as it nears the frame while simultaneously moving/tracking towards to achieve that infamous spatial distortion effect.

If you wanted to get really crazy with the shot, you could keep tracking the drop of paint as it moves PAST the camera and heads towards the canvas which now moves into frame as the camera pivots to follow the motion, and then you can keep following the drop until it impacts, at which point you have your cut, possibly to a long shot, to show some "destruction effect" or whatever you had in mind as your resolution.

Personally, while I think that it makes for dramatic visuals to show the painter defending himself with the palette, in the interests of speed, it may not be necessary. You can get away with the chase itself and some dramatic shots of the artist's desperation when he's cornered if you're really pressed for time. All your fight stuff is really kind of "optional" as your main point is defeat of the canvas through means other than violence, so think of the fighting as "fun extras" that you can put in or take out as the flow of the imagery dictates.

Again, this is all just suggestion. Ultimately it's your work, so just trust your gut and go with it, and you'll make something you can be proud of.

ThinkStory
04-19-2005, 10:22 PM
Hi Cok3,



yup, we're all pretty much on the same page,

nice collaboration here.



About shortening the chase though, a way to play this out

is to make the canvas really gigantic, where its spider legs
takes up what most of the frames reveal as they slam around
the artist like the bars of a cage to "block" his way while the
empty page hovers over him as he runs.
Unable to escape, the artist falls to the ground and rolls over.
The blank canvas dives down and rushes up to his face with a
piercing screech. Nowhere else to go, the artist finally finds the
courage to draw out his brush at lightening speed then, Ding! a
gentle touch from the tip sends a whirlwind that sucks the monster
and desert twirling in transformation back into the form of the
original empty canvas standing back inside the studio.


Let me know if this helps.



ThinkStory

cok3
04-19-2005, 10:44 PM
Shoeless:
that sound really interesting! My imagination skills aren't so good though so i think i will have to see some footage for the distortion effect. Can you give me titles of Spielberg/Hitchcock films that actually showcase this (Just PM them to me)? I also like your idea of continuing to track the drop of paint moving past the camera. for the "destruction effect" I could show the impact of the canvas being hit by the drop of paint, a long shot of the canvas in pain from the impact an then staggering back, attempting to go at the artist again at one time, but again staggers back in pain, and slowly transforming back into a normal canvas and easel as the scene changes back to his studio. Camera focuses on the artist's exhaustion, and switches back to the canvas and the dot that slowly drips down like blood.

I really want to cut down as much, and get straight to the point. So I probably will let go of the stuff that might not be necessary like you suggested, only adding the extra's if I have time left.

Thinkstory:
Thanks for your detailed take on this. I love symbolism of the artist being caged by the legs. I did have a different idea on how it would be ended, but thanks for giving me a lot of ideas to help the story. I your idea of the canvas being defeated by a gentle touch as it has great significance. I really do need to think of ways to really shorten the sequence so thanks for giving me a lot of ideas. I think I might be able to make this work now, thanks to you.



thank you both so much thinkstory and shoeless. Thanks again for your replies, I've been workin on this idea for a while now, and it has sort of dried up and given me a "block," thank you both for lifting that. Thinkstory, thanks for your takes on the idea, they've really opened up my mind on this, and thank you Shoeless for your insights on the film aspects of things, we don't have a lecturer that actually helps us in this area. You have both been such a great help, your replies are invaluable. I really love this kind of collaborative brainstorming kinda thing. Although i am feeling kinda guilty that it looks like i've been hogging this thread for the past 2-3 days and I kinda think its unfair for the others. I'll try to post a bit less from now on, only when i have real substantial updates to post, so that maybe more others will start to voice out their story problems again.

daspetey
04-25-2005, 05:02 PM
hi thinkstory!

i just wanted to applaud you for being such a great community resource. you are the main reason why boards like this thrive. i dont know what you do professionally, but you could definitely charge for your services (i would pay =) )

i just recently bought 'story' by mckee, and 'the writer's journey' by volger, and i have been voraciously devouring everything i can find on story since. its a tricky beast to nail down, and i think people like you, who are willing to share what you've learned, are rare and neccessary.
so thank you for doing this.
-pete

ThinkStory
04-27-2005, 04:52 PM
Hi!!

Thanks for everybody's complements and appreciation!!
I'm really glad to be doing this on my free time.

Many of you through e-mail and other private messages
have asked me exactly what I do which is more than
understandable.

So let me explain, I work mostly like a "story consultant" with
various different companies and studios. I was just trying to
describe this to somebody pretty cool last week, um, let's say "Joe,"
and he made the comparison that it's sort of like a script doctor for scripts.

I read and comment on a lot of scripts and other writing but it's usually not
the main part of work and I don't really focus on grammar/format editing.
I write but it's usually a little bit more interactive than that and there's a lot
of group work with people in a bunch of different departments involved in
concept development, character design, and visual presentation.

It's interesting work because I can bring in some outside, objective insights
and a different perspective into the studio to lessen the distance between
what they want to achieve and what they're actually producing.
But as you can imagine, since my input sometimes involves their final output
patents, there's a bit of confidentiality that comes with the projects and it's
tough to put together a resume that says, "Hey, this is the stuff I work on!"

But the work's fun enough and the pay's good enough to make it really enjoyable.

I've always liked helping students, interns, or just freelancers because a lot of times
you guys have a lot of fresh ideas, some better than others, but they're new
and less constrained. This is simply more interesting and meaningful.

I'm currently working again so, as you can see, my posts may be delayed but
I am still interested in helping out those who have any questions or need critiques.
If anybody would like to make contributions though, like Amazon Gift Certificates
or PayPal, of course, it will be greatly appreciated.

Keep in mind that:
"Imagination is Intelligence having Fun!"
--Anonymous


ThinkStory

digikris
04-28-2005, 01:54 AM
Hi thinkstory,

How would you describe a rediculously pshycotic, insane, cynical person who you wont know what will be his next move. Man i have this character i want to describe in a single line.

Also i was watching reservoir dogs on the other day. Mr.Orange was shot in the rear of the car. How would you expalin is acting in words? I mean the way he was acting gave me cold and chill. I'm having trouble placing the right words in the story. I want it to be short, descriptive and in depth.

How to achieve this?

I'm also developing my story i posted few weeks ago and i'm working on that.

thank you for your great advise in the forum,
digikris

ThinkStory
05-01-2005, 12:18 AM
Hi Digikris!

To keep it short and sweet, give as little detail as
possible. Instead, be as sharp in your description
as you can.

I'm not sure what the plotline is for your story but
start this character like a plain ordinary person in a
very boring...predictable scene...something that can
convince the audience that they know Exactly what this
character's gonna do. Then, make him/her do something
totally outrageous.

This will automatically grab your viewer's attention and
cause them to be on the lookout every time this character
enters another scene.

If you'd like it all in a single sentence though, you can
use the same format, just put it in a sentence or dialogue form.
During the character's opening line, make him/her
begin saying something that sounds very familiar, ordinary,
even polite then finish the sentence with something extremely
odd or inappropriate to the conversation.

The same applies if you prefer describing him/her through
narration. Talk about the character's ordinary overall
appearance...blah...blah...blah, then abruptly center-in
on a strange, unusual feature that reveals something
deeper and more mysterious.

Let me know if this helps.

ThinkStory

Manuel Ponce
05-04-2005, 08:14 PM
ThinkStory or anyone on the board,

How would it sound having a narrator describing the prequel of events, instead of having to literaly describe the entire beggining?

For anyone just reading, I'm writing a movie screenplay of how vampires and humans wiped out an alien invasion take-over. Humans and vampires are the only inhabitants of the planet, super: 500 years and a group of rouge vampire clans want to disrupt the peace between both races.
The vampires seek the help of the humans and eliminate the clans before their plan has success.

Narrator:
"It all happened as if were written in the ancient scrolls. Intergalactic Alien Invaders came and answered mankinds most controversial question; are we alone? The Invaders first attacked all Earths resources; air, water, land. All Earths governments came together and formed the biggest coalition ever witnessed to man. The invaders used giant mechs to carry out this destruction. For the first time in history the human race had to battle alien beings that in fact the human race had been preparring a warm reception for.

The Vampire race soon emerged when the invaders blacked the sky. The vampire race was more advanced with weapons and tactics. Soon they joined the battle for the meer survival of the planet.

All three groups fought for many months, but the alien mechs brought forth many casualties. Then one day an older man well presseved dressed in a long cloak presented himself to one of the human military bases and offered his help...."

from this point on I could then add the scenes that lead to the end of the war.

Instead of creating 20 or more pages of the back story, I would think a narrator would be best. any Ideas on this take?

Plus I added more dialouge to the scenes that needed dialouge and made them all more "Human". or human personalities for that matter. I have the most recent .doc if anyone interested, I dont have a website yet but give me time...

ThinkStory
05-08-2005, 12:34 PM
Hi Manuel,

a narrator for the back story isn't a bad idea, it'll really
help in giving a quick intro and have the film jump right into
the action, but beware that it might give the story more of
an epic/fantasy kinda feel than a SciFi one, unless that is the
effect you want to achieve.

Assuming you want a little bit of both, and considering that
the intro isn't too complex or unconventional, perhaps you can
grab the audience right from the get-go and tell your story
through bits and pieces of scenes and some background music
with one or two quick dialogue lines if necessary.
With the different characters and species you have, an unexplained
intro will give a little mystery to the beginning of your film that'll
intrigue the audience more than it'll confuse them.

From the opening, they'll think, "Oh, movie about alien and human war,
blah...blah..." then, a vampire launches into the screen "Whao! What was
that?!" Achieving this effect isn't easy and will require a lot of good camera
action and great CG talent but, if done properly, can work very nicely for an
opening sequence.

Narration really isn't a bad idea, just make sure to add some flavor into it
so that it dosen't bore or patronize the viewers with any over explanations.

Let me know if this helps.

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
06-02-2005, 02:40 PM
Hi!!

A great student/freelancer recently asked me
for advice on book publishing in relation to how
to sell a story to book publishing companies which is
not something I'm very familiar with, does anybody
know where this person can get more info on this?

Thanks for your info.

ThinkStory

Empath
06-04-2005, 03:55 PM
I don't know a thing about getting published, but I would suggest asking Google. Sorry not to be of more help...

Empath
06-04-2005, 05:08 PM
- Deleted -

CaptainJackSparrow
06-05-2005, 01:52 AM
Whoah Nelly, too much black!

One word: Paragraphs.

Empath
06-05-2005, 02:12 AM
Whoah Nelly, too much black!

One word: Paragraphs.

Hehee, sorry, splitting up paragraphs is my weakest writing skill. When I'm writing I usually rethink and work out most of the paragraph breaks towards the end, and all of that was rough rambling out of ideas.
You wouldn't want to read any of what I scribble entirely for myself, not a paragraph break to be seen. :D

ThinkStory
06-05-2005, 03:25 PM
Hi Empath,

uh, read the whole thing.
The question is what is the intention for your story?
If it is meant for just a personal thing then it's okay
but if it's meant to be a formulated story piece then
it will need quite a bit of brushing and changes simply
because what you described are more similar to a set
of ideas fleshed out and articulated than a story plotline
which requires dimension.

I don't mean your idea is simple or thin in anyway, it's actually
rather interesting, instead, what is meant by dimension is that
ideas are kinda like "stuff" used to fill an empty page whereas
story is like the dynamics from of a combination of this stuff
to bring movement, pacing, and angle into the meaning for ideas.

Sorry, I didn't mean for it to sound complicated. What I'm trying
to say is, your description seems uniform (single perspective) which
can be a strong set of ideas that can lead to a story but will need to
be much more thorough and polished to really become a dynamic plotline.

As an example, stories often requires sides like good vs. bad,
strenght vs. weakness, brain vs. brawn, etc. The conflict
in your description seems to be about your character's struggle
to define himself. So the enemy force is his inability to fit in then
what is the hero force? Another way of putting this is the weakness
of your character is clear but what is his strenght (besides the
superpower of course)?

Once sides are established, then ideas can work their way to support
such a conflict and develop meaning and interest from it. This is one
way to form a story, there are also lots of other approaches but this
equilibrium seems to be the main thing your ideas needs to form a
more substantial storyline.

ThinkStory

Empath
06-05-2005, 05:03 PM
- Deleted -

sickofpop
06-13-2005, 11:18 PM
Hey Thinkstory,

I was wondering if you could help me out a bit. I've written a screenplay for a short animated film. Its a Zombie/Western. I've attached the script in the post.

My problem is:

I put in the poster idea to misdirect the viewer into thinking that Walter is a murderer of innocent people, but its getting in the way of the payoff with the badges at the end. So far, I've had two people who read the script thinking that the Zombies put up the poster, which isn't what I'm going for. I want to make it clear that this is one town in a long line of towns that became infested with Zombies, and that at some point before this particular town became infested the townspeople heard of other towns being 'cleaned out'. So of course Walter was mistaken for a murderer, when in fact, he is simply 'cleaning' these towns of zombies.

I was wondering if there is a simple way to clear this problem up, since I don't want to give away too much and lose the impact of the sheriff badges at the end. I was actually thinking about removing the poster idea completely, since the story still works without it, and the ending has greater impact. I'd like to hear your ideas. Thanks.

ThinkStory
06-14-2005, 01:49 AM
Hi Scott,

hmm...maybe I don't quite understanding the question,
but I think the poster and badges work together
rather well at the end of the story regardless of
whether the poster was put up by the Zombies or
other townspeople.

I mean, it seems to bring out both points of misdirecting
the audience and the impact of the sheriff badges even
better than having either of them stand alone.
On the one side, it's sort of like a double negative of having
the Zombies view Walter as "the bad guy in town," on the
other side, there's another double negative of having regular
people think Walter as the "outsider."

It seems to be a good synergy for the story that reinforces
the closing scene. However, this is YOUR story and if YOU
don't feel it's working then lets work out something else.
But first, did I misunderstand your question, what exactly
about the Zombies putting up the poster bothers you and
how do you feel it AFFECTS the EFFECT you're trying to convey?

Is it that you don't want Walter to be labeled as the "enemy of
the Zombies," instead, he should be misunderstood as the "enemy of
the people"? If so, then the problem with the poster is that it's
found inside the Zombie town. So if regular people put up the
sign then they must have been there before and should therefore
know about the Zombies already.

The only way to fix this is to show the poster BEFORE Walter enters
the town but, assuming you (understandably) don't want to put in a
boring normal town scene just for the poster, consider opening
the film with a quick action sequence of Walter being chased by
a group or a single human sheriff.
Keep the shabby-look he has at the original opening as he's being chased
to allow the audience to typecast him the way you want, this way, when
he fights the Zombies it'll have that "wow" effect.

If that's a bit more work than you're looking for, then use the little girl Walter
meets. Have her say when she's hidden in the shadows that she's heard
from adults that Walter is a murderer and asks him if that's true. Walter then
sneers at her and points his weapon. This will give you a better hold of the
audience before they find out the girl's actually a Zombie. This is similar to the
poster in that it could just as easiliy mean that only the Zombies call him a
murderer but whereas the poster and badges are at the very beginning and at
the very end of the story which lends itself to become interpreted as the theme,
having the girl say the lines written on the poster then have the action sequences
follow right after takes the audience's attention away from that connection.
But I noticed that there was no dialogue in your script so if you want to keep it
that way, this might not work.

Is this what you're looking for?
Let me know what you think.

ThinkStory

sickofpop
06-14-2005, 03:47 AM
Hey thinkstory,

Thanks for the comments...

But first, did I misunderstand your question, what exactly
about the Zombies putting up the poster bothers you and
how do you feel it AFFECTS the EFFECT you're trying to convey?


Yeah, I'm kind of a fan of Zombies being completely mindless, ie. they don't write, talk or put up posters.... So I really wanted to stay away from the idea that the Zombies consider Walter an enemy... In fact, they don't even know he's coming until he rides into town. To the Zombies, he's just another meal. That also means that the girl can't talk to Walter either. You're right I don't have dialogue in the script. I didn't want to put any in there. I wanted to just tell the story visually.

I really wanted the Sheriff badges at the end to be the kicker. In other words, the viewer finds out that he's been doing this a long, long time. I feel like the poster may reinforce that unnecessarily, in fact it somewhat detracts from the impact that the badges have at the end, since the viewer already has an inkling that Walter has done this sort of thing before. Another problem with the poster is that some people may think that Walter really was a murderer, and that he just happened to wander into a zombie town. The way the script is right now leaves too many interpretations. I'm not sure if I want people saying things like 'Did the zombies put up the poster?' or 'Wow that guy killed a lot of sheriffs, but the last one ended up being a zombie.' Maybe I'm overthinking this.


So if regular people put up the
sign then they must have been there before and should therefore
know about the Zombies already.



You make a good point here.... Maybe I should ditch the poster.... Any other thoughts?

ThinkStory
06-21-2005, 10:29 PM
Hi Scott,

thanks for clearing that up about the Zombies.
Yes, if that's the idea you want, then leaving out
the poster will be better.

Hmm...another way to misdirect the viewer without
physical objects or actual dialogues can be through
flashbacks. Consider using them when Walter loads
his revolvers. Every time a bullet hits the back of
the metal cylinder, a scene flashes on screen of him
shooting a Zombie except place the camera so that
it doesn't reveal to the audience that they're Zombies
like back shots, close ups, and wide shots. This way,
the audience will automatically assume Walter is a murderer.
You can also blur the flashbacks a bit.

What do you think?

ThinkStory

sickofpop
06-21-2005, 10:40 PM
Yeah I like the idea of the flashbacks as he's loading his guns... I should probably show a little of his surroundings in the flashbacks, something very different from the town he's currently in, so that the viewer doesn't think its this town he was in. Does that make sense?

Also, I wewnt back and did a second draft of the script. I took out the poster, and instead added a map that WALTER checks. I'll post the new script so you can take a look at it. Let me know what you think.

ThinkStory
06-24-2005, 03:49 PM
Hi Scott,

yeah, the map scene seems to work great
especially in opening the flashback sequence.
It's a strong setup to show that your character
has a bit of background and have been traveling
through different towns for a while.

The map also reinforces that this is a different
town but having different backgrounds makes an
extra addition too.

ThinkStory

elijah'77
06-28-2005, 05:50 PM
Hey thinkstory
i have 2 characters (3D) and both r indian based sardars in the US. now one guy is tall and thin and lean and very shabby... also he is very lazy and grumpy (somewat like TOM in tom & jerry) other guy is his younger bro who is quite the opposite... he is small and round.... he is hyperactive and keeps teasin and troubling his elder bro (like jerry).... actually very naughty.... the elder one hates this younger one to the core. jus like TOM & jerry... im actually trying to make a series of their adventure jus like tom & jerry.... cud u suggest some story which revolves around only these 2 chars (no other char) of about 5 mins maximum and the whole thing is very hilarious... i also wanted some kind of interaction and dialouges between the two.... cud u pls help me?

ThinkStory
06-28-2005, 08:50 PM
Hi Elijah'77,

before starting the plot, may I ask who's
the intended audience for this series?

You mentioned that it's similar to Tom and Jerry,
is it for a younger audience?
Based on your character selection, is there suppose
to be some aspect of culture or tradition involved in
the story?
Is there a setting?
What kind of tone do you think this series should have
besides humor?

Let me know what you think.

ThinkStory

elijah'77
06-29-2005, 06:58 AM
Ya,
its ofcourse for the younger audience.... there is no aspect of culture involved... and regd the setting it cud b interior or exterior but not much importance to the setting.... mostly the incidents r regd the two of them and involved more of the frustration of the elder one 'coz the younger one is lucky and gets away with all the pranks.... i suppose this is info is satisfying.... even im trying to think of some storyline...

ThinkStory
06-30-2005, 07:01 PM
Hi Elijah'77,

not exactly sure what you'd like but you
sound pretty open about the story.
If the only constraints are that the story's
supposed to be 5 min and is based on just
2 characters with Tom-and-Jerry-like slapstick
humor, I think the simpler it is, the better.

How about start it with an empty screen with
nothing on the set except for a junk pile of building
materials. You're characters are each trying to
build a hut for himself but there's just about
enough materials for one hut. They're each racing
the clock to finish as much as they can and trying
to take whatever they need from the other.

Of course, the younger brother wins the race since
he's faster, less lazy, and, I'm assuming, the smarter
one of the two. The little hut is finally built and he
scurries inside.

A beautiful outdoor backdrop fills the blank screen, then
clouds form and it starts to rain. The older brother shivers
outside...the door of the hut creaks open, he scurries in.
The two of them look out from behind a small window in the
hut.

This can work as a one-piece clip, but if it turns out to become
a series, simply change the opening from a blank set into a
stranded island. The series of adventures that these two brothers
face can then develop from an island setting. The focus of their
arguments and fights can be about who's fault it is that they landed
there and how to get off the place.

Let me know if this helps.

ThinkStory

elijah'77
06-30-2005, 07:18 PM
Hey ThinkStory
thats a cool one... it sounds gud... i'll jus discuss it with my friend and let u know ... by the time if u cud come up with more options, i'll b obliged!

itsallgoode9
06-30-2005, 10:25 PM
Well here goes for my basic idea that I need help fleshing out.:

The story takes place in a dairy cow barn at night while all the cows are sleeping. This story begins inside of a little mouse's house that he has made out of random materials in one corner of the barn, and we see the mouse is up to some sort of mischevious plan. (I would picture the personallity and intelligence of this mouse such as that of "Pinky and the Brain") we soon realize that the mouse is making a plan to steal milk from the cows to make cheese because he has ran out.

that's the basic idea and i'm having trouble exactlly about where to go with it fully from there. what I had been trying to work with was:

the mouse makes a rag-tag comntraption to suck milk out of the sleeping cow's udder, through a makeshift hose and back to the mouse's house. Once the hose is connected the mouse doesn't realize is that there is a hole in the hose which is squirting another sleeping cow. This squirting milk eventually awakens the cow and it mistankenly thinks the cow being pumped is the one doin the squirting (he does not realize it's coming from the hose) The cow being squirted gets very angry and starts to charge at the other cow plowing into him making both of them fall into the wall of the barn......(this whole time the mouse is inside his house pumping his milk pump contraption) slowly the structure of the barn starts to shake, and in one giant swoosh the barn falls to the ground. Back in the mouse house the mouse realizes the milk has quit flowing, so he peaks outside his house with a confused look and sees that the entire barn has fallen around him leaving only his house standing and not realizing it was all his fault. The camera would do a long truck out, leaving it at that.


So that's where i'm at. I'm pretty happy with the most of the story I think, but I don't really know if there would be a better, or more cohesive way to end this. Any input is and help is greatly appreciated. And also, to you think this is a piece that would work in a 3-5 minute time frame? it seems like it would to me, but i'm really bad at time estimations. thanks for any help!

ThinkStory
07-01-2005, 05:41 PM
See the following post.

ThinkStory
07-01-2005, 05:48 PM
Hi Itsallgoode9,

that is an interesting idea and actually,
I do have a different but similar wrap-up for it.

But first, there're two things you might have
considered already but in case you haven't,
here they are:

I think the contraption can be kinda tricky,
um...is there an established idea about what it
looks like and how it works? Milking cows is an
awkward thing and designing a scene so that
it looks real and looks right at the same time can
be tough.

The second thing is dairy cows are females and are
usually quite mild mannered, rarely charges, but
given the situation, it's understandable, it's just
something to keep in mind, that's all.

If you'd like, here's what I think can be changed a little,
instead of a machine-looking contraption, the mouse builds
a baby cow-looking contraption. It does exactly the same
thing except at one end of the hose, it looks like a calf.
The mouse kidnaps the real baby cow and puts it with the
goats or something and replaces the calf with the fake one.
The parent, thinking that it's the real one, naturally allows
it to feed at night. Then, similar to your idea, the mouth
piece of the hose loosens and squirts milk at another cow.
The cow wakes up and sees the cute fake calf and helpfully
pushes it a little back to the right place, the hose then squirts
in the other direction, another cow wakes up, etc.

Finally, one of the cows who poked the machine accidentally
messes it up, a piece of the metal breaks and plugs up the
backside of the fake calf. The mouse, seeing that there's no
milk, keeps pumping, the fake cow fills up with milk like a
water balloon, the parent and other cows stare at it in shock
and...KA POW!!
The whole machine blows up, the barn falls to pieces.
The mouse comes out of his house and sees the real
baby cow running to its parent who, along with all the
other cows, have question marks on their faces in the
midst of a shattered barn splashed with milk.

What do you think?

Hmm, for a short like this, the length depends on how
much backstory you'd like to put into it. Like do you
want to show the mouse run out of milk, how they
formed the plan, built the machines, etc. If there isn't
much of a backstory and it simply shows a quick overview
of the situation leading to the mouse stealling the milk,
then a 4-5 minute time frame should be okay for this film.

ThinkStory

itsallgoode9
07-01-2005, 06:43 PM
Thanks for the idea! Yeah, I did think about the two things you mentioned concerning the dairy cows being female and the pumping contraption, but as you mentioned about he cow issue, I didn't think either one of them would be too big of an issue considering the type of piece this is. I really like the ideas you gave me, especially the part about making the contraption actually look like a baby cow:) Thanks for your input!

DieByTheSword
07-07-2005, 07:41 PM
Mr ThinkStory (http://www.cgtalk.com/member.php?u=150080)

Im having this big problem... i have several pages already and no
title for this story... this is driving me crazy...

I thought of:

1) Do or do not try to 'wrap' up the reason of this story exist in 1 to 3 words?
2) Take one of the names of some chars and use? 'Adam' .. (yikes!)
3) Take the maximum elementum of change in the story? 'Invasion of XXX' .. (lame!)

Is there any pro way of handling the titles?
Oh my god... plz help.

StuntMan
07-07-2005, 09:57 PM
Hi all, very good thread... lots of interesting points :)

I'd like to add a couple of my own thoughts in case it might expand anyone's thinking.

--Try not to overwelm the audience, all good stories must still "unfold". So if you want to include a story about several of your favorite things, think of pacing and how the audience will be taking in all the information. This is the same problem I see in video games today, in that an artist throws out so many of their favorite little details and characters that the audience cannot even follow. If there is a particular name of a character, or event then isolate that important detail so that it may be memorable. Too often I see ideas that overwelm the senses with facts. As a helpful tool I've tried pretending that you are telling the story to someone else next to you... and you can only "write in your script" as fast (or giving as much information) as your "eyes/ears can take in what's happening" in your story.

--Remember what had gotten you excited, and what you are personally attached to. I believe this has been mentioned in one form on this thread already, but try and remind yourselves that you do not have to "fill in" a story with details that you "think" the audience wants to see or hear. As a director, or writer i believe that you will have the vision of your story in mind... and if it is well thought out enough you can "let the world live" in your mind. So to answer many questions about your stories and events, make sure you know the heart of your world and characters so that they have their own existance in your mind. That way when you wonder what "hero1" might do when confronted by "evil1", well you know the character very well in your mind and can watch how he/she would act in staying true to their character (which comes from your intial idea that got you excited about that character and their traits)

...Just random thoughts. :)

itsallgoode9
07-08-2005, 06:29 AM
Great points stuntman. Man, I wish we were required to take story or screenwritting class in regards to short stories (don't even know if such a class exsists which is that specific) I always find it hard to come up with a story in general, but I find it especially hard to come up with one that's small enough to fit into a piece that I can actually make.

ThinkStory
07-08-2005, 06:21 PM
Hi Rodrigo,

yes, titles can be tough ones.
And I think storytelling and titleing are two
different skills. Somebody can be a great
storyteller but still mess up on the titles.

The thing is, coming up with a good title
is more of an art than science. So it's hard
to say if there's any special rules to it.

Usually, it depends on what kind of story you
have. If it's theme-based, then the first point
you made can work. If it's for younger audiences,
the third point is okay since it gets the point across
rather quickly.

One way of looking at it is that the title is the selling point
of your story. Imagine you're pitching your idea to somebody,
how will you begin your first sentence?
Can you find a title in that?

This is not the most, well, artistic way of doing it but can
you give some details or information about what your story
is about or what kind of "feel" it should have?

I mentioned in another post that plotlines are complicated,
emotions are simple. I found that this idea works the same
with titles, words are complicated, emotions are simple.
First, figure out what it is you want from the title, then decide
on the words that make it up.

ThinkStory

DieByTheSword
07-10-2005, 02:25 PM
Well, thank you. So, im not alone in 'guess' department ..

;)

arowana
07-26-2005, 04:18 PM
Hi! Thinkstory. Bless u an eternity for this wonderfull thread of yours! :)
I am trying to write a short with the setting of my hometown Indonesia. please help me on this.
I got the concept from a traditional Balineese dance called "Ngajah Gelatik"

There a story behind this dance. It was meant to critiizise a common bad habbit of the local people. Most of them have hobby to pet a bird of the local species named "Gelatik"

this bird is small, it has grey feathers, red beak, and black collored head.

People often tied the bird's head with a lace, then on the other hand they hold a tree branch so the bird can stand on it. After that they shake the branch so the pity bird will jump and fly, the lace will choke the bird and pull it back. The bird will try over and over again to fly but couldn't.

Ok so from this I made a story.

the scene will take a location in a rural area in Bali.

the characters:

Putu: a 40 years man whos hobby is playing with Gelatik.

Pipit: Putu's Gelatik bird pet. (male)

Pian: another Gelatik who is trying to help Pipit (male)

the style will be look alike as "for the Birds" PIXAR ,it is cartoony and cute and the birds can't speak dialoque.

in the first scene Pipit is in the cage, happily playing and eating seeds from a bowel in the cage. Then Putu is coming and open the cage try to catch Pipit. Pipit trying to escape from Putu's grab. just like normally bird does when we want to grab it from its cage. Putu's succeded grab Pipit and tied his head with a lace.

He lets Pipit standing on a small wooden stick (tree branch) that he holds with the left hand. While Putu's rigth hand is holding the lace so Pipit can't get away.

Putu starts to play by shaking the branch so the poor Pipit will loose his grab and immideately open his wing trying to fly. But as soon as he fligt the lace will choke him and drive him back. Pipit triying hardly to grab the stick which he was stood on but when he reach it, immidiately Putu will shake it again, and again. Left Pipit has no place to rest.

In evening time, Pipit was taken back to his cage. He looks exhausted and traumatize. eyes half closed...

and scene fades.. a glance of another Gelatik watching from far away...(Pian)

(the scene may look sad so far, but still I want to maintain the funny aspect by the stupid face of the bird (like the bird in "For the birds") also the animation with lots of squah and stretch.. (I hope u get in my perspective) :)

Next morning came in another Gelatik named "Pian" He stand on Pipit's cage and feel pity on Pipit. So he try to help by pushing the slots that locks the cage door. The door was open ,then Pian immidiately fly away as he assume that Pipit will follow him to fly. But Pian just realize that the bird in the cage has no action or response. Pipit is still traumatize/shocked, weak.

Pian get into the cage to make Pipit awake. but all attemts are futile.

Suddenly thecage door closed, Pian was shocked as he saw Putu was smiling with devilish look.

the scene fades to black.

morning comes and now Pian and Pipit are both tied with lace. and Putu's playing over them. over and over.

sometimes Pian has to help Pipit who is nearly fainted.

evening time, they are put back in the cage. Both are exhausted ...

Pian stood up and walk near fence, staring to the sky of freedom. He regrets why he tried to help Pipi before, now he has to suffer as well. He look upon Pipit whos already asleep with some regret and hate.

ok, untill here I got stuck.

The point is I want to tell a story about helping each other. But sometimes the helper turn out to fail and caught up in the problem. Of course the ego will come up after that. But they both now in the same problem so they have to get out from it. One should raise up and bring the situation to a solution.

can u help me out?? :) continue or if u have a better idea ,I won't mind.

If u think the whole idea sucks, please tell me. I really trying to get a good story for my short, and I hope I come up with the best one at the end.

my grammer and vocab aren't that good, pardon me for it.

thanks.

ThinkStory
07-27-2005, 02:19 AM
See the next post.

ThinkStory
07-27-2005, 02:25 AM
Hi Arowana,

how about this:
Putu is an Gelatik seller and owns a large cage of these animals.
Pipit is one of them that Putu keeps for himself and is placed in a smaller cage.
The reason that Pitpit is kept separate is because he's still young and
can't fly too well which adds even more sympathy from your audience and from
Pian and the other captive Gelatiks.

Pian is sort of a free heroic Gelatik that tries to free the captives held by Putu.
When he arrives, even the other Gelatiks asks that he rescue Pitpit first.
Pian unhooks the clink to the door of Pitpit's cage.
Pitpit admires Pian's courage but felt too weak to escape with him.
So, similar to what you've you said, Pian also gets captured by Putu and the
group tries to think of a plan to free the timid and weak Pitpit.

The string that Putu uses to tie Pitpit is strung around a clasp near his cage.
The plan was if one of them could reach the string and shred it enough, Pitpit
would be able to tear it when he flies. But none of them alone could reach the
small string across the room, not even Pitpit whose cage is inches away from the
string.
So Pian decides that if he flapped his wings hard enough, it could blow one end of the
string into Pitpit's cage and Pitpit can bite onto it but Pian alone was unable to initiate
enough wind across the room, another Galatik seeing this tries to helps out, then
another and another until every Gelatik joined in, flapping their wings as hard as they
could to help Pitpit. The string then slowly fluttered in through the bars of his cage.
Pitpit gathers his strengths to take it in his beak but just then, Putu comes in through
the door, Pitpit turns his head and the string slips back to its original place.

Putu goes over to Pitpit's cage with the branch in hand, the others watched as the
Gelatik seller clutch the struggling animal into his hand and strap the unbroken string
around him.
The small Pitpit, as usual, starts to fly with difficulty but remembers how hard the
other Gelatiks flapped their wings for him and tries with all his might, pulling the string
with all his strength. It breaks and Pitpit soars free into the air, zooming straight for
the large Gelatik cage, he unhooks it like Pian and they all fly through the window and
into the open.


This plot deals with a larger cast of characters simply because
I thought that it is the kind of story that's more suitable to be
expressed on a larger scale.
It centers a bit more on an the main character, Pitpit; and
Pian is more of a heroic icon, sort of a role model for Pitpit.
I felt that the other Gelatik characters will add to the thematic and
visual aspect about strength and courage to the story.

What do you think?

ThinkStory

arowana
07-27-2005, 04:22 AM
wow! honestly it is much better then what I expected.
ur idea absolutely can represent the messege that I am trying to say. :)
I think I'll study ur story for several days and try to put it on visual. But I think everything will works fine.
The first scene can show the Putu in a market place, He give a Gelatik attraction and people are watching at the poor Gelatik. ( can be anyone in the cage). and the story continue.

do u think as I think? got a better intro??
thank u so much for ur time!

kikaider
07-27-2005, 02:01 PM
Hi ThinkStory! I really need some help on my short story for my 2d animation uni project. I am a really crap story writer. Never good at it. I have this simple story that is lack of structure. I hope you can help me out here.

Storyline

Jess is an ambitious 10 year old boy that always wants to be different and better than the other kids. So one day his teacher asked each of the students to come out with a science project. Jess though hard of what he wanted to make, and decided that he would make a bomb. Jess got onto the internet ands tarted googling on how to make his bomb.

The next week everyone came to class and the teacher ask the students to present their projects one by one in front of the class. The first kid that went up showed his wooden aeroplane. The second kid presented a windmill and the third kid presented a volcano. Then the teacher called Jess up next. Jess went up and presented his bomb.

The teacher then graded his bomb a F. Jess was not happy with his marks and asks that his teacher remark it. His teacher told him that his marks were final and there will be no way to regrade it. Jess wanted to prove to the teacher that his bomb was worth an A. So he sets off the timer and the teacher started to get worried. He told Jess to switch it off but Jess suddenly realised that he does not know how.

The teacher decides to take over and asks Jess for a pair of scissors. Sweating nervously the teacher proceeds on to opening up the bomb. He sees lots of wires and cannot decide on which wire to cut. So he just plays a guessing game and cut one of the wires.

The timer on the bomb started counting down faster and suddenly it stopped at the last second. Then Jess realised that the battery has gone flat. Everyone was relieved that it was finally over.

Another kid pulls out a battery and says “I’ve got a spare!!” Everyone in the class looks at him, but too late. He had already plugged it in. One second later everyone was charcoaled by the explosion.

jaydmax
08-17-2005, 07:35 PM
Hi ThinkStory,

I know since you've started this thread you've been flooded with concepts to read but if you have anymore free time I was wondering if I could PM you my stealth action game concept. It’s still very unfinished and I am looking for some possible direction. The concept is something similar to a Tom Clancy / Robert Ludlum novel. (At least that’s my goal, not quite there yet!)

So if it’s cool to PM you let me know.



Thanks in advance.

ThinkStory
08-19-2005, 10:31 PM
Sure, Jaydmax.

Just send it.

ThinkStory

Deeman87
08-24-2005, 05:36 AM
Hi ThinkStory

If you have anymore freetime, could I PM you story my story. I'm currently working on a 2D animation project and wanted to make a short animated film.

I'd like to hear your opinion of it whether if its the kind of story suitable for a short film and also how long would its duration be, based on the amount of detail. I'm looking at something around 8-10 minutes. And I have till November to finish.

Looking forward to your reply.

ThinkStory
08-27-2005, 02:07 PM
Sure, Deeman 87.

Just send it.

ThinkStory

scroll-lock
09-05-2005, 06:27 AM
I have one little question, cause it`s driving me crazy. Do you sometimes find that you have created a story that`s already created? Cause I very often think of a story and after a year or two I see that story in a picture or film.... just horrible :(

Tughan
09-05-2005, 10:22 AM
Do you sometimes find that you have created a story that`s already created? Cause I very often think of a story and after a year or two I see that story in a picture or film.... just horrible :(

Exactly. Like I create a story/idea for a film, I tell it some of my friends, and them one of them says "Hey, thats very much like eXistenZ movie" or some movies that I missed to watch. And sometimes I see movies that I though about years ago, like that "The Island" movie.

I think that's because our brains stuck up same radio channels. Inspired by same things, etc...

Deeman87
09-06-2005, 02:01 PM
Hi thinkstory

I have recently sent you a copy of my story by e-mail. Really looking forward to your critics.

I have also just done the script and now drawing up my character profiles. If you would also like me to post my script, please say so.


Thanks in advance


Deeman87

JeremyJessup
09-10-2005, 03:21 PM
Hi ThinkStory,

I have appreciated your perspective on the story ideas here. I'm trying to make a cartoon short myself and I'm good at coming up with the witty stuff that gets the chuckle, but the basic plot structure always seems to elude me.

Right now I’m trying to build a story around a cereal killer (not serial – the breakfast food). I’m having trouble figuring out what the motivations for the characters will be and how it ties back in to the basic plot. I’m thinking of having the whole thing built around the secret prize in one of the cereal boxes, but I can’t figure out something that would work as a punch line at the end of the sketch (which obviously would be a comedy).

Visually I’m going to be aiming for some Keystone Cops type animation scenes. I have a lot the basic look I want to achieve in mind, but sadly most of my creative juices work around the visual side of things and I haven’t done much in the way of story writing.

I appreciate any input you can provide… both ideas for the story and help in how to approach the thing so I don’t get the cart before the horse. Thanks

electrobus
09-13-2005, 03:30 AM
http://alphazero.web.aplus.net/Can someone help me "characterize" our ******* leader of the free world. Hero, villian or global village idiot?

WIP .mov Bush Parody (http://alphazero.web.aplus.net/super_monkey.mov) 13.3 mb
Maya, PS, Imovie

Still Image (http://www.alphazero.web.aplus.net/monkeyBeauty.jpg)
Wire (http://www.alphazero.web.aplus.net/monkeyTorsoWire.jpg)

Basically I'm just throwing ideas together to see if something might schtick. So I'm open to anyones ideas, situations, props, etc. Pro or Con.

Please help me laugh before I start to cry!

ThinkStory
09-16-2005, 07:47 PM
Hi Jcjessup,

how long do you plan make this short film?
And how unrealistic is it willing to go?

Sometimes cereals have a series of prizes for kids to collect.
There are even ones that are limited editions.
In this story, this special prize is missing!
Consider having your main character be a cop/detective/FBI
action figure of a cereal factory trying to find this very
rare (only one manufactured) secret prize.
All the other prizes in the series are lined-up in a collector's
glass case for display inside the company except this prize.

According to the factory manager, the special item was mistakenly
dropped into one of the factory bins for packaging.

So this action figure, known in the cereal community as the
"cereal killer" goes out to investigate, kidnapping and
interrogating different brands of cereals trying to find out
who knows where this prize is. Though he's pretty scary, he
doesn't really kill them.

As the punch line, we find out that this "cereal killer" himself
is actually the special item. It was meant to be a big surprise
party. The cereals didn't want to spoil it for him and were
trying to keep it a secret.

Depending on how long the film is, you may want to include other
characters such as the other prizes (action figures) involved as well.

So what do you think?

ThinkStory

JeremyJessup
09-17-2005, 11:00 PM
Well that is thinking out side the box (pun intended). It's a very different direction than I had in mind but I like it all the same. My original thought was that all the characters would be cereal pieces (british sounding Cheerio's and the like). This will give me some different directions to consider... including the locations (originally all taking place in a kitchen dining room area and in the cupboards).

As for how realistic I want to go... I want to be very realistic in terms of the textures and shapes of the characters, but I will add cartoony faces. I want to create an animation that kids will enjoy, but the scripting needs to be well enough written for adults to enjoy as well. Depending on how well the story development goes, I may aim for a larger project (30 minutes or better), but until I have a good sense that this is a working story I will be aiming to make a short film of maybe 5 to 10 minutes or so.

I had also thought to make the prize something that the cereal killer would want to make himself more powerful (an toy suction dart gun or something) which he would ultimatly get, but it would somehow backfire. I need to weigh out the options, but this does open some interesting possibilities. Working on a project solo tends to leave you in a lot of dead end ideas with no one to bounce things off of (also makes the 3D side of the project a bit of a monster).

Here's a rough sketch of two of the characters I'm starting to work on (might give you a better idea of the basic look I'm starting with... which may all end up in the trash... who knows) :shrug:
http://www.jessup3d.com/Character.jpg

Thank you!

Artaures
09-26-2005, 11:38 PM
Wow, ThinkStory, very impressive. I admire your skill. You are not only benefitting the people that have problems with their story, but everyone that reads your advice. I find it a great way to learn. I was wondering, how you aquired such knowledge, just lots of practice?

ThinkStory
10-07-2005, 03:02 PM
Hi Artaures,

hmm...how should I answer this?

First, I'm very, very flattered by your comments.
In my opinion, story creation is both a science and an art.
Sure, training, practice, and sheer inspiration helps but
having just one or the other won't result to skill or talent,
at least not consistently.

I guess, I "understand" stories, don't ask me how, I don't
really know but I do, somehow. I can breakdown a story and
spot what's wrong with it or what's right about it and why it's
not working or what makes it work.

Three things I usually keep in mind when thinking of a story is
what I'm trying to convey, how it's being conveyed, and who
it's being conveyed to.

And, of course, I know this sounds conventional but,
you REALLY have to LOVE stories and how they're made.

Lots of people love stories but that doesn't always mean
they understand how they're made-up or the reasons
they're made-up that way. It's something I really think
art schools should teach. I've taught a few classes and
they're just really, I mean, laugh-out-loud fun classes.
It's an entire subject in and of itself which has nothing to
do with visual art or writing, though, from my experiences,
there's probably not a lot of people who can teach it.
But, hey! If they do decide to hire, I'd be interested in
signing-up!!

Seriously though, although there probably isn't a single
quick answer to your question, I think:
Being true to yourself, your story, and your audience is the
start to making a good story.

ThinkStory

Zeicon
10-07-2005, 04:52 PM
ThinkStory

You're a very helpful and generous soul as well as a valuable asset to the community. The world could do with more of your kind. Keep it up man.

pconsidine
10-07-2005, 06:57 PM
For what it's worth, I find that it's much easier to troubleshoot a story I didn't have anything to do with creating. The path a great story takes from concept to completion is incredibly windy, often filled with wrong turns. By the time I show up, the writer is at a crossroads and I don't have to worry about all those twists and wrong turns - I just have to figure out which way to go next. Or whether he's on the right path at all anymore.

ThinkStory
10-07-2005, 09:01 PM
Hi Pconsidine,

yes, your claim is certainly plausible.


Though, I've always had this thing for referring back
to the original intent or the idea initiation of a story.

I think part of creating or improving a story has
to do with why it started in the first place, and
what value that has. Something I like to call
the "essence of the story."

But that might just be a personal preference.
I have to admit, I do like thinking up my
own stories more than fixing a story that
already exists.

And in tracing that path, I prefer going back to
the story writers/developers and ask "So what
do you want to do with this?" before considering
any changes.

I think great stories has a mix of both episodes
and personality. A good story can come from setting
up smart conflicts and events but one with its own
flavor and flair is what makes the story truly special.

But your right in that sometimes with all those changes,
even the original authors loose that flavor as well and its
up to an outsider to bring back that style.


ThinkStory

pconsidine
10-07-2005, 09:29 PM
TS,

I think we're on the same page. I guess what I was trying to say is that the originating author (or authors) can follow so many little threads of potential story ideas that they may forget where it was that they wanted to go in the first place (and I know that one from personal experience more than anything else). Usually, all it takes is someone to sit down and ask them, "So what's your story about?" There will usually be a bit of fumbling but once they remember what it was they originally wanted to say, the problems often magically solve themselves.

Objectivity helps. :)

Totoro
10-12-2005, 08:57 PM
Hi ThinkStory,

Just wanna say that I really appreciate the help and guidance you give to the people on this forum.

I'm working on a graduation project right now: it's a commercial serie for Ben&Jerry's.
In my opinion Ben&Jerry's is famous for it's huge chunks of cookies and chocolates in their ice creams. It's a commercial for the Fossil Fuel ice cream. (an ice cream with chocolate cookies and dino's) My concept/message for this commercial is: eat Ben&Jerry's because then you'll to chew on real chocolate/cookies instead of small bits of things in other ice creams. What I want to know is if this message comes through. How can I improve it?
The commercial will be animated. This is what I have:

A man is near an excavation, apparently a paleontologist. There’s a huge billboard behind him with a T-rex and the text “Dinosaur excavation”. It’s very hot. The man is sweating he reaches out for a freezer and opens the door. There’s a Ben & Jerry’s pint in it. He gets the pint out of the freezer and pulls the lid of. As soon as he does that the large T-rex comes to live. He’s licking his lips and steps out of the billboard ready to bite the man’s head off including his ice cream.

The man turns around and is scared. The T-rex is chasing the man and snaps at him. Then the man finds some dynamite he picks one up and throws it into the dino’s open mouth. It explodes and pieces of chocolate dino’s are falling from the sky.

Shot of the man eating his Ben & Jerry’s with the text “ Ben & Jerry’s with huge chunks of dinosaur!”

pconsidine
10-13-2005, 01:50 PM
Not that you were asking me, but here's my 2¢.

Gut reaction: Blowing the T Rex up with dynamite didn't really feel natural to the scene. It seemed more like it was there because you needed something to blow up the dinosaur, rather than it belonging there, if that makes any sense. Perhaps it would be different if we saw him using the dynamite earlier, but without some sort of set up I didn't quite believe it. I think you can achieve the same end result through a different means.

Ben and Jerry's has a unique corporate image. They're fun guys. I think a commercial for them needs to reflect that light-hearted, happy-go-lucky sort of personality. If I think about other places to encounter dinosaurs, I come up with a guy trying to sneak his Ben & Jerry's into a science museum. The T. Rex skeleton comes to life and chases him out into the road and gets hit by a taxi cab, exploding into little delicious dinosaur pieces.

Of course, that's quite far from where you are right now, so feel free to discard these comments entirely.

Totoro
10-13-2005, 02:17 PM
pconsidine: Any input is welcome:)

You might be right about the dynamite. I think I have to figure out how to implement that.
I also had a scenario in a museum with fossils. I choose the real T-rex because I just wanted to have a real dino in my commercial instead of a skeleton.

pconsidine
10-13-2005, 06:37 PM
If you liked the idea of setting it in a museum otherwise, maybe you could use a model of a T. Rex instead of the skeleton. For example, the Museum of Natural History in New York City has a full-size model of a blue whale in one of their exhibit halls, so it would be plenty believable if you wanted to do the same thing with a dinosaur.

As an alternative, you could work with the very basics of your idea - a guy outside on a hot day eating ice cream and a billboard of a T. Rex. Those elements could appear in a number of different places and still achieve what you want. The guy could be mowing his lawn, he could be building a house, he could be doing a whole range of things that might give you more natural ideas on how to blow up your T. Rex.

Totoro
10-14-2005, 05:27 PM
Thanks for the pointers.
I'll brainstorm more about what I can do but I think I can use the idea of the museum.

ThinkStory
10-19-2005, 01:44 PM
Hi Totoro,

hmm...maybe the dino dynamite thing isn't such a bad idea.
It can be a good fit for this particular brand.

I mean, explosives are one of the tools that paleontologists
use to dig up things that's not close to the Earth's surface.
You can start off the scene with the sound of a small explosion
or have some dynamite sitting around on the set.

Not only is Ben and Jerry's famous for their "home made" style
ice cream but they're also known for their environmental friendly
image. Having the commercial set in the outdoors with mountains
and an open landscape may capture that same appeal and the
whole dinosaur and dynamite thing also flows well with the
Fossil "Fuel" theme.

Who knows, you can even make the billboard that the T-Rex comes
out of a advertisement for the ice cream.

So, up to you what you prefer.

ThinkStory

Totoro
10-19-2005, 04:18 PM
You're right about the their environmental friendly image. I was planning on making 3 commercials with this concept; home made chunky ice cream. I can take the environment friendly image into account.

I showed this idea to my teacher and she said it's a fun idea, but that there's another concept I could use. She didn't tell what it was. So I browsed through their website and found that they had ice cream for every mood. "Mood Magic Ice cream for every mood"
But I find it quite hard to show that their ice cream was for every mood.
I came with another concept based on the mood concept. Something like: Ben & Jerry's for every event/solution. It's basically ice cream that solves your problems.

EXT. MUSEUM
It’s midnight. There’s a burglar looking around and enters the museum.

INT. MUSEUM
A guard is yawning. He opens a fridge and gets a pint of Ben & Jerry’s out of the fridge. The alarm goes off. On the guarding monitor we see the burglar in front of the crown jewels room. Guard runs into the burglar. Behind the burglar is a giant poster of a T-rex with the text “Dinosaur Exhibition”. The T-rex moves his head. The Burglar aims his gun at the guard. But suddenly the burglar is smashed by a big foot. The T-rex stepped out of the poster he licks his lips. The guard throws ice cream in T-rex mouth, T-rex wags his tail. Pay off: Ben & Jerry’s, ice cream that comes to the rescue!

CGRater
11-15-2005, 08:51 PM
Hiya ThinkStory!!

Let me just say that I think you're like totally COOL!!!

From reading your posts, I can tell one of the reasons why you're so good at what you do is because you just have plain Great Taste!

I don't know about others here but I was thinking that we don't really see any good or smart stories these days. I mean, some of the better selling movies that have been out are based on previous books or other works.

I've been searching for something to watch/read but haven't really found anything that's decent out in the entertainment industry so, with your expertise, I was wondering if there's anything you can suggest.

If it's not too personal a question, I'd LOVE to know what kind of stories or movies or books you're interested in!

ThinkStory
11-16-2005, 02:39 AM
Hi CGRater!

Wow, thanks for posting that. I must say I really agree with you.

There isn't much of what can be called great storytelling in the
market recently. And I often wonder about that too!!
The quality in stories just isn't what it used to be and I don't
understand it either. Maybe some of it has to do with studio
politics and budgets wasted on what's the latest fad.
But even so, that's NO reason to lower quality standards.

A lot of the times when I get a project, it's already in the works
and it's not like we could scratch that idea and just put in a new one.
That's why I started working on more commercials and advertisements
which will allow a bit more flexibility and decision making power than
some longer projects. Though I still think there're studios out there
that'll give audiences what they deserve and put forward that extra effort.

In terms of what stories do I like?!
Wow, there're several but when it comes to Favorites, probably just a few and
I tend to like some of the more old skool stuff or what I prefer to call--"The Classics."

The latest story that I'm really into though is an Anime called:
Full Metal Panic! and it's second series, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu

Others can disagree but this series has got something I haven't seen
in a long time. Great characters, good animation, and a enjoyable story.
In the anime, the story doesn't really conclude since it's based on a novel
that's still running in Japan. Some people don't know that and mistaken it
for having a semi-plot but there's actually a lot more to the story than
what's animated.

Yes, I get a little crazy with this story stuff that when something really
interests me, I research it.

Anyway, if you're looking for something Cool to watch, I'd highly recommend
that anime. It has a great mix of everything. I could start analyzing it and
everything but...uh, maybe that'll just be weird and I don't know if anybody's
even remotely interested.

If anybody else has other "great stories" they've seen and want to share,
kindly post!


ThinkStory

lillmagnus
11-22-2005, 07:34 PM
Hello ThinkStory. I hope I'm not to late, or that my script is to long, it's 28 pages... Since it will take a lot of time and work once I start working on my film, I want the script to be as good as possible before. So I would really appreciate if you could take a look.

It takes place in a world thats a mix of comic book worlds, human animals, superheros and more walk side by side. It's also trying to be a love story and a story of responsibility at the same time.

http://www.acirkus.se/sidor/LUKAS_DAD.rtf

ThinkStory
11-28-2005, 02:29 PM
Hi lillmagnus,

I read through the script and it has a rather unique style,
sort of like a mix of fantasy/scifi/cartoon. It's got a rabbit-human
as the lead main character, a girl with wings, superheroes with colorful
uniforms, robots, and other things but despite this unusual combination,
the script doesn't seem to have a plotline that mesh with this particular
style.

Let me know if I'm misinterpreting but it seems to be an overall
story of bonds, dependency, and responsibility between people.
But the idea of a boy who has a superhero father that wasn't there for
him because he has to save the world just doesn't seem to add that
extra edge this story needs.

What I mean is let's say we replace these settings and characters
with typical superhero human characters in a typical superhero
city, how much will that impact the story overall? If it doesn't really
alter the plotline then the characters and environment isn't contributing
to the events in the story, another words--it negates Style.

Both things have to work together to make a story driven, intact, and
unique. What I'm suggesting is that you have an opportunity here
to further incorporate your characters and setting into the story.
Develop ideas and conflicts that will bring out that fantasy/scifi/cartoon
element to the fullest rather than using it as a backdrop.

Let me know what you think.

ThinkStory

lillmagnus
11-30-2005, 05:56 AM
Thank you very much ThinkStory for your insightful views and for taking time to read the script. I agree with you that the plot and the style somewhat of a mis match. But it's also part of the point to tell about the small people in this kind of society.

I'm also planning on including some references on how animal humans, like the rabbit man, are victim of prejudice, but I didn't want that to be main point of focus. But maybe that would be a good thing to include, to give Lukas and his appearance a place in this world?

About an edge, I'm not shure what I could do to add that edge to the story, thats my problem with it. I feel so stuck.

/lillmagnus

Aserash
12-02-2005, 02:44 AM
Hi ThinkStory

Thanks for sharing your time with us, it's highly appreciated.

My story is for a animated short (less than 3 min.) that I'm doing for one of my university projects. It starts in what looks like a stage dressing room, an old ogre sits down in front of the mirror and starts warming up as if for an opera show.
He gets the call to go on and, as the door opens to let in the light, he clears his throat a few times ending in a massive roar. Outside the room he walks into the arena, the knight readies himself and they fight. The ogre wins and the knight dies. Walking off to raptureous applause, he steps back into his dressing room... and then... does his nails?

As you can see it's really just an elaborate excuse for a fight. I just want it to have some humour... do you have any hints or suggestions?

ThinkStory
12-08-2005, 04:50 PM
Hi lillmagnus,

hmm...not sure how I should advise you on this but
the prejudices against the main character would certainly
help bring out more depth to the story.

Events are easy to communicate through words and posts
but style is hard, it has to do with images and big-picture concepts.
If you don't mind me asking, how did this script come about to
include this cast of characters?

If it's to differentiate the rabbit-man, then make him Really stand out.
Like how about start the story off in a setting of a high-tech world
where those with power are those who could pilot robots (like the
one your bad guy has). But since a rabbit has paws and not hands,
he would never be able to maneuver the machines. His father,
knowing this didn't want his son to get involved with his work to
protect his son. Not realizing that this in itself is a way of looking
down upon him like the way others do in their world. This should
give more of a backstory and a platform to support stronger
emotions for the development of your characters and their
relationships with each other. It'll also make the rabbit-man more
of a hero when he overcomes difficulties to become a superhero.

What do you think?

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
12-08-2005, 04:57 PM
Hi Aserash,

that's pretty good for a fight scene.

But instead of using the humor as an excuse for the scene,
how about incorporating the humor into the action as well?
It'll make the animated short more comlete.

As an example, how about have the ogre start off loosing the
fight then the knight swings his sword and brakes his enemy's
ugly nails?
The ogre gets really angry and turns around to win the battle.

It'll give the story a beginning, climax, and conclusion rather
than just a scene.

ThinkStory

Joe Burnham
12-09-2005, 04:55 AM
Hi ThinkStory

Thanks for sharing your time with us, it's highly appreciated.

My story is for a animated short (less than 3 min.) that I'm doing for one of my university projects. It starts in what looks like a stage dressing room, an old ogre sits down in front of the mirror and starts warming up as if for an opera show.
He gets the call to go on and, as the door opens to let in the light, he clears his throat a few times ending in a massive roar. Outside the room he walks into the arena, the knight readies himself and they fight. The ogre wins and the knight dies. Walking off to raptureous applause, he steps back into his dressing room... and then... does his nails?

As you can see it's really just an elaborate excuse for a fight. I just want it to have some humour... do you have any hints or suggestions?

Hey Aserash,

I'm not sure if it's OK to voice my opinion in here with another take on your story since this is Thinkstory's thread :)

It seems like your story already benefits from a natural comedic element. The situational dichotomy presented when you display the ogre preparing for anything BUT a battle to the death is humor in itself.

Adding more humor has the potential to either make or break the story, so to speak. Thinkstory's idea about the knight inflicting damage to the ogre's nails is a good start. Consider anything the knight can cause damage to with regards to the ogre's pride (illustrated before the battle, for example, doing his nails). This would naturally cause the ogre to strike back fiercely. As we all know, in a battle to the death, the last thing you worry about are your nails/hair/sculpting hands/tattoo, what have you.

This raises another character trait. In any battle to the death, a fighter who worries less about his own life and more about the things that make him beautiful or unique usually demonstrate a strong sense of confident fighting ability in the character. Like he's done this hundreds of times before. Demonstrated further by the fact that his preparations for a battle to the death are relatively bizarre yet undisturbed. You need to now ask the question, should the Knight give the ogre any trouble, or should it be a fairly simple battle? Either route can be effective.

Of course, when he returns, he's no more undisturbed than he was before the fight.

In reality, you have a wealth of options, but I think you're on the right track.

Anyway...I apologize to Thinkstory. I know this is his thread :) Just wanted to express my opinion.

Best of luck!

Joe Burnham

Winner
12-12-2005, 02:59 PM
hey ThinkStory,

First off .. youre lucky to be so confident in thinking of story ideas.. developing the story to the full really is the thorn in my side. I love the visual side of creating shorts, but i always need a bit of help with the stories..

heres one for you. Im working on a piece that expolores the use of frame, and basically describes a person on a journey from A to B and back to A ( in about 3 minutes )

i know this is kinda vague, but does anything spring to mind when you think of an idea for an intersting journey ( i mean the point of the journey, its purpose, the relevance of part 'B' ) think about `passing through` as a base, or the transition through different spaces. Be as abstract or simple as you like.

constraints: the elements must be real-world and possible to film with a camera, and only involve the single protagonist.

anyway... just thought i might ask you and see what you say....

( of course credit will be given where credit is due ;) )

lillmagnus
12-13-2005, 06:56 AM
Hello ThinkStory.

The purpose of using the rabbitman was a choise of making him more different. Eaven though there are other animalmen in this world, most of them live in the countryside and not in a big city. This will be told in the movie by using a countryside accent for Lukas and making him stand out against the city lanscape, beeing akward in traffic and so on...


If it's to differentiate the rabbit-man, then make him Really stand out.
Like how about start the story off in a setting of a high-tech world
where those with power are those who could pilot robots (like the
one your bad guy has). But since a rabbit has paws and not hands,
he would never be able to maneuver the machines. His father,
knowing this didn't want his son to get involved with his work to
protect his son. Not realizing that this in itself is a way of looking
down upon him like the way others do in their world. This should
give more of a backstory and a platform to support stronger
emotions for the development of your characters and their
relationships with each other. It'll also make the rabbit-man more
of a hero when he overcomes difficulties to become a superhero.


I have tried to communicate this through the fathers unwillingness of telling his legacy to Lukas. The dad ofcourse know that Lukas has the potential of becoming a superhero, but wants to leave him out of this world and let him be only the normal man he is. But you are right, this whole part of the script is weak, but I belive if I also mix in the prejudice against animal men, I might make this work?

As for making him want to be a mecha pilot, I'm afraid I get a bit to close to a genre that I have no way of knowing the rules for. I have only watched evengelion and some random episodes of other mecha series.

Once again, thank you for taking time.

/Lillmagnus

Aserash
12-13-2005, 02:22 PM
Hi ThinkStory and Joe Burnham

Thank you very much for your comments. It has gotten me thinking in the right direction. For the first time in weeks I feel like this story is going somewhere again.

besnik
12-27-2005, 10:12 PM
HI THINKSTORY

First of all i want ot thank you for this wonderfull thread.
OK, i have a story in my mind but my english is no so good and i dont know if i will be able to explain in a i have it in my mind, anyways here it goes.

The scene starts in an office there is a guy sitting in his desk surrounded by lots of documents holding his head trying rest a bit and figure out how will finish all that workwhen all of the sudden door opens and a woman stiks her head in and says "BOSS IS ASKING FOR YOU".

Next scene the guy is walking downl the main offices to the bosses office (a emegency button should be vissible as he walk by).

Bosses office.
Guy enters the office and sees the boss in his chair finishing a phone call angry. He puts down the phone orders the guy to sit down, guy sits. Boss then start to scream at him about some project that he didnt finish, guy just sits and dosnt say anything. Boss then opens a file cabinet and gives him a handfull of documents and orders him to finish those too. Guy takes the documents and walks out.

Main offices room (i didnt know how call it, room with lots of spparate offices).
As he gets out of the bosses office he goes by the emergency button and stops, he stops there for a while thinking and finaly he raises his hand and brakes the glas of the emergency button and pushes it. At the instant the hell brakes loose, people screaming, running (of course here you'll hear onlu voices), red emergency light flashes, than you see bosses door open and you see boos running like crazy, terrified. And when all get out he goes at the main office door locks it and turns toward the cammera laughing (this is where music starts or lets say dominates).

Allover offices.
With a rythmic music going on guy starts to jump on the desks in dancing manner starts kicking the computers, displays, braking stuf, shreding papper, etc etc.Finaly he gets to the bosses office looks at the char and sits and starts to spin, puts his and behind his head and makes a happy face (cammera zooms at his face sllowly till it gets pretty close) he closes his eyes and relaxes when all of the sudden a heand comes in the shot and slapps him in the face (cammera zooms out fast) you see the guy sitting in the chair (not the bosses chair) in the bosses office with the boss still screaming a him about the project that he didnt finish.

Ok about the end i am not sure how to do. Maybe the boss reaches for the file cabinet and gives him the bunch of documents and tells him to finish those, and the goy goes out (cut to black) and you hear the emergency sirene goes loud and men screaming and crashing thins as the ending titles go.

Please send me reply

hyunju cho
12-30-2005, 09:36 AM
Hi. thinkstory.I need your help. I'm working on 90sec 2d animation project and about to start main production. I know my story is not enough but I don't have enough time to make the story perfect because I have a deadline in the school. I hope you can give me some advice for my story. Check this web link. http://myhome.naver.com/~s3614

besnik
12-30-2005, 05:49 PM
I know it's holliday season but if somebody is reading this thread please give me some feadback, i really need to know what do you think of my story.

ThinkStory
12-30-2005, 07:46 PM
Hi Besnik,

hmm...it seems to lack some spice.

It's a stress breaker type of story but it needs a more
solid punch line. How about this:

The emergency button isn't shown at the beginning before
he walks into the office.

The employee walks into the office from the right side of the
hall, gets yelled at, leaves the office and walks out to the left,
passes the alarm, doubles back and breaks it.

He imagines what you described and then snaps out of it just
as the boss was about to dismisses him from the room. He stares
at the boss with a wide smile. The boss stops yelling and looks at
him weird. He gets up to leave the room. The boss panics and
asks him what he's smiling at.
He tells him, "Nothing."
The boss replies, "Yeah, I didn't think so!"
Still smiling, he exists the room, closing the door behind him.
And walks towards the left, passing the alarm.
The glass covering the alarm is held together with ducktape.

So, what do you think?

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
12-30-2005, 07:50 PM
Hi Hyunju Cho,

I tried clicking on that link but had trouble reading the document,
can you verify that the link works OK? It could be just an error on
my part.

ThinkStory

besnik
12-30-2005, 08:07 PM
ThinkStory Thanks allot for the reply

Yes i agree with you i need to spice it up a bit. What i don get is (maybe is my bad english) why is the emergency button glass held together with duck tape.

hyunju cho
12-31-2005, 05:18 AM
You can downroad my storyreel. Move the mouse cursor to 2nd pass or 3rd pass menu and rightclick then save target to your local drive. H.264 codec was used or you can contact directly with my e-mail: chohyunju405@msn.com. If you send the mail, I can send the storyreel file. Thanks for your time.

ThinkStory
12-31-2005, 02:59 PM
Hi Besnik!

The glass is held together with ducktape because it's been broken before.

ThinkStory

besnik
01-02-2006, 12:48 PM
Ohhh, Ok so when he smiles he remembers what he did before, and the ducktape... OK now i got it. Thanks allot ThinkStory. I think i might go with your version, is there anything else that i might add to improve my story?

Joe Burnham
01-06-2006, 10:29 AM
Ohhh, Ok so when he smiles he remembers what he did before, and the ducktape... OK now i got it. Thanks allot ThinkStory. I think i might go with your version, is there anything else that i might add to improve my story?

I don't think he's smiling about what he's done before. It would have had to have been someone else who's pulled that stunt. It's still a fantasy for him. Besides that, he probably would have been fired after something like that.

Depending on the office, I don't think they'd just fix the glass case for an emergency button with duct tape. If anything, they would have gotten a new glass case. Of course, the duct tape is more humorous.

Also, during the fantasy, when the employee is jumping around, kicking things and ripping papers, have you considered doing that in slow motion? Maybe sometimes taking close ups of the man's face as he relishes in ripping company documents? What was your plan for that part?

- Joe

VM
01-07-2006, 07:45 PM
hi ThinkStory,
if you still have time and want to help me, I have a problem here with my story ending, especially the ending, I mean. any ideas would be greeeeaaaaatly welcomed :)
my project:
http://mustec.bgsu.edu/~virgil/pseudo.html
thanks!

besnik
01-08-2006, 05:13 PM
Joe thanks for you feadback. Your probably right about him being fired after pulling up a stunt like that, you got a point there. What do you suggest?

And about the fantasy part when he brakes stuff, i though on going only with close ups of braking stuf ripping documents etc. that way i will gain on action and rythme and maybe in the end a wide shot of him standing in the middle of office whith papper still falling around just to show mass of destrucion the he caused than a close up of employees face he turns his face towards the bosses office and gets of the frame (this is where he goes to the bosses office).

And i thought on going with 1970 kind of office it gives more warmth and nostagic feeling to the story, what do you think about this?

Feadback are wellcome

Joe Burnham
01-09-2006, 09:06 AM
Joe thanks for you feadback. Your probably right about him being fired after pulling up a stunt like that, you got a point there. What do you suggest?

And about the fantasy part when he brakes stuff, i though on going only with close ups of braking stuf ripping documents etc. that way i will gain on action and rythme and maybe in the end a wide shot of him standing in the middle of office whith papper still falling around just to show mass of destrucion the he caused than a close up of employees face he turns his face towards the bosses office and gets of the frame (this is where he goes to the bosses office).

And i thought on going with 1970 kind of office it gives more warmth and nostagic feeling to the story, what do you think about this?

Feadback are wellcome

Besnik,

If you decide to go with the broken glass / duct tape idea, it would have had to be another employee who broke it. Think of the boss. He probably puts a lot of his other employees through hell. So much so, in fact, that someone previously might have decided to break the glass, hit the emergency button, and go crazy.

This means that your character is remembering someone else's fantasy and would like to do the same thing because he probably remembers how happy and satisfied the other employee was after destroying the office. That said, you'll probably need some way to show that another employee had done that before just so the audience doesn't get confused about the duct tape.

The best time to demonstrate this is during the fantasy. Maybe, at the climax of his destruction, your character might scream, "Remember Bob!" or something to that extent. It's a subtle hint, but it allows the viewer the freedom of understanding the situation. This "Bob" character is apparently looked up to by his former co-workers because he was the first to step over the line and speak out (by destroying everything). "Bob" would then be an icon of liberation for the employees. What do you think?

I like the idea of the office having a 1970's feel. Keep things calm and comfortable. Makes for a great "destruction" segment :)

- Joe

ThinkStory
01-09-2006, 02:00 PM
Hi Besnik,

to give more clarification to what I meant.

Of course the ducktape is not very realistic--not supposed to be
just like the fantasy part is not realistic either.

When I first read your story, what I thought is missing
is that it didn't have a way of resolving that two mediums:
Real vs. Fantasy

Once he was in the fantasy, how do you bring him out?
Should you bring him out? How do you bring him back
and still make it funny and have meaning?

So the ducktape serves as a way to link these two mediums.
It only serves the purpose of giving the audience a, "Huh? So
did he do it or didn't he?"

In terms of he'll get fired if he did that...well, not if he didn't
get caught! He could have pushed the button without anybody
seeing him. It doesn't really matter, it's a fantasy short about
the office workplace--a stress breaker.

I thought it was O.K. to be a little vague and that quality made
it more interesting. Just drawing out a "Hmm..." feeling from
the viewers without the explanations but that depends on the
style you want so your choice.

ThinkStory

CGRater
01-09-2006, 08:36 PM
Hey ThinkStory!
Thanks for replying to my post. I went to check out Full Metal Panic! like you said and WoW! So surprised, fantastic recomendation!!!
I finished the first series and can't wait to get the last two disks of the second set online. What's the secret to making stories like that??!
The second series is Sooooooooooo funny! The original was awesome too, loved it, especially the chemistry between the two main lead characters!
Nobody interested in hearing your analysis? I'll be lineing up the hear it!Great anime!
Thanks again!!

ThinkStory
01-10-2006, 12:08 AM
Hi Zamolxes,

would like to help but can you give me some background to
the story? I saw the reel and read the description but not
very sure what you would like to capture with your short.

Do you just want to do a dance sequence and need a story
attached to it, or does the maze, guards, and box have
some back story behind it?

Just would like to know your take on it and what you want
to achieve.

ThinkStory

raylistic
01-12-2006, 05:49 AM
Hi, i had come up an animation story for a competition. A brief introduce about the competition. It's theme is : safety at work. Basically, it is to encourage work safety like wearing a safety helmet and stuff.
So i had to take part in the 3d animation part of this competition and i just came up a "fantasy story"

The story is at a small village. The villagers do not wear the safety hemlets to work(building their houses) . So when suddenly meteor strike, the death rate is very high. SOme bad weather conditions. And it strikes very often. So a old, wise villager says he heard of this "thing", which is the helmet at a mystical cave. This thing can save their lives. So the quest begins. 3 brave villagers went and hunt for the helmet. They gone thru mountains, avlanche, a long broken bridge above a lake of lava and a dragon who guard the cave. So in the end they found the helmet and brought back to the village. But when they got back, a woman realise she had a similiar helmet buried at her backyard.

I am only limited to 60s for this animation. So it will be kind of like a trailer. Alot of fade in and fade out scenes.

Thanks.

ThinkStory
01-13-2006, 12:37 AM
Hi Raylistic,

wow, 1 min?
That's tough to pace a story through.
And, uh, I'm usually a bit reserved when it comes to giving
advice on stories to be submitted for competitions that I'm
not actively participating in cause, technically, I guess it'll
be judged alongside submissions from other contestants
and that might not be appropriate.

But here's what I think.
Maybe it has something to do with the commercial industry,
but I find myself repeating this a lot recently. When submitting
something for a specific purpose or theme, think about what the
judges are looking for. If the theme is safety at work, that
may suggest that employees are usually not very keen on making
the necessary preparations to stay safe. Like neglecting to wear
helmets when they are supposed to.

So, for the story, how about make the villagers not know what's in
the cave? The wise villager only says it's a magical object that can
save them.
Since it's only 60 seconds, maybe simplify the task to only one
vicious monster guarding the cave. And to battle this monster,
the villagers start forging metal armors and swords. Equipped
with their new gear, they reach the cave, fight the monster, and
after a tough battle, the villagers finally finds the treasure which
looks exactly like the metal helmet they're wearing.

So the take-back message is it's easy to avoid dangers that
can be seen but difficult to avoid dangers that can't be so preliminary
preparations are needed. Also, rather than just look for an easy
solution (magic object in cave), the villagers should have used
their heads to think of ways to make their environment safer.

Perhaps it's not perfect but it's a start.

What do you think?

ThinkStory

raylistic
01-15-2006, 02:18 AM
not bad. I will consider it. Thanks alot. I will let know the final story.

JeremyJessup
01-19-2006, 04:13 PM
I've got an idea that I'm working on for an cartoon animation short, but I'm having a creative block that is giving me trouble with keeping it interesting.

The basic story goes like this;

There is a flower in a field enjoying the sun on a pleasent summer day. The flower is supprised as, out of nowhere, a shovel comes down behind him. The scene changes and the flower is now potted and sitting on an end table in a living room.

The mid section here is where I'm having trouble coming up with a series of events and stuff to make things interesting. The living room he is in is very drab, the colors are desaturated, it's a very unpleasent environment for a flower.

The ending needs to get to a point where the flower hops with his pot, across the room to an open window, pulls on the cord for the blinds and is hoisted up out of his pot to the window sill where he thinks he will jump out to freedom. He lands on the concrete sidewalk next to an astroturn lawn and screems from shock... then he wakes up back in the field... then the shovel comes down... then the credits roll.

I appreciate any ideas you might have to help me make this scene more interesting. The length is variable... I'm working on it alone and there is no deadline. I'm trying to build demo material.

ThinkStory
01-20-2006, 07:20 PM
Hi Jcjessup,

well, there's lots of different stuff you can use to fill-in
that gap like:
the flower's allergic to cat hair in the house
a dog comes by to sniff the pot
it gets watered by icky faucet water instead of fresh rain
it's kept awake from artificial lighting after sun set
it has to put up with the odor of chemical made fertilizers
the house is too noisy
the fan keeps blowing in one direction

You know, things like that. But, about the ending of the story,
wouldn't it be nice if the flower can overcome these obstacles and
return to nature?

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
01-20-2006, 07:23 PM
Hi CGRater,

so you liked the show? That's great!
Uh...you want to hear my analysis?
Really? Cool! Send me an e-mail,
we can chat!

ThinkStory

Glenfx
01-25-2006, 05:48 AM
Hi

Hope im not to late to get some help ^__^

Im currently with lots of free time, so I wanted to develop a series of comics, short (maximun of 5 pages long and thats too much), but i've never been good at writing stories. I do have lots of ideas, but i never get them to work with the subject i want to do.

I have the characters developed, settings, etc, I have the visuals preatty layd down, But i lack on story preatty badly.

The main character is a knome like creature who Cant talk, its quite innocent (doesnt know good or evil) he lives in a hunted mansion-kind of home with his twisted sister (she is the evil kind of sisters, and likes to do all sort of evil experiments.. specially to his brother)
I want it to be dark (something like an eternal halloween) and for all ages, but with lots of humor.

Unfortunatly i really dont know where to start and even less knowing im not a funny guy, so itll be hard to get the humor down.
Tryed several times to write a story or something to get started, but I spend the time looking at the white page without anything on my mind.. and its quite frustrating.

Any ideas on how to engage on such a subject? any advice on how can i get the humor down or what kind of source material do you recomend?

Hope my question isnt to complicated ^__^, i really want to get my mind working.

ThinkStory
01-25-2006, 04:00 PM
Hi Glenfx,

wow, 5 pages max. I think one way to go is to format your
stories to have your protagonist focused on one issue that's
broken up into different scenarios.

As an example, how about have every short story focus on
the plot of the sisters trying to do some weird experiment
to trick your protagonist. But somehow they were never quite
good at their craft and the experiments always blow-up or
something and backfires.

It always starts with the build-up of a plan, climaxes when
the experiment takes place, and concludes with a twist to
what's expected.

The humor should come from the over-the-top experiments
his sisters designs, the protagonist's total oblivious reactions
to them which leads him to always fall in the trap, and the
surprise in the conclusion.

What do you think?

ThinkStory

Joe Burnham
01-25-2006, 06:00 PM
Glenfx,

I'm actually trying to put together a series of digital comics based on several of my previous short stories as well as a few new ones I have cooking in my noodle.

What's funny is that your concept seems to follow fairly close to mine in some respects. I can't wait to see how yours plays out. Maybe I can help if you from a different perspective if you'd like. :)

Best of luck!

- Joe Burnham

Glenfx
01-25-2006, 07:51 PM
ThinkStory: Uhmm, i thought of that perspective, but then the comic would be more about her sister instead of him as she will get all the attention.

Actually i made a 32 pages screenplay about this character, but i want to have the comic in a different path then the screnplay. The screenplay is Plot driven, so i want the comic to be Character driven as it gives much more room to get different ideas and different situations, so it can go to something as simple as one drawing, or several pages.


I forgot to mention, the idea is mostly to have a kind of comic strip with the design of a comic book but it can be extended up to 5 pages top. Mostly to give a fayr ammount of room for visuals. The kind of humor would be a bit sarcastic (think garfield), but a bit dark (think Lenore)

(last night while writing here i came with an idea for the comic. ^^, allthoug it isnt too funny, its a start.)

Joe Burnham: Hey, all the help is allways wellcome.:)

Joe Burnham
01-25-2006, 11:05 PM
Glenfx,

What was the idea you came up with last night?

Do your characters have names, yet?

Glenfx
01-26-2006, 01:11 AM
yes, all my characters have names, i also created the circle of relationships, "movie" goals, life goals and oposite character, etc. for each of them ^__^. Actualy i created that to have a balanced story before i wrote the screenplay.

The "story" i thought last night, its something dumb actually. Its about the main character going outside to play with his toys, he takes an airplane and starts playing with it (there is another character standing besides him watching him play), so (like any kid in the world) the main character plays an airplane crash, but at the moment the toy plane hits the ground it blows up.
So there comes the other character and tells him in a sarcastic way:
.-"Oh, i forgot to tell ya, the airplane was wroken"
but not shure to use that or use this one instead
.-"Oh, i forgot to tell ya, the airplane was leaking gasoline"

thatoneguy
01-27-2006, 12:38 AM
Thinkstory, this is a wonderful service you're offering to the community. I know I've learned quite a bit just from reading other people's posts.

My question is one of practicality? How long of stories are you willing to analyze? I'm working on a "short" film that has ballooned out to about 30 pages, but I still feel like the main character's motivations aren't clear enough, and several parts just simply happen instead of being properly motivated. It sort of suffers from what I call "and then..." syndrome. I would really appreciate any feedback if you would be willing to invest the time for such a long screenplay.

Thank you

-Gavin Greenwalt.

ThinkStory
01-27-2006, 02:23 PM
Hi Glenfx,

ThinkStory: Uhmm, i thought of that perspective, but then the comic would be more about her sister instead of him as she will get all the attention.
Well, not necessarily, the sisters experiments are just
really the setup of the situation but should not take
precedence over your main character's focus/screen time.
Think of all those stories out there that starts off with
some bad guy trying to take over the world with a
crazy plan, they don't have to take over the story.
For your comic, the sisters' plan/experiment can be
condensed to something almost like an intro/opening scene.
Maybe a map with: Step 1. Step 2. Step 3. kinda thing.

It's all about PRESENTATION.
What we write are words, how we present it is art.

In terms of ideas for something like character driven
comic strips, what you would need as base are very well
defined characters. Not just their personalities but also
their motives, their likes/hates, their strengths/power,
their barriers/weaknesses, their ultimate goals/successes.
Things like that are what makes that kinda story play out.
As a quick example, Garfield:
Likes = SLEEP/EAT
Hates = MONDAYS/DIET
Weakness = FAT from FOOD
Power = PRIDE from getting FOOD

See how they conflict with each other? It's those tensions
that drives the story to be funny, interesting, and sarcastic.
Think about how those qualities can apply to your characters.
Once that's established, build a plot/idea around it and it will
flow much more smoothly.

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
01-27-2006, 02:30 PM
Hi Gavin,

30 pages? Sure!
People have submitted 100+ page scripts to me
via e-mail for review so I'd be glad to read your
screenplay!

ThinkStory

Glenfx
01-27-2006, 06:43 PM
Thanks ThinkStory

That info does open a lot of ground. I didnt think on it in that perspective.
Ill have to re-think some things to make it work =)

thatoneguy
01-28-2006, 01:32 AM
Thank you so much! We're working on a rewrite right now, so I'll drop you a line when we've worked out what we can in this pass.

- Gavin

Aserash
02-04-2006, 04:00 PM
I just want to say a huge thanks to Thinkstory for this thread. Thanks to you and the other people that helped me out, my finished animation is now on the 'finished work: animation' forum. Thank you.

Nucleo
02-06-2006, 11:56 AM
Hello everyone

Great thread. So iam trying to develop a story about having regrets and past evil deeds that come to hunt us.

The problems iam facing with the story are:

a. the historical period its taking place iam trying to adopt it in modern time.. but somehow the story doesnt fit.

b. The story is from a book and iam having difficulty adjusting in a screenplay.. Is their a way or a technique in deciphering a book to a screenplay?

ThinkStory
02-07-2006, 05:43 PM
Hi Nucleo,

A. In dealing with shifting time periods, the important thing
is to modify the events without changing the story's message
and characters. Things doesn't always have to match-up exactly
to the original story (sometimes that's not possible) so the key is
to look at the story from a Different Perspective!!
Take the situations and conflicts that the character faces and
think about how that same conflict can be found in modern times.

As an example, let's say it's a story about a servant boy
mistreated in medieval times, a parallel to that can be a modern
office worker filing away in a cubical 24/7 to keep his job.

Even if nothing else stays the same, keep the story's basic structure
flow, the characters' personalities/relationships and the story's
theme/message constant and you will be left with, at the very least,
a solid replica that is sincere to the intent of the original.

B. In turning a book to a screenplay, what kind of problem are you
having? Is it too long? Is it that you can't convert events in a book
onscreen like internal monologues?

I'm not sure if there's a formal way to convert from one medium to
another, but what I like to do is scene-mapping.

It's basically like laying out a summary of the story and taking all the
scenes that must absolutely be there for the story to work.

As a pointer:
DO NOT select scenes just because it makes up the events of the story.
You'll wind-up with too many to handle and they can easily turn to fluff.
Instead, select scenes because it makes up the style of the story.

Every book has scenes that give the book its certain flair.
Take those scenes and convert them into the screenplay,
then build the story plot around it. It'll make the process
a lot simpler and more enjoyable.

As an example, let's say there's a great deal of tension between
two friends in the book that lasted for a long period of time and
it's something that can't be replayed onscreen. So, in the
screenplay, wrap that tension and relationship into a dialogue,
it'll move the plot along faster and add movement to the story.

Books are more closely related to emotions whereas films can also
appeal to the senses. So if you can't reach that deeply into the
emotional element, then makeup what you can express with pictures
but not with words.

My opinion is that it's better to come up with an entirely new scene
that COMPLEMENTS the book rather than follow the text exactly but
still mess-up in conveying to the viewers what the story is REALLY about.

ThinkStory

Nucleo
02-09-2006, 11:55 AM
First of all thanks very much for this. For turning a book in a screenplay the problem i have is exactly what you said.. its mostly internal dialogue. There is a dialogue in the book but we never know who they are, its like 2 people talking about this guy and they say the story like a narrative but the author never says who they are and how they now the hero... not to mention that the dialogue start at the middle of the story


I think thats how i should start the story, otherwise if i try to follow the hero its gonna be complicated and iam not sure if can handle it.. ofcourse thats the easy solution right? having someone with, either a voice over or by setting up a dialogue of two people saying gossip about this guy.. but it sounds great so far, and it seems it fits the plot.

Thanks again man :applause:

chinnr
02-11-2006, 09:24 PM
Hi ThinkStory. Thanks for keeping this thread open for so long, and putting in the time to answer everyone's questions.

I'm starting to write a story, but I'm wondering how I know if I have enough info to write one. To be honest, I really don't have a lot of details, mostly just a very general, rough idea of what want, and a few scenes pictured in my head. Is this enough to get started? What's the best place to start? Is it bad to start the process with scenes in my head, rather than a complete story?

I know these are pretty basic questions, as this is really my first writing. Maybe it would be better to make it a short to start with? Then expand it? Is that a recommended process?

Sorry for all the questions. I know I want to say something (with my story), but just not quite sure what.

Thanks for your help!

Joe Burnham
02-12-2006, 12:31 AM
Hey Chinnr,

I know you're waiting for Thinkstory's opinion, but I thought I might give you my opinion as well with regards to your situation.

Everything starts as a simple idea. Often times, those "few scenes" can be the root of an entire story. What I would do is think long and hard about those scenes you have in your head. Ask questions about them. "Why are these characters in this situation?" "Who are they and how do they relate to one another?" "How did they get here and where are they going?".

These general questions can potentially branch off into many other ideas you might either take or throw away depending on how well they work into you overall view.

I usually start with one idea in my head. Be it a "scene", a word, or an obscure relation. You can really start from anywhere no matter how small or large. Which means, no. In my opinion, you don't need all of the subject matter in order to begin the story writing process. Try to always be creative with your ideas. Maybe write about things that matter to you -- that you feel strongly about.

Hopefully some of this helps. If not, I'm sure Thinkstory will help you. :)

- Joe Burnham

chinnr
02-12-2006, 12:48 AM
Hi Joe - glad you didn't wait to jump in. I appreciate any feedback I can get my hands on. I like what you have to say, it makes me feel like I'm at least not going about it the wrong way. I will definitely explore my scenes more, and the characters in them. Right now I feel like I have a few puzzle pieces from different puzzles, and no picture to help me put them together. I'll get there though.....eventually.

Thanks for your input Joe!

ThinkStory
02-13-2006, 03:24 PM
Hi Chinnr,

I absolutely agree with Joe’s comments, 100%.
Right on with which questions to ask and that
no idea is too small to start!!

In terms of where and how to start, there really
isn’t an overall "right" answer. At least that’s my
opinion, I’ve met some colleagues who would
disagree but I think it’s really a subjective matter.

Some authors need to start writing as soon as they
have an idea or else they’ll forget or get writer’s block.
Others need to have the story all lined-up and
planned-out to every little detail before they can begin.
Both methods have their pros and cons.
And then there’re those that do a little bit of both,
write—think—write—think—rewrite—rethink—write….

So it all depends on your personal style.
But that process may take a while to figure out too.
As others may tell you, it could take years before a
writer finds the "right" method.

My personal philosophy is to find out your personal
style before you begin.
What motivates you, what inspires you, what makes you tick?

If you’re a verbal person, start writing to get ideas,
if you’re visual, start with sketches and scenes of
your head and fill in the gaps, if you’re kinesthetic,
talk about the story with other people or with yourself,
if you’re a perfectionist, start planning ahead but remember
to be flexible, if you know you’re the kind to procrastinate,
then stop searching for a method and just start writing.

From your previous post, it sounds like you’re a visual
with a link to secondary kinesthetic but are getting a
sketcher’s block so I would suggest to seek out somebody
to review and talk through the story with even if that person
is yourself. That probably sounds weird but try revisiting
what you have from a different perspective just to generate
more ideas.

If you have only pieces without something to string
everything together, it’ll probably be better to throw-in
a few more ideas and form a story scheme, to know
approximately where the story starts and where it
should lead to before you begin.

What do you think?

ThinkStory

chinnr
02-17-2006, 04:20 AM
Hi Thinkstory! Thanks for your response and all of the useful advice you're handing out here to everyone. I think your assessment of me is right on. I would defintely consider myself a visual person, so that makes me feel a little more at ease with coming up with my writing via seeing scenes. I guess now it is like you say, making sure I have enough storylines to consitute a story. I also need to remind myself that it's not going to happen overnight (I have a bit of a problem with patience at times).

I guess my next step is to start storyboarding the scenes I have written, and maybe that will help spark ideas for connecting them all together.

Thanks for your help Thinkstory and Joe!

Chinnr

debashish
02-28-2006, 04:16 PM
hi ThinkStory,
its my pleasure to find a person like you... and im wondering if you have a little time for me.
i'm looking for a short story.... 3-5 minutes for my showreel (animation reel).
i use to have some ideas, but they doesn't convey a strong meaning that could bind the audience into the screen for 4-5minutes:sad:....

could you plz help me in developing an intesesting Storyboard.

thanks
deb

ThinkStory
03-02-2006, 01:56 PM
Hi Deb,

sure, but I'd like to get some of your input,
what kind of story are you looking for?
Action, adventure, comedy, drama, romance, etc.
Limitations such as number of characters, sets, lip-sync?
What kind of characters do you want to work with
like humans, animals, objects?
Is there an original story/idea that you’re thinking of?

JUST AS A GENERAL NOTE:
Originally, I started this thread with the intention to
help those who have somewhat of a story in mind but
don’t quite know how to pull it off. However, all types
of story questions are welcomed! I give a lot of respect
for everybody’s ideas and have always been very strict
about keeping other people’s property theirs. But if the
request is free for me to make-up the entire thing, I
just ask for the same consideration and that I do get
reference/credit for it. Thanks, everybody!!

ThinkStory

gooms9
03-02-2006, 11:35 PM
Hey there thinkStory, i posted this in a seperate thread a few days ago but got no response. Then i noticed this great thread so I thought i'd give it a shot. This is my original thread.

Hey, i'm trying to make a short machinima using the MMORPG World of Warcraft. I've come up with a rough story outline and I thought i'd just post it here to get some feedback and advice. Keep in mind this is a very rough outline and I havn't come up with many of the details.

Basically it's about a guy, who is the captain of the stormwind (the human city in the game) guard. He has a wife and a small son. Some group of rebel bandits kill his wife and child. This (obviously) sends him into a downward spiral of rage and anger.

A few months later, when they're on some sort of mission, they come across a village of these same bandits. Blinded by rage, the captain orders the whole village to be destroyed, including the women and children.

The king of stormwind is furious that this captain would do something so rash and against the "stormwind way", and boots him out of the city. The captain has been corrupted by the events of the last few months and has a thirst for revenge. Killing the village didn't fulfill his bloodrage, and he vows to take revenge on the city that threw him out into the cold.

He amasses a small group of other stormwind exiles, all of whome wish to take revenge for whatever reason.

And this is basically as far as i've gotten. The way I wanted to tell the story is to start off near the end, where the captain, for whatever reasoning, has decided to return to stormwind, and you see the stormwind guards arresting him, and throwing him in jail. Then in his cell he reflects on the events that led him to where he is today. Then i wanted to finish it off by continueing the events that we saw at the beginning, if that makes any sense.

I had come up with an idea where he has some sort of contact within stormwind, and he comes back to get himself arrested. Then his contact releases him in the middle of the night, and they open up the gates and let his army in, and i'd continue it from there. That seemed to much like the trojan horse story though and it just didn't seem to fit with what I wanted.

So what i really want to know is how do you think i could finish this off? What reasoning could he have for returning to the city knowing that he'll get arrested?

I'm sorry about the disorganization of this post, i was just writing down thoughts straight from my head. I'm going to start putting something down on paper now, but i thought it would be a good idea to get some feedback from someone who knows what they're talking about.

Thanks for any help you can give me!

ThinkStory
03-03-2006, 02:03 PM
Hi gooms9,

the way to conclude this story should be simple…
once you know what you want your audience to
get out of it.

People who’ve been reading this thread are probably
getting really fed up with me for saying this so often
but here it is again…who's your audience, what do you
want to be the take back message?
Does that sound too philosophical, let me know if it does.
But know that not all stories needs themes, I can’t count
how many stories I’ve either made-up or critiqued that
have no message whatsoever but still "works."

But some stories do, and will be empty without it.

Your idea is one of them.
It’s about revenge, drama, acts of crime and justice.
It needs depth—therefore requires that extra layer.

So, to get there, we need to decide on one thing:
Is your character a good guy or a bad guy?

There’s no problem with telling the story backwards,
it’ll help in presenting your story both ways, I’ll show
you what I mean once we figure out if the audience is
supposed root for this guy or not. But if it’s one of those
things where a line can’t be drawn, then it’s really going
to get philosophical but that’s okay. Just let me know
what you want, don’t want, or even if you don’t know
what you want and we can work it out from there.

Uh, does that make sense?

ThinkStory

gooms9
03-03-2006, 06:59 PM
What I wanted to show, was that the "villain" is not actually some diabolical evil maniac, but more of a broken man. He lost his family, and his city, and everything he held dear to him, and something in his head just snapped.

I dont want the audience to exactly cheer this guy on and hope that he destroys stormwind, but i do want them to be able to relate with him and understand where he is coming from to a certain degree.

dammarud
03-03-2006, 09:21 PM
Hey very cool thread. I will try to go back and read more of your suggestions later.

I hope no one tries to steal my story idea:

I've been playing around with an idea for a black-comedy which takes as its' central character one of the nameless thugs that we've seen gunned down oh so many times... it's still pretty sketchy now, because I thought of it as a film parody screenplay first, then just dropped it, but recently I've been wanting to give this idea some form, either as a comic book or short film script. I've discussed it a few times with people, and it always becomes a hilarious brainstorm of laughter and absurd ideas...

All I have so far is an opening which is like the climax battles of Arnold movies: Some huge steroid rage ... storming a (cliche) gangster hangout, culminating in the extermination of this guys buddies, and the central idea that he comes to the existential realization that he is basically a one-dimensional evil guy, destined to become cannon fodder ... I've got some scenes, but its hard to write this because I'm trying on purpose to create a flipped view of good and evil, but funny, violent, and its hard to make the audience care for someone that you want them to despise and ultimately want to kill off...

ThinkStory
03-03-2006, 10:54 PM
Hi gooms9,

okay, understood.


Since this character is supposed to be the “bad guy” (even though
he’s the not so bad guy type) character, we need a “good guy” or
an opposition for his role to develop a meaningful conflict between
the two. I’m selecting the king of the city for this position because
that seems to be the most obvious one presented in your description
unless there’s a preference to bring in somebody else which might
complicate the story a bit, with two against one, but not undoable if
that’s what you’d prefer.


Anyway, here’s the set-up:

Originally, the captain was a good guy, he was a good leader and
a person everybody in stormwind looked up to. Then he started
to get too powerful, the king, fearing how the captain can turn
the army against him or win over the city’s loyalty and ultimately
the throne, was the back-hand supporter behind the rebels/secret
service/assassins that attacked the captain. While the main character
is, of course, unaware of this.

Then, like you said, the captain looses his mind in rage but eventually
finds a clue that his exile might have been planned from the very beginning.
The only contact that might possibly know about this is currently hidden
and put away in jail, so he purposely gets captured to find this guy in
seek of the truth.

At the end of the story, he of course finds out and launches the
army against the king of the city. There’s several options you can
take on who wins out.
But if you want continuity, then maybe they both fall from battle and
probably a young second or third main character, somebody like
the captain’s pupil, takes the throne. This character should be brought
out from the beginning though and not just put there to wrap things up.
The story should conclude as having this new king, seeing the captain’s
previous mistakes might prepare him to be a wiser ruler.


And you can tell this from the middle of the jail scene.
Like I said before that it works both ways because, you can open the
story with him as a good guy being put away to jail by the corrupt
government or a bad guy caught by the good guys or perhaps his
own pupil? For this story, it seems that either way works.

What do you think?

ThinkStory

gooms9
03-04-2006, 01:10 AM
You read my mind with the whole pupil idea. I had originally planned to start it off by showing the pupil (who has since been promoted to captain) riding through stormwind, and then into a grungy bar where the corrupted captain is sitting, and arrests him. Then the story starts.

I like the idea of having the corrupted captain and the king fall in battle, and having this pupil rise to the power of king. I could even have it so the evidence that the corrupted guy (i really need to think of names for these people) points to the king, but at the end, you find that the pupil was behind the whole thing all along in a plot to rise to power. That might be a little too much though, seeing as i'm aiming for around 30-45 minutes.

But i really like these ideas you've given me. I think i'm going to take them and maybe play around with them for a little while and see what I can come up with. Thanks for the help.

debashish
03-04-2006, 04:08 AM
Hi Deb,

sure, but I'd like to get some of your input,
what kind of story are you looking for?
Action, adventure, comedy, drama, romance, etc.
Limitations such as number of characters, sets, lip-sync?
What kind of characters do you want to work with
like humans, animals, objects?
Is there an original story/idea that you’re thinking of?

ThinkStory

Thanks thinkStory.
ur right, actually im currently working on some character concepts..... so im kindda late in replying... i will show u the characters as soon as i develope their concept... and any initial story if im able to frame with them. i want to use the least number of chacter (will be all humans [probable]) But i want to create a BIG appeal.... may be related to some burning issues we are facing.. or some some important issues in our personal which we neglect.. i m looking not for any fun story.. but i want to touch the heart of the audience with a story.

thanks

dammarud
03-04-2006, 06:54 AM
I'm working on a treatment right now and would like to get some feedback. New to this forum but went back and read the thread... really cool of you to offer your advice to people!
keep up the good work!

The bigget problem I'm having is with "story". I have a visual sense, and a strong idea of stlye, and what I want to do/say/not say, but I find myself stuck outside the box, so to speak, and I cant get INTO the scripting. i also find myself coming back to the same ideas again and again, even though I cant seem to make them work, or breathe...

digikris
03-07-2006, 07:16 PM
Hi Dam,

Just start putting it on paper. Write-think-write-rewrite-think-rewrite as Thinkstory said. Just review your script before you start rewriting. It will put you in the mood. I usually do that. I usually give the script to some of your close friends and ask them to read it. In first one or two pages the reader as to get involved with the story.

When you first start it, it will be sure difficult. You can also read scripts of same genre to get some idea.

Carry a Journal all the time with you and write down something that inspires you.

Regards,
Hari

JeremyJessup
03-17-2006, 03:48 AM
I am trying to figure out a story for a short (less than 10 minute animation). I always seem to have a million ideas but when I try to work out all the kinks I always hit some sort of snag that seems insurmountable making me have to trash the whole thing and look for another idea for a story... is that typical or should you just keep working on it till you find an answer to the problem?

Anyway, my latest thought is a story about alien abductions... the twist is that the aliens don't abduct people. They're actually relativly small aliens and they abduct 'stuff,' thus explaining how you always seem to loose things like your keys, your wallet, that sock from the laundry, etc.

Any ideas on how to create a fun short around that idea?

thatoneguy
03-17-2006, 06:13 AM
Hey ThinkStory, I PM'ed you a link to our screenplay I would love any help you could give us.

... not to butt in on your job ThinkStory but... Jessup, the problem it would see you face is, you need to find a problem for your story to solve.

You have a great premise, you just need to break it down and find from the core elements of your story where the problems might arise for a main character.

The aliens are tiny: Great potential for a fish out of water story, conflict arising from a difference in size.
The aliens abduct normal things: Somebody has something abducted that they really need.

Here are a few concepts maybe to consider:
The main character has a favorite shirt that he thinks is lucky and he really needs it today, because of a hot date. The problem is the missing shirt, the film is him trying to get it back, or learning to live with out it.
The aliens abduct more than they can handle, maybe they abduct a cat, which then chases them and terrorizes them through their ship. The problem is obviously having accidentally brought this cat into their world, the film is them trying to either get rid of it or befriend it.

Just come up with a simple and clear objective for the main characters to solve, hopefully one which would be intrinsically tied to the premise, and the film will write itself.

Mu
03-17-2006, 07:58 AM
I always hit some sort of snag that seems insurmountable making me have to trash the whole thing and look for another idea for a story... is that typical or should you just keep working on it till you find an answer to the problem?

apart from thatoneguy's excellent advice I would like to also say that it is a good idea to not try to write and revise your stories at the same time if it turns out to block you.

Of course, if you can manage to do this in one go, do it. But if, like in this case, you realize you find yourself stuck with it you are in danger of going in a downward spiral which will end up in a total block.
When you develop your story you can absolutely first just jot everything down and separate correcting, revising and redesigning from this process, coming back to it once you are through with everything.

tarun jain
03-23-2006, 03:55 PM
great thread! i hope i find a sorty solution for my concept(please dont mind if u find it totally stupid,im not very bright! lol )
One thing has always intriged me and that is
"why do super heroes wear thier underwears on the out side?" If they dont wear it outside will they no longer be superheroes?is it a bad sense of fashion?what purpose does it serve?does it make them aerodynamic or something?can they replace their usual v shaped undies with boxers or maybe a g string?will that work?who on earth wears their undies on the outside,no one except supers and we call them supers!
here's a idea:
A superhero convention is being held(one in five years maybe)/or a superhero school,everybody who is anybody in the superhero world is there,all wearing their underpants on the outside.but one superhero comes to the convention/school with out his underpant on the outside. its like sacrilege to the super hero world.this is a total shock to all the other supers.He tries to prove his point to them and evryone agrees; suddenly wearing underpants is a thing of the past.Until the point where things happen and it is proved that in order r to be super heroes they have to wear their underwears on the outside.

ThinkStory
03-24-2006, 03:45 PM
Hi Jessup3D,

I like the collaboration and thatoneguy's suggestion about
wrapping the alien concept around characters is a great start.
But, depending on how concept vs. character-focused you want
the piece to be will make a difference to the story outline. Like if
you want your story to be about a particular guy/girl's experience
when they encounter these aliens, then the special T-shirt thing
should work great. If you want to go the other way, like the story's
focus is the alien concept and the humans is to take on as support,
then that's another path. It's just a matter of choice and getting
the balance you want like an artist working on a canvas, making
sure one thing doesn't overshadow the other.

Just as an option, if you're looking for a more concept-focused
story you may consider adding another layer to the object abduction
idea like the aliens keeps misinterpreting the objects that they
abduct from Earth and relocating them in the wrong places. Don't
you sometimes find the strangest things where you least expect it?
So here’s a layout:

We see a typical workday morning through a strange alien camera.
The camera follows a typical suburban family, the husband is
having breakfast before work while the wife is helping their two
kids get to school.

The Husband is reading the newspaper and comments that he hates
work, wants to quit, and that his boss is the SCUM of the universe.

The Wife is running around after the children and gathering their
smelly clothes to wash.
She woke up late and wasn't able to prepare their lunches, she
gives the Son 5 bucks to buy food at school.

The third grader is delighted and kisses the bill.
His mother scolds him, telling him that the money's DIRTY,
and places the bill into his pocket. As he hurries out for the
school bus, the Husband reminds them that the newspaper
says it's gonna rain. The Son waves back and says he's got
an umbrella in his gym locker.

Right after he gets on the bus, the Daughter, in junior high,
grabs one of the umbrellas by the door and heads out. She
takes the local bus and sits on the waiting bench by the
bus post.

And so the scene is set for alien abductions snippets...

The Daughter "forgets" the umbrella on the bench.

The Son goes to pay for a candy bar "the rocket blast bar" or
something and finds out the $5 is no longer in his pocket.

The Wife takes out the laundry after everyone leaves and
finds out she's "missing" a sock.

The Husband leaves for work with his newspaper but somehow
the paper "disappears" somewhere along the way.

While this is happening, we see quick scenes of the aliens looking
at their stuff...
The sock stinks.
A large print across the newspaper reads "The Post"
The $5 has germs crawling all over it.
The umbrella surprises them as it pops open.

Suddenly the alien monitors fuzz up, some technical difficulties
occur and they are no longer able to trace back where they got
all these things from. So the best they could do is to make a
guess based on their observations...

The Son finds his ROCKET BLAST umbrella in his locker when
he changes back after gym class.

The Wife finds $5 bucks in one of the pockets after the laundry
is WASHED.

The Daughter returns home and gets off the bus. She sees a
discarded newspaper on the bench by the bus POST and uses
it the shield herself from the rain.

The Husband could only remember that the last time he saw
the newspaper was inside the proposal file he sent to the
SCUMMY boss.

I know this might sound kinda long but each scene should really
be quick simple clips and should fit within a 10min timeframe.
But the changing of multiple scenes might become a challenge.

Well, does it at least give an idea of what you can do?

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
03-24-2006, 04:34 PM
Hi tarun jain,

OK, superheroes and underwear.
Ahh yes, one of those long, unsolved mysteries.

So why do you need to wear underwear on the outside to be a superhero?
I speculate on that also, but here's a possibility:

So like you said, they have that superhero convention and
everybody is convinced that outer underwear-wearing is a
thing of the past. After the convention concludes, they all
change back into their normal/unsuper identities to head
home. Then suddenly, a super villain attacks and every
superhero must rush to a telephone booth or bathroom or
whatever to get back into their uniforms.

But...as you can imagine, pulling-up those super tights
over those flabby underpants can get a bit tricky.
The cloth starts scrunching up and takes some time
straightening out. However, it was either that or leave
behind used and old underwear in public places.

So in the midst of all this...only one superhero was MAN enough
to say "Forget this!!!"
Ignoring new trends, he wore his underwear proudly over
his tights to battle the bad guy. And because of his bravery
and unwavering determination to stick with common sense,
he saves the day.

From then on, no superhero ever questioned the wisdom of
wearing underwear as outerwear again.

ThinkStory

JeremyJessup
03-24-2006, 06:38 PM
Excellent... this is an awesome thread. Thanks to all for the help in shaping the idea. I'll probably change some stuff, but that definitely helps me get my head around the idea better and in a way that will keep the story cohesive.

honest--jon
03-26-2006, 11:29 PM
Hi thinkstory, its nice to see people helping others to the extent you are.

Right

Im currently in my second year of a 3d animation degree and next year we are to produce a major project which consits of a short animated film.

I have had a few ideas already and keep toying with different possibilities. Our lectures like to know the MEANINGS behind our story etc... so with this project id really like to come up with something solid but im not very good at all this stuff.

Right

My main idea is to create a story about an old clockmaker who travells arround in his flying house!! The house is gona be pretty old & wonkey, it will fly using a large helium blimp style balloon attached by ropes to the house, to the rear of the house will have the tail of an old ww2 plane on it which is also a garden!! sounds strange but its almost modeled and looks pretty funky.

Also the interior of the house will be full of clocks&cooco clocks etc.... and every hour all the clocks go off and make loads of noise (little like in pinnocio)

See I really like that part of my idea with the strange flying house thingy.

Then I was thinking of somehow going to a city/town where the clock maker gives this guy a clock, and the idea was to have him wake up and everything in time has frozen, things out side are not moving etc.....

and he goes on a little mission to go and find the clock maker and finds him dead and he then becomes the new clockmaker and starts up time again? (as you do)

See i think the idea could make a goodish film or something but im aiming for about 2mins long as theres only one of me and about 8 mounths if that to do the whole thing in i might be stuggling.

Not sure were or when this should be set in? any help would be greatly appreciated, would love any input towards ideas etc.... and how i could go about telling the stroy.

ThinkStory
03-29-2006, 04:03 PM
Hi,

Hmm…cool idea! I can really visualize it.

I think you’ve got some great concepts and the tough part
really is condensing it all into a 2 min timeframe and still
have, as your lecturer requested, MEANING behind it.
So I came up with something that tried to incorporate all
the elements you mentioned into something quick.

For the setting, I think probably England during the mid-late
1800’s to the early 1900’s following the industrial revolution
with chimneys and smoke stacks, Victorian/Edwardian cities,
and an interesting mix of factory noises in the midst of a
rather fashion-frilly time period. It’s an era when people tried
using machines and funny contraptions for new things that I
think will contribute to the wonkiness of your idea. It was also
a time when many variations of clocks have been explored.

It starts with a young guy waking up in what looks like an
old clock repair shop cause there’re lots of clocks and junk
around. He doesn’t seem to remember how he got there and
jumps when he hears an old man’s voice in the back of the
room, "OK, it’s fixed."

The old man finishes winding up a small clock from the work
desk and hands it to him.

He takes it. "Uh…how much do I owe you?" he asks, fumbling
a hand through his pocket.

The old man looks up with a smile, "Only time."

The guy doesn’t understand and looks at the clock, the minute
hand isn’t moving. "Wait, it’s not running."

"Patience. It will and if it breaks, look for me at The Clock Tower,
I’ll fix it for you then." The clockmaker gets up and directs him
towards the door.

With a lost expression, he turns the knob. But once the door opens,
he nearly falls out into midair. Camera zooms back and reveals he’s
on a flying house over London.

The alarm rings, he wakes up from what seems to be a dream.

He hits a button on the alarm to stop it from ringing.

The clock is the exact same one as the one the clockmaker gave
him except it’s running. He looks around bewildered and, like you
said, everything seems to be frozen in time.

He grabs the clock and hurries out.

Walking through the frozen city, he goes back to The Clock Tower.

He runs up the steps till he reaches the top, sees a door, and
swings it open.
He finds himself in the clock house and the clockmaker on the floor,
a note is left for him. He bends down to pick it up.
It reads, "It’s yours, use it well."

The alarm in his hand rings again as he rushes to the door.
He opens it again and, just like before, he’s on a flying house
and time is restored in the city.

That’s about it for the plot in 2 min, so what do you think?

As to the MEANING, the one here is really about the passing of
time from the old guy to the youth.

There’re probably other ways to better convey the theme behind it
but some elements from the original concept might have to be
dropped to fit within the allotted timeframe.

Does this work for your project?

ThinkStory

honest--jon
03-29-2006, 04:13 PM
Cheers ThinkStory I really like the idea, think I could really work on that, thank you for your time and effort its very much apreciated will get working on the script and stuff, think it could be an awsome short film (alot of work) better get started, been building clocks for the last few days, having to re-roof the clockmakers house at the moment due to technical reasons!!

Cheers again, il buy you a pint if your ever my way.

ThinkStory
03-29-2006, 05:48 PM
Great!! Thanks for the offer, I'll hold you to it...cheers!

digikris
03-31-2006, 09:18 PM
What can i say Thinkstory....You're Glorious. I see a bright light behind a big T. Usually Indian mythology says people with high intellect will have a light behind them.

Its been a long time . What's your emailid thinkstory@hotmail.com I don't remember.


Regards

ThinkStory
04-03-2006, 08:25 PM
Hi digikris,

wow, I don't know what to say either!

How's it going, how's your toxic supervisor concept been working out?

My e-mail remains to be Think_Story@yahoo.com (http://forums.cgsociety.org/Think_Story@yahoo.com) or an alternative is ThinkStory@gmail.com (http://forums.cgsociety.org/altrThinkStory@gmail.com)

ThinkStory

SHMW
04-30-2006, 01:43 AM
Hey, ThinkStory!
Just wanna say thanks for your e-mail! Awesome advice, man!
Also noticed this thread's got RATINGS? TOP SCORES, totally well deserved!!

SHMW
04-30-2006, 01:52 AM
Oops, forgot to ask...ThinkStory, do you use AIM, ICQ, or IM??

JeremyJessup
04-30-2006, 10:38 PM
Thanks for your ideas on the alien abduction story I was conisdering earlier. I thinking of possibly expanding this story into a short film if I can get a few interesting and unique plot twists figured into it. It's not the same story as you though up, but I tried to apply the same basic idea (learning from your input rather than steeling your ideas ;) ). I think there needs to be a lot more interest in the story... Here's what I've come up with so far that seems to be a functional story, all be it a very short animation at this point... I'd appreciate your feedback and input so far;


Alien Abduction story

Interior of home seen through camera with strange readouts and markings, switching to different views such as x-ray, infrared, etc. Intro should be long enough to insert opening credits and title sequence with fade in and fade out of views of different rooms.

The scene changes from the view of the home through the scope to a shot of a space ship that can be seen through the living room window, appearing to be at a long distance from the home.

As the mother leaves the room, the camera moves in on the ship slowly as the ship approaches (dramatic music) and then the ship appears to start to turn and we see that it is now in the house and is actually a very small ship.

We return to the scope and begin to target certain items, beginning with a set of car keys, taken from the dining room table. The ship continues on to other rooms and re-deposits the keys onto a coffee table where they pick up another item. This time it is a TV remote with the words ‘Universal Remote’ on it. In the background we hear the father say “has anyone seen my car keys? They were just here.”

Inside the alien ship, we see a screen with an image of the car keys being cataloged, followed by the remote. We finally see the small aliens as they examine the remote and curiously push buttons. The lights in the ship change and flash as the buttons are pushed and the aliens all say ‘oooohhh’ with interest and amazement.

They deposit the remote beside some baby toys along their way as they pick up a cell phone which they examine as they move into the kitchen. The father comes in and says “I can’t believe this… I still can’t find my keys and now my cell phone is gone and I need to call in and tell the boss I’ll be late!” The mother replies “Just use the house phone, I’m sure your cell phone will turn up,” as she continues to search the house for the keys.

The mother says “Well here are your car keys on the coffee table. Did you check the kitchen for your phone?” in the background as the aliens are viewing the cell phone in their ship. Pressing buttons, we hear someone saying “Hello!?” in a foreign accent after having inadvertently dialed an international number.

The ship re-enters the living room where the 2 year old is playing with some toys and sees the tiny ship. The ship puts down the cell phone and intends to continue on, not having noticed the child. The child, seeing all the flashing lights on the low hovering shiny metal ship, grabs it out of the air thinking it’s a toy. The giddy child begins shaking the toy sized ship violently, enamored with the changing lights. “Well,” the father says from another room, “it sounds like kiddo’s having a good day at least.” The mother replies, “Well, you have your keys. You’d better get going. I’ll keep an eye open for your phone.” After a brief silence, the mother says “Honey, where did you put the TV remote?”

Inside the ship we see the fear stricken aliens being bounced around inside their ship as warning lights flash on and off and sirens blare. The sirens can barely be heard outside of the ship as the child tosses the small ship to the ground after having lost interest. The aliens, regrouping and now quite angry, drop the phone, still on the international call with someone speaking a foreign language on it and put up the Death-Ray canon and begin to chuckle malevolently as they slowly approach the child.

The child finds the Universal remote on the floor and picks it up and begins pressing buttons as he turns around to see tiny ship with the big gun. The ship suddenly stops cold and the canon spins around a few times and the ship begins to shake violently, as if it was having an earthquake.

Inside the ship, the confused aliens start trying to compensate by working their controls. The child continues to press buttons and the ship continues to respond. After a short time, the ship jerkily moves through the air and then begins to bounce off the walls and then gets shot out the window.

Just as the ship leaves back out through the open window, the mother walks in and finds the cell phone and ends the call and then spots the 2 year old with the TV remote. The child says something incomprehensible and points out the window. The mother says “I can’t leave you alone for 5 minutes, can I?”


I really appreciate all the help. The alien characters I've got in mind are not sinister or mean spirited, just curious and youthful characters. My initial sketches of the characters look a bit like a sweet gherkin pickle with octopus tentacle and… well, I’ll upload a sketch later. I just have a hard time putting something like this together with my schedule (I’m trying to run my own 3D studio, I work a 40 hour a week job, and I do real estate investments… not a lot of free time when you factor in the wife and kids).

Thanks again

<<Edit>>
Image attached

dorvanium
05-03-2006, 08:01 PM
Hi ThinkStory
You were supposed to take a break but I think you are busy these days more than ever :) .

Ok here is my problem , maybe the worst or maybe it's the easiest.
For part of a commercial all I have is 10 seconds to show a pencil ,checking some test boxes and then the paper will be folded and will go into a pocket , ready to be mailed.
Is there a chance to make it interesting . I don't want to make it so simple . I am working on modeling, textures right now .
Which one should I emphasize more ? the pencil filling the box ? folded paper ? pocket ? pencil ?
I will make them in separate plans for sure , but which plan is important more than the other
I hope there is chance to make it somthing different.

Thank you so much

UPDATE : There is no time for this one , maybe it will be a good practice for others . cheers :)

ThinkStory
05-18-2006, 03:59 PM
Whoa! Sorry people, it's really been a while since
I got a chance to visit this forum.
Been SUPER busy lately.

Anyway, Jessup3D and dorvanium, um...are you still
waiting feedback on your questions?

Since it's been a few weeks after your posts, just want
to check if you've already made updates to your stories.
If not, let me know.
If yes, I'd be glad to answer any new questions you may have.

Again, I apologize for any inconvienences. Consultant work tends
to lend itself to crazy schedules, need to get a more 9-5 job,
if anybody has any recommendations, you have my e-mail, haha!

ThinkStory

JeremyJessup
05-18-2006, 07:14 PM
Apologies not needed, your personal stuff comes first and we're all grateful for the help you provide when you are able to.

As for my story, I have someone helping me with it and once the script is done, we'll probably start a collaborative team project to get the animation done on it, but your input is always valued if you have the time.

I know you're busy, so no rush... but I have another project that I emailed you about. I started another thread (I know you're swamped, so I thought I'd troll for some more input (pardon the pun (you'll get that if you read the story :D ))). Any input you can offer would be greatly appreciated, since this project is getting to be a bigger and bigger and it's soon going to be too much for me to handle neatly (with my limited experience).

Thanks again!

kuncept_kuncult
05-19-2006, 10:49 AM
im almot tu with a concept im putting together but i feel something is missing and i also feel it wont carry the message the way i xpect it to.need ideas,need help.its surpose to be drawing of legends that have left legacy related to public servicethat is service to man kind.and the concept it to tell on our we can learn from their examples.if you want me to post the full story i will
cheers and thanx
jeff

ThinkStory
05-22-2006, 04:24 PM
Hi Jessup3D,

I'm looking into your e-mail should be responding after I finish reading it.

Hi kuncept_kuncult,
sure, post it or use attachment depending on the length of the story.

ThinkStory

dorvanium
05-31-2006, 04:15 PM
Hi thinkstory

You shouldn't be sorry , it's ok my friend:) . this forum is a great chance for us to get help from you . I have finished the project , but for my next projects I would be so glad if you help me .

Thank you so much

ThinkStory
05-31-2006, 09:25 PM
Hi dorvanium,

thanks for your comments, and I'd be glad
to help you on your next projects also!

ThinkStory

braam
06-01-2006, 07:21 AM
Hey ThinkStory,

It is obvious that you are a very good story adviser. I'm working on anti-littering commercial for local charity for free of charge. I just want to do it for a good cause.

If you still have time and want to have a look at it. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. The animatic is included.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=3597462&postcount=11

Thanks!
Braam

Manuel Ponce
06-04-2006, 04:34 PM
Its been a while since I posted here.

But, from the script that I wrote, I'm in the first draft right now. I sent it to alot of people and hand delivered it to several directors here in Chicago. I kept getting negative feedback from all, so I re-wrote 70% of it. The first draft that I have right now is just about done (give-or-take 2 months, its summer ya know). I was just using a freeware app to make and I think that was my problem, probably bad format and some places just threw it out.

I've since uped the ante with "Final Draft 7" and started getting a better respose from some places.
Well to sum it up, I have have a new script in the works. So I'll be needing help from you wonderfull people again. Especially you Think Story!

spider_newgent
06-11-2006, 06:23 PM
Hi Thinkstory.

You're an absolute star for doing this thread, keep up the good work...

I've been toying with the idea of doing a short animation to music based on the theme of repetition. Characters would generally be quite cartoony in nature, with large floppy ears and long anteatery snouts.

I wanted to use musical/graphical repitition to highlight the apathy of the lead character and the daily grind of their life. With the "take home message", (to coin your phrase), being the eventual realisation that we are all a product of circumstance. For instance a business man, teacher, housewife, janitor, millionaire ends up in their situation based on a series of events, both manufactured and random, and that generally life isn't a bed of roses.

Rather an obtuse choice of subject matter I know.

I can picture various scenes and have done a little concept work, my main problem is that I'm floundering trying to tie it all up into a coherent story.

Any chance you could illuminate me with your opinion on the best way to gel my discordant ideas together?

The film would be aimed at children and adults in equal measure. It would be a few mins in length, and I'd be aiming for a hypnotic effect to the visuals and music, using the aforementioned repitition.

If you have any further questions, I'd be glad to answer...

Thanks

Spider

ThinkStory
06-14-2006, 06:50 PM
Hi braam,

a good thing you're doing for anti-littering.
The clip looks good. Nice designs, can't wait to see
the final draft.

It looks pretty finalized so I won't comment too much,
the only thing that you might want to consider is incorporating
some symbolism of what littering is doing to our environment
as a way to enhance the message. Like instead of having the
woman back away from the Monster because it looks scary,
have her faint from its stench and instead of physically destroying
the stand, have the fruits rot simply from the Monster's odor.
Or when the main character throws a can at the Monster, it
bounces back with ten cans on the floor or at the attacker.

Stuff like that. Just some thoughts.

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
06-14-2006, 07:04 PM
Hi spider_newgent,

hmm...I kinda have an idea of what you're looking for
and kinda don't. Do you have more details, maybe it'll
help if I can see some of your concepts.

Anyway, from what I understand based on your description,
maybe what you can do is to literally morph the characters
from one to another in between their storylines. That should
be able to convey your theme of repetition visually and solve
the coherent problem at the same time since you can merge
the animation with the characters as opposed to the storyline.
It'll also help underline that all the characters are the same,
"a product of circumstances" idea you have.

Does that work for you? Let me know.

ThinkStory

juzMe
06-18-2006, 07:11 PM
hey TS!

have PM u. :)

Dex128
06-18-2006, 08:31 PM
Hi ThinkStory! Like everyone else has said, thank you very much for maintaining this thread for so long. Here is my story idea for my short (1-2 min) student reel. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Back story:

Set in the late 1800's, my story involves an organ grinder monkey who has recently left his master, figuring he could make a lot more cash by cutting out the middle man. This hasn't really been working out so he has since turned to a life of crime, pick pocketing from those who would stop to watch his show. As a result he must drift from town to town, constantly seeking out a new audience that doesn’t already know his tricks. Because of this he has become cynical and jaded, and puts very little effort into his performance.


Story Idea so far:

Open on various close-ups of the monkey preparing his equipment for the show (titles can be placed on the various organ grinder equipment), end with the monkey's hand beginning to turn the organ crank.

Jump to a long-shot and we see the monkey in the middle of a European style cobblestone paved square. The music starts and the monkey begins to jump around a little. A crowd starts to gather (the crowd will mostly be seen from the knees down as the camera will be matched to the height of the monkey).

The monkey starts his half-assed dancing and then quickly switches on the organ’s "auto-pilot". He makes his way into the crowd and begins to collect money (hands reaching down into frame, monkey grabs the coins, or coins could just be tossed into the monkey's hat). At the same time however, the monkey's tail is seen in the background, picking the pockets of the unsuspecting audience.

Suddenly the organ starts to skip which startles the monkey, who is in the middle of very gingerly removing a wallet from a man's back pocket. He tugs just a little too hard and the wallet goes flying, landing on the street and popping open to reveal a police badge. He looks up and, realizing he's been caught, starts backing slowly towards the organ as more wallets and jewelry fall out of his vest. All the while the organ is still stuck in a loop. Then, pulling a "Fonz" the monkey gives a sharp whack to the organ which sets it back on track.

The monkey then scrambles to pick up as much dropped loot as he can while collecting his equipment and running off as the legs close in after him. Iris to black.

The End

Known issues:

Hand cranked organs don’t actually skip
The ending stinks
No payoff

Any advice you can give would be much appreciated!

ratatat
06-26-2006, 05:00 AM
Greetings Think Story...

Wow, great forum. I read through a few pages and noticed a lot of individual instances for creating better stories. Was wondering if you could change gears, maybe give the young writer, animator, etc... some insite on your preparations before writing.
Anything from materials used, ways to clear mind, environment, books... entertain us with your quarks. I'm sure many would like to know what makes the story become more clear before it is written.

Cheers. :)

ThinkStory
06-29-2006, 06:37 PM
Hi Dex128,

hmm...I understand what you mean by the story
having "no payoff." To solve that problem though,
we have to first answer what kind of payoff do you
want for it?

Don't think about how to get there yet, we can answer
that later, the important thing is knowing where you
want it to go. Ideally, do you want the story to be
upbeat or downbeat?
Should the main character be captured or escape?
Is the story about learning a lesson or setting an example?

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
06-29-2006, 09:52 PM
Hi ratatat,

things to do for story preparation...makes me think back
to when I taught. I did some research on the subject and
compiled a nice list of good tips creatives use. Let me see
if I can pull up some of those lecture notes!

Uh, but if you're asking me personally though, I apologize
cause I'm probably not going to be of much use...um,
I don't use any of them.

I'm one of those weirdos who has to have everything pretty
much sorted through in my mind before the writing starts.
So when I do start, it's on-the-go.

I do sometimes get stuck in the middle of stories though and
with that, there's really just one simple technique I use,...I sleep.

Sometimes, it depends on when you’re most mentally active.
I think best right before I get up so I just sleep when I feel like I'm
loosing perspective on a story and an idea usually comes to me when
I get up. This works well because I'm not much of a sleeper, (don't
like naps and sort of an early person) so I don't wind up lazying out.

So that’s it.
Uh, does it sound too simple? It’s different for everybody though,
that’s just what works for me. But often, the simplest solutions are
the best ones, don’t you think?

ThinkStory

Dex128
06-30-2006, 12:21 AM
Hi ThinkStory! Thanks for the input so far. I tend to have a hard time committing to an idea so your advice was very helpful. It's definitely harder to come up with an ending if I'm unsure of the overall feeling I want for the film.


I definitely want to keep the story upbeat. As for the monkey being captured or escaping, I think I've thought of a way to incorporate both!


First, I cut out the bit with the monkey scrambling to pick up his stuff. Then, after the crowd’s legs close in on him, it cuts to a shot of the monkey being put in hand cuffs. In the last shot, the monkey is being led off (into the sunset maybe?) and you see his tail grabbing the cop’s key ring as the monkey looks back with a grin.

So he doesn't necessarily learn a lesson or set an example. Except for maybe "if you're going to hand cuff a monkey who steals things with his tail, make sure you do something about that tail!"

Let me know what you think! Thanks again.


Warren

SHMW
07-03-2006, 05:32 PM
Whoops, wrong forum.
Reposted in Film Editing.

ThinkStory
07-03-2006, 05:38 PM
Hi Dex128,

the ending is good if that's the way you want to go
but we're still missing the things in the middle.

The story so far don't seem to be saying much:
A monkey gets tired of working for humans, runs out
on his own and gets arrested but sneaks the keys to
escape.

It needs a focal point like…if the idea is that the monkey
is smarter than humans, then we can fill-in a few quickies
of just-for-fun pranks he plays on his audience.
Or if the idea is that he's like a monkey Houdini, show how
he is able to escape from his owner's cage in some amazing
way and then even when he gets caught by the cops, he
manages to get the keys, choosing to live in free poverty than
in confined wealth, something like that.

It needs a central idea to play with, know what I mean?

ThinkStory

Joe Burnham
07-04-2006, 01:06 AM
Dex128

Adding content to the middle, as Thinkstory suggests, could help to provide more substance to the monkey's character and the overall point of your movie. And I agree with this.

However, I think you should include the back story into the main story since so far the audience is unaware of the monkey's motives. Or rather, how he fell into this life of crime. This will be important when the audience is left to decide how to feel about the monkey's capture and subsequent escape. Otherwise, someone like myself will watch the movie and feel unmoved by the ending sequence. In truth, once the monkey is captured, the moral of the story is essentially, "crime doesn't pay." However, when he escaped, we're back to square one. Does that make sense?

All in all, your current formula works as an adorable homage to the superior cunning of street-performing monkeys over humans. No real pay-off. No real investment. Just a really cute story. I like that and I believe it'll work out nicely as it is.

Should you hope for a pay off, you might consider throwing the back story in there in some form or another. Just my opinion.

- Joe Burnham

Dex128
07-05-2006, 11:22 PM
Thank you guys very much for all the input so far. The biggest issue I'm having is trying to cram this story into 1-2 minutes. I know it can be done though!

I think I’ve come up with a good solution to explaining the back story. In the intro I can include a poster on the front of the organ exclaiming "entertainer and his fabulous performing monkey" with the entertainer's picture crudely scratched out. Or I could show the monkey tearing off the half of the poster with the entertainer on it, using that as the opening shot with the titles (VFS presents, A Short film by ___, etc) being incorporated into the poster.

I know what you mean about no lesson being learned though. One of the things I always disliked about some of the older cartoons (Woody Woodpecker for example) was the fact that the main character always got away with being a complete jerk to the supporting cast, most of whom were simply minding there own business. And on that note…

I’m also seriously considering getting rid of the thievery all together, instead starting out with the monkey escaping from his cruel master.

The scene opens, panning down the poster (as mentioned above) on the door of the entertainer’s caravan. A man can be heard yelling in Italian, followed by the crash of objects being thrown. The monkey then bursts through the door, running off into the night, dragging his organ behind him. Flash forward to a performance where the monkey is discovering that “going it alone” is harder than he’d hoped. He’s not getting much money and he’s hungry (rattles his cup with only a few coins heard, looking down at his stomach growling). His master shows up during the middle of his performance and throws a collar on him (with a little padlock or something). At first the monkey is ready to give up but as he’s being led back to the caravan he sees something (like a really lame costume or his cage or something) and realizes that he definitely does not want to go back. The last scene could end with the monkey using his tail to steal the key and running off again.

That would follow along with the theme of “living free in poverty rather than confined in wealth” and hopefully help the audience feel for the monkey a little more.



Let me know! Thanks again for all the help!

Dex128
07-07-2006, 06:42 AM
Well, I spoke to my teacher at school today and she pointed out that this new version of the story was sounding pretty depressing, which is kind of the opposite of what I was going for. Also, she didn’t understand why the monkey would continue organ grinding after he escaped, and why he would let the collar be put on without fighting back. I explained that he was giving up on his freedom since his new life was proving to be a lot harder than anticipated, but I can see what she means.

She liked the first bit at the caravan though, so I came up with the idea of reworking the story to be more like a “lovers quarrel” between the monkey and the organ grinder. One major change is that the monkey no longer uses the organ, as it will now be played by the organ grinder to give him a more significant role in the relationship. Here is the latest I have:


Open on a close up of the aforementioned poster, panning downwards showing the Titles, etc. while a man can be heard yelling in Italian (possibly with the monkey yelling back, in monkey speak). The camera pulls back revealing that the poster is on the door of a gypsy style caravan. This is accompanied by the sound of things being thrown around, with one particularly loud crash causing the door to shake and the poster to fall off.

As soon as the poster settles on the ground, the door bursts open and the monkey storms out, stepping on the half of the poster with the entertainer’s picture. It sticks to the monkey’s foot and the poster tears down the middle. The monkey half turns, hopping backwards on one foot while trying to shake loose the piece of the poster. The poster comes off and floats to the ground, resting diagonally beside the other half. Fade to black.

Flash forward to the next day where we find the monkey standing in a cobble stoned square, a crowd of legs in front of him. He is dancing and looking very awkward with no music being played as this was the organ grinders part of the act. People start booing and the monkey looks dejected as he reaches into his hat and pulls out a wallet sized photo of the organ grinder and stares at it longingly. Then, faintly, the monkey hears the organ grinder’s music. The music gets louder as the crowd parts and the organ grinder is revealed. The organ grinder stops playing and produces a rose from off screen. The monkey is overjoyed and runs towards the organ grinder, hugging his leg and wrapping his tail around him.

End with the monkey entering the caravan and closing the door behind him as we see the poster, crudely taped together, back on the door. Heart shaped iris-in to black...

Suddenly we hear a crash followed by a quick iris out as the arguing starts up again. The tape on the poster comes loose and half the poster falls forward. Cut to black, roll credits.




The camera is still at monkey-eye-level so humans will only be seen from waist down.
On a side note: If I can find someone to translate Italian I’ll have the organ grinder saying “take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape” or some other famous movie quote involving monkeys.

Joe Burnham
07-12-2006, 09:18 AM
Dex128,

I like both versions of your story.

The problem I have is with your teacher. There is no right or wrong to art. It's all in the execution. If you want to make the first version, which is apparently "depressing", she'll have to deal with it. I honestly believe the first version had a very positive message.

I also believe your teacher's wrong about the organ, as well. She seemed to view it as more of an anchor to his detrimental life with the Entertainer. This would support her reasons for finding the overall story "depressing". She just sees things differently. However, I saw it as perhaps the monkey felt that his true calling was to perform with the organ. One day, he meets this Entertainer and figures it's his big break. Things go sour, as most things in life do, and he's back on the streets. Would you just throw away your talent and find something else to do? Of course not.

Anyway. While I like both versions, I did feel that the second story is a little too light-hearted and "perfect", so to speak. The beauty of the first version is in its reality.

The only suggestion I'd have, regarding the first version, is with the master's decision to take the monkey back. There was really no clear incentive to forcefully take him back. From this, I see two immediate solutions.

1) The monkey ends up doing exceptionally well on his own, and the master sees that throwing him out was a mistake. He gets jealous, tries to take him back, but the monkey refuses.

2) The master's losing his appeal and the crowds are no longer showing up for him. He realizes that the monkey was helping him bring in the audience and decides to take him.

I understand option 2 might be harder to fit into a 1 - 2 minute animation. But who knows :)

Hope this is helpful.

- Joe

rooster75
08-03-2006, 09:36 AM
Hi,

I'm developing a sitcom concept and I would like your opinions.

It's about a people in a tenement building with a park in front of it where they can all meet.
Lead character is a guy who is into comics, SF, UFO, paranormal things, and sees these things all around him. Remember that he lives in an ordinary city, so nothing extraordinary happens.

He lives with his mother, his around 30 and with a friend who just came by one day and stayed there in his flat. This guy is a sarcastic and easy-going guy.

Now every episode is formed from two subplots:

1. love triange: our lead has a crush with a girl that has a crush with a hunk with a hart of gold, but a bit simple mind. This guy is insecure and trusts the lead to advise him in the matters of love. Needles to say that our lead trys to win the lady and stop these two from hooking up

2. evil man that hates our lead trys to put him down and makes fun of him. This is done by staging "paranoram" things just to see him trying to solve them. Our lead's cynical friend allways makes these plans fail so that lead thinks that he solved the case while evil man is humiliated

My concern is that this way, cynical friend comes as a hero of the show, with our lead totaly in the clouds and a bit nasty to the romantic couple. Still I want audience to be able to sympathise with the lead

Any suggestions are welcome..

ThinkStory
08-08-2006, 07:07 PM
Hi rooster75,

hmm...I understand your concern but getting sympathy
from your audience will really depend on how the events in
the story are "presented" to them and a little less on what
is actually being told.

I guess I would need to know a bit more on the background
and personalities of your characters in order to be more productive
in my feedback, so let me ask you why do YOU like your character?

Your reasons maybe the same ones that you would want to convey
to your audience. After we define that, then we can come up with
interesting ways of modeling these characters, their actions, and the
story's angle to get the result you want.

ThinkStory

CGRater
08-23-2006, 07:27 PM
Hey ThinkStory!!
I have a question about character development, I'm trying to come up with a new "guest-star" thing kind a character for a 20-min episode.

I want to make it a good memorable character that the audience would really like to return.
Not sure where to begin though, I keep gettin stuck on what kind of character this is, don't want to make it too cookie-shape, you know so it gets boring?
Any suggestions on where I should start coming up with ideas?

Menesis
08-25-2006, 01:41 PM
Hi Floatingrunner,

(....)
"Imagination is Intelligence having Fun!!"
--Anonymous

ThinkStoryThat's a funny quote! You know what? I read a book about comedy writing ('comedy writing secrets') and on one page it says: "humor is intelligence having fun" :thumbsup:
It's a good book btw; you might like it too, because of your story telling profession

ThinkStory
08-25-2006, 07:09 PM
Hi CGRater,

hmm...it would depend on the kind of series and story this
episode will be about. But a good place to start is to look
at the series' regular characters as a whole and see what
kinda character would add a good "dimension" to the story.

Good guest star characters are developed when the audience
wants them to return and to make that happen is to develop
a role that can change, add, or enhance the dynamics of your
regular characters and/or their relationships with the new one.
It should bring a freshness to the series, but not alter it.

In theory, every series, should have a particular "style" that
each of its characters embrace, a guest is no different.
Bad guest stars are usually those who "interferes" with the
tone of the series, when a series is running out of story plots,
sometimes the production team will bring in guest stars
thinking it will give the audience something "different"
but what a series like that needs is not a "different" feel but
a "fresh" feel, something that will put another spin on the
"original" concept. Not one that will be in conflict with it.

Um, not sure if that would apply to what you're working on,
but just something to keep in mind.

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
08-25-2006, 07:12 PM
Hi Menesis!

Haha...interesting, is "comedy writing secrets," the exact title?
I'll certainly check it out! Thanks for the recomendation!

ThinkStory

red3dcom
08-28-2006, 12:41 AM
Hello ThinkStory et al.

I am working on the storyboards for an animation and have run into a bit where everything I come up with seems cliche.

The shot has 2 young women looking under a cloth (we don't see what they are looking at). Girl #1 is pleasantly amused by what she sees. Girl #2 is in a bit of shock and definitely in awe of what she sees and stares fixedly. Girl #1 needs to break #2's concentration and bring her back to earth after which #2 shows embarrasment. One thought was to have Girl #1 wave her hand in front of Girl #2's eyes, another was to have Girl #2's jaw drop and have Girl #1 lift it back into place. Both seem very cliche to me.

Afterwards, Girl #1 drops her side of the cloth and gets ready to leave until she notices that Girl #2 has quickly moved in and picked up #1's side of the cloth so she can get a peek again. This is necessary to set up the next shot.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to handle breaking #2's fixed stare in a humorous way, I would very much appreciate it.

TIA

kutuk
08-30-2006, 01:04 AM
(sry if there are a lot of mistakes or bad english)

Hey there ThinkStory. First of all i whant to give u my sincere congratulations for this post becouse you are helping loads of people and doing this for the pleasure is a very positive thing. Ho, and that quote "Imagination is Intaligence having fun" is very very good.

Now...about my issue. I have been doing some little animations just to try the technical side of it without any story. And so i have decided to make a nice little short. Fisrt i was thinking of a story. However i am limited technecly becouse i just do 3d for fun and i dont have renderfarms to do very complex scenes. So...developing the story i whanted to develop something funny that i could enjoy doing and lough every time i see it. The first thing i thought of was:
-The resurection of Jesus Crist in our current days. He would resurect in the cave where he was "burried". He would get out of it and suddendly he would be confronted with a high way and speeding cars etc etc and after a small walk around and seeing the bad things of todays world he would go back to the cave thinking that it is better to stay in the cave then going out there.
And that was it...and i thought ye nice stuf...i liked it. It has a masseg, it can be funny, etc etc. However i soon realised i didnt have the skills for it so i think i will leave it for a future project, and maybe latter and can do it much better thaen what i would do it now.4

Then i thought of another idea that was simple, funny during the animation, and with a funny "puchline". It is:
- The scene starts with a dead skeleton ( i know all skeletons are dead :D but in this animation skeletons are more a figure of dead it self, this will be understanded in the end ). The camera moves up showing a passing veichle that has just killed the dead skeleton. Then apears another skeleton in the scene (a live skeleton :P) and he trys to "weak up" the dead skeleton ignoring the fact that he might be dead. The humor would be used here makeing him playing with the bones, throwing him water, giving him an electrical charge and finaly letting a dog free to scare the dead skeleton ( but eventualy the dog turns to the live one). Finaly the skeleton stands in front of the dead body decided to give up when sudendly he hears a sound of a big veichle and he gets killed too (this is why skeletons represent dead). In the end the dog comes and and eats the bones as the fadeout is runing.
The dea of having him killed too came to me bec ouse i didnt know how to end it or if i should make the dead skeleton come to live again and i did, then what would happen? and it would also become too extense, so ending it in a funny why was the solution and it creates a relation with the begining when the veichle that killed the first skeleton is showed. And the set would be completly white so that the audience forgets that the action is actualy happening in a road.

This is quite a simple thing to do becouse it has few carachterse and the set is allways the same and i will concentrating myself in the character animationg wich is what i intended. However, im afraid the story may not be as good it could be. I quite like it and i think i can make some nice jokes with the actions but today i saw this post of yours and i thought "wow, maybe he can give some sugestios to boost this up" so... i would realy apretiate some coments. Do you think the story works? Do you think theres something wrong with it? can you imagine any subtile ways to make it better?

Sorry for the big text. Thank you and again congratulations.

KUTUK PS: 5 stars thread

Menesis
08-30-2006, 07:58 AM
Hi Menesis!

Haha...interesting, is "comedy writing secrets," the exact title?
I'll certainly check it out! Thanks for the recomendation!

ThinkStoryyeah it's 'comedy writing secrets' written by Mel Helitzer (with Mark Shatz). It's about different techniques to create funny stories/performances etc. It comes pretty cheap and counts 342 pages. It might be cool for you, since you're a story writer :)

ThinkStory
09-07-2006, 01:55 PM
Hi red3dcom,

an idea for the scene break depends on what
kind of effect you'd want for the switch.
Actually cliché is OK if it’s not a significant part
of the story's progression. Coming up with
something very different might take attention
away from what's happening or about to happen.

But to make it humorous, it's really HOW the action
is taking place as opposed to WHAT the action is.
Something like a stare from Girl1 to Girl2 and a
nudge with her elbow would be sufficient if you're
looking for a smooth transition from one focus to
another. It's really the "look" of the character's
expression and the way they move that'll make
these simple gestures draw a chuckle from the
audience.

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
09-07-2006, 02:20 PM
Hi kutuk,

actually, if you're looking for something to practice with
and something short like a single scene for personal use,
the story itself is less important. You can stick with
what you have if you feel comfortable with it. As you
develop more experience with more shorts, you'll start
to develop more complete concepts to work with.
At that point it, the story idea becomes more important
because then the short might be longer, involving multiple
scenes where you will have to worry about stuff like
character development, plotting, and audience appeal.

ThinkStory

ThinkStory
09-07-2006, 02:22 PM
Thanks again, Menesis, for the book title.

I will check it out!