PDA

View Full Version : Need advice Story: The Dream Eater


Totoro
03-17-2005, 06:01 PM
I have written a story about a Baku, a Japanese mythical creature. It's a story for my graduation short. My intention is to make a 5 minute short max (haven't decided yet whether it will be a 3d or 2d short), but after reading my story I think it would take a bit longer than 5 minutes.

Was wondering if any of you guys have suggestions on the story or how to make it shorter/better.

The Dream Eater
Thereís a world beyond our real world called the Dream World. In this world Bakus watch over our dreams. All the good dreams are stored in red lanterns. If a child has a nightmare the lantern will go out, if the nightmare turns into a good dream the red lantern will lit again. Thereís a lantern for every good dream. When the light of a lantern goes out while a child is still sleeping he will get a nightmare. The Baku has to save the child then the lantern will lit again. Monsters get into the dreamlands and steal/ blow out the lanterns. When all the lanterns go out all the children will have nightmares. Evil demons are set free into the real world.

Ken is afraid to go to sleep since he has a nightmare. He draws monsters that he sees in his dreams. His grandmother assures him that nothing will happen to him. She gives him a small sculpture in the form of a mystical animal. The person who owns it will rub over it a couple a times before he goes to sleep. He or she is then blessed with beautiful dreams. But if he does have a nightmare, he must call the animal's name and the creature will eat the nightmare immediately.

After hearing this Ken is more assured and goes to sleep. He dreams of a beautiful landscape, itís a sunny day. But then suddenly the sky starts to turn black and little monsters/shadows start to appear. They try to attack Ken, he starts running and when he stops to catch his breath he sees the sculpture of the mystical animal dangling along his waist. He remembers what his grandmother said and starts rubbing the sculpture. As soon as he rubbed the sculpture, the sculpture starts growing. It becomes a real baku and eats the monsters who are chasing him. The sky starts to brighten up and the nightmare is turned into a good dream.

Ken and Ameno, the baku start playing. Ken discovers he can do anything in his dream; he can fly. They arrived at a torii, a gate and entrance to the dreamworld where Ameno lives. When they pass the gate the world suddenly turns dark. Ameno is on his guard. Something is wrong; when they approach the area where the dreams are kept they see a demon stealing the lanterns. Ameno tries to stop the demon but heís brutally hit by the dark force. He attacks a second time but then the demon puts him into a cage with his magic. Ken has to do something to prevent the demon steeling al the good dreams, but heís also afraid of the demon. Then he remembers that itís still his dream. He can do anything that he wants, he gathers all his courage and starts walking to the demon. The demon swings with his staff but nothing happens. He swings again and then he sees he isnít holding his staff but a lollipop. Ken has turned his staff into a lollipop. The demon gets agitated and walks towards Ken, Ken is really afraid and closes his eyes. When he opens his eyes the demon disappeared, he only sees a quacking frog. The cage thatís locked Ameno disappeared. Ken got the lanterns and put them where they belong. The darkness is disappearing and everything turns normal. Itís time to go home now. Ameno brings Ken back. Ken wakes up with the sun shining in his face. He makes happy drawings now.

------

There's a lot I haven't put into the story. Like: why does Ken has nightmares? Does he have a trauma, is he afraid of something/someone in his daily life? I was wondering if that's important to let the audience know why he has nightmares. I've read that kids between 2-6 have nightmares frequently often without any reason. Or does it make my story stronger if I give a reason?

I'm having difficulty how to explain the audience what the dreamworld is described in the first paragraph. I was thinking about a voice over at the beginning or a book solution like in Shrek where I explain things in pictures. Any suggestions?

Totoro
03-17-2005, 06:07 PM
I also made a short biography for the 2 main characters
Ken Fujiwara

Race : Human
Gender : Male
Age : 6
Height : 110 cm
Weight : 20 kg
Place of birth : Koyasan, Japan
Favorite food : Gyoza (dumplings)
Hobby : Drawing, fly kites
Favorite song : Momotaro-sanís song
Biggest fear : Monsters
Ambition : Become a samurai just like his father


Other : Ken lives in a small village in a small house with his grandmother. Heís generally suspicious of strangers. Ken is a shy boy who doesnít speak much. Heís intelligent though and has a big heart. He also has a vivid imagination. He doesnít have lot friends because the kids in the village think heís a chicken.


Ameno

Race : Baku
Gender : Male
Age : Unknown
Height : 72 cm
Weight : 40 kg
Place of birth : Dreamland
Favorite food : Nightmares, demons, monsters, etc.
Hobby : Fly around
Biggest fear : Not able to help kids with nightmares

Other : Ameno lives in Dreamland. His job is to eat nightmares from children and make them into sweet dreams. Heís playful and likes to fly through the fluffy clouds in Dreamland.

fwtep
03-17-2005, 07:48 PM
It feels more like a feature film than a short-- let alone a 5 minute short. I'd save this for a later project. It's better to do a project that's suited to the format rather than cram one kind of project into another kind of format just because it's a project you like.

But it IS a really cool story!

Fred

Totoro
03-18-2005, 04:38 PM
Yeah, I really like the project I had some other ideas too but this was the best I came up with for my graduation project. Looks like I'll have to come up with other ideas or somehow make it simpler. Anybody else have suggestions?

MarioV
03-19-2005, 06:47 AM
I really like this idea. Here, I love writing stories (USC Screenwriting Major, woot woot).

Here is a 3 pg script (since I'm new, I'm not able to post attachments, bummer :sad:. But PM me-I have a PDF). Read it over, use it, ignore it, whatever. I hope that you like it and that some ideas may have popped open. :)

-------------

EXT. LANDSCAPE - DAY

The bright, orange sun shines over a large mountain range. KEN FUJIWARA (6) strolls by a flowing blue river. He admires the fish dancing in the water, the birds flying above him, and the breeze blowing through the trees.

EXT. ANCIENT CITY ROAD - NIGHT

Thousands and thousands of RED LANTERN'S hang atop old, wooden buildings. A lit RED LANTERN's light blows out. The dirt road leads beyond the horizon.

EXT. LANDSCAPE - MOMENTS LATER

The river gushes over Ken, the birds flee, and the powerful wind blows down trees, which create a huge wall of swirling dust, blocking the sun and darkening the environment. Dark shadows plow through the dust. SIX MONSTERS chase KEN when he suddenly--

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

--wakes up, screaming. Ken is sweating profusely and breathing deeply. His GRANDMOTHER (77?) rushes through the door to comfort him.

GRANDMOTHER
Hush hush, Ken, it was just a nightmare. Just a nightmare. Everything is going to be all right.

Grandmother holds him tightly as the camera PULLS BACK, revealing a blue samurai suit in another room. It keeps pulling back as we--

FADE OUT.

FADE IN:

SERIES OF SHOTS -- EXPLANATION OF RED LANTERNS

--A shot of a lit red lantern. Next shot is of a little girl dreaming about being a princess (or similar).

--A shot of a blown out red lantern. Next shot is of monsters chasing a little boy.

--Another shot of a blown out red lantern. Next shot is of monsters chasing a little girl.

--Another shot of a lit red lantern. Next shot is of Ken dreaming about being a samurai. He wears a blue samurai suit, similar to the one shot earlier.

INT. LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON

Ken sits on the floor drawing the six monsters from his dream.
Grandma is cooking Gyoza. She walks up to him and sits beside him, observing the drawings. She reaches into her pocket and takes out from her a pocket a small statue of a baku. She places it in front of him.

GRANDMOTHER

When I was younger, my mother gave me this. His name is Ameno. He is a baku, a protector of dreams. He protected me from my nightmares when I was your age. She told me to rub him three times before I went to bed to protect me from all the evil demons and monsters.

Ken stops drawing. He slowly raises his eyes and looks at the statue. He then raises his head to look at Grandma. He has a small smile on his face.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

Ken is in bed. He holds the statue in his hands and stares at it.

He places the statue next to his bed on top of one of his monster drawings. He takes the monster drawing and disgustingly looks at it. He takes the statue and rubs it three times. He goes to bed.

EXT. LANDSCAPE - DAY

Same shot from the beginning, including the shot of the unlit red lantern.
Ken trips over a rock while the monsters chase him. As the monsters charge toward him, a dark shadow creeps up behind them.

AMENO, the baku statue, towers above the monsters. He fights each monsters and eats them.

EXT. ANCIENT DIRT ROAD - NIGHT

Dozens and dozens of monsters enter the building that contain Ken's dream.

INT. LANDSCAPE

Ameno is overpowered by all the monsters. Ken watches in horror as Ameno is losing the battle against the monsters. Ken stands up. He is angry. He clutches his fist. The blue samurai suit and a sword appear as he flies through the air toward the battle.

He slices each monster, killing them. Ameno gathers momentum and begins to eat each monster. Both Ken and Ameno defeat all the monsters.

EXT. ANCIENT DIRT ROAD

The red lantern outside Ken's door vanishes.

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

Ken sits on the floor, drawing Ameno and his samurai self defeating all the monsters.
Grandma cooks gyoza. She looks toward Ken's drawings and smiles.

FADE OUT.

Totoro
03-19-2005, 01:13 PM
Hey Mario,

Thanx for your reply. Yeah, I can use the ideas from your script. Especially the first part of the script it really describes the mood and sphere that I wanted. I was looking for a peaceful and bright nature scenery where Ken is in when he has a sweet dream and that's suddenly disturbed by darkness when the nightmare starts.

I'll look into the scene with the explanation of the red lanterns. That's the part I have most difficulty with.

The ending is also very nice where Ken sits at the table and makes drawings of the baku and himself. But I think the part where they battle the monsters is a bit too violent. I want to add some humor into it. Instead of slicing them maybe something funny will happen to the monsters. I have a tendency to aim my animations at younger viewers. I'll update you about any changes in the story.

You're a screenwriting student right? So if you type a script in script format one page equals to 1 minute? Coz I wanna make an estimation of how long the animation will be.

Thanx again for your feedback, I really appreciate it.

MarioV
03-19-2005, 04:52 PM
Hey Totoro,

The rule of thumb is that one page is about one minute. The script is about 2 1/2 pages, but it seems that it could turn out to be 4-5 minutes. I had a lot of difficulty trying to explain the red lanterns too, and the series of shots does a decent job of trying to explain them, I believe. But if you want something else, I can help. But I do think, since you're aiming at younger viewers, that they might not understand what's happening with just those eight consecutive shots trying to explain it. Also, what I did, and what I think you did a better job of explaining in your synopsis, is the part where the monsters blow out the lanterns. That provides a better explantion to why they are invading the dreams. But then again, the blown out lanterns can imply that something evil is causing it. Also, I didn't do that good of a job explaining the Baku world, but Grandma sorta inferred to it with the statue and her few lines.

And the climax. I can see how it's too violent. Reading over your synopsis, you describe how things turn into lollipops and whatnot, but also, in your character sketch, you describe Ken as wanting to be a samurai, just like his father. What if Ken still turns into a samurai and helps Ameno from the monsters. But Ken turns into a gigantic samurai, dwarfing the monsters, and he does the same to Ameno. And then their fight leads to the Baku gate from your synopsis, and then other Baku join into the fight and begin to defeat the monsters. Hmm, I guess still too violent. Maybe I'm not cut out at finishing this story. :shrug:

I really liked the idea, and I love a challenge of shortening a great story into a small time frame. Hence my use of mostly images and not dialogue.

So Totoro, glad I could help. Keep in touch, I'd really love to know what you decide to do and how the story is progressing.

MarioV
03-19-2005, 06:19 PM
Oooh! :scream: I got an idea!

Same ending as my last post, but this time all the Baku's use the monsters as servants and whatnot, instead of killing them. You can show them cutting their toenails, being monster-stairs so they can reach high places, etc. You know what I mean? This could add the much-needed humor to the script. :D

ThinkStory
03-19-2005, 10:42 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 under "Story Solutions",
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

Totoro
03-20-2005, 09:11 PM
Mario: I kinda like the idea that Ken turns into a giant samurai but with a humoristic twist.
I liked your ideas coz it has a lot of visual elements in it. I prefer making animations without dialogues or as less as possible. We were taught to tell a story in images rather than dialogues and besides that I kinda suck in writing dialogues.

ThinkStory: When I come up with a story I always get stuck with the motivation part, that's my weakness. Thanx for pointing that out. I'm trying to sort that out.
I liked the part where Ken realizes that strength is not obtained through the use of weapons but through his own inner strength. I'll try and to work that out in my story.

I've made a list of questions about the main character and tried to answer them. I hope this will help me to get the story going on and define the motives of Ken.


Questions




Motive:Why does Ken needs to be strong???

Ken wants to be a samurai like his father so he can protect his family. He wants to be accepted by the other kids in the village. Maybe he thinks he's somebody if he isn't afraid of monsters, darkness, etc. Because a real samurai is not afraid of anything.
Why is he having nightmares?

He has had a traumatic experience? (fatherís death?) or

Some kids dressed up like an oni (demon) to scare him since that incident he's got nightmares.
Desires:

What does Ken desire/need?

He wants to become a samurai like his father. He wants to be accepted by the other kids in the village. He wants to have courage.
What gets in the way of achieving this?

Heís shy and easily scared thatís why he hasnít got many friends.
Fear:

What is Ken afraid of?

Monsters, the unknown/shadows, darkness, being ignored by other children.
How is Kenís world changed as a result of the struggle?

Heís more confident now and a happy kid that isnít afraid of the dark and monsters because he knows that if he believes in himself and if he has enough courage to face them (his fears/problems) heíll win.
Once again thanks for your help and input guys. It really helps to get some opinions and ideas from other people than just writing a story on my own.

Totoro
06-28-2005, 06:43 PM
I've made some changes in my script and it's almost final now.

The Dream Eater v.9


INTRO


A scroll is rolled open. We see the Title ďThe Dream EaterĒ appear.


VOICE OVER


Thereís a world beyond our real world called the Dream World. In this world Bakus watch over our dreams. All the good dreams are stored in red lanterns. Once in a while demons slip into the world and put a lantern out. The child will have a nightmare. Thereís a lantern for every good dream. The Baku has to save the child then the lantern will lit again.


Camera pan from left to right

A series of drawings are drawn on the scroll. (Chinese/Japanese painting style, maybe in red and black)


We see a dream world. (Temple like buildings on clouds with red lanterns hanging everywhere) On the lanterns are names written. Close up of one lantern, the lantern goes out. Next drawing is a boy being chased by monsters. The next drawing shows a Baku eating the monsters.


INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

Camera zooms into Ken Fujiwaraís dark bedroom. We see a samurai armor in the room. Heís sitting on his futon with a drawing of a fierce monster in his hand. He looks with fear and disgust at the drawing. Thereís a Baku sculpture on the floor and ken picks it up rubs it three times and goes to sleep.

FADE OUT

EXT. LANDSCAPE - DAY


The bright, yellow sun shines in a clear blue sky.
Tilt down to a green hill landscape


Ken strolls over a path through the hills. He sees a torii (gate) in the distance. He laughs and runs towards the torii. He enters the dream world through the gate and heís looking curiously around.

Suddenly the sky turns dark, dark clouds are shifting in front of the sun. The windís blowing. Ken sees a temple with a lot of lights in the distance. He runs towards it to shelter from the wind.

Arriving at the temple he sees a big demon, destroying the lanterns with his hammer. Ken is scared and falls on the ground. The demon turns around and he sees Ken. Ken is frightened and runs away. The demon starts chasing him.

While running Ken looks behind him and he sees the demon is chasing him, his hand his stretching towards Ken. Thereís a stone in front of Ken, he doesnít see it and trips over it. He falls on the ground and the baku sculpture falls out of his pocket. Ken sees the sculpture and picks it up. He rubs a couple of times over it.

The sculpture begins to grow and turns into a real Baku. The Baku, Ameno, is looking dazed around him. The Baku looks smaller than Ken had expected. Ken tries to make clear to the Baku that he has to fight the monster. He points at the monster and puts up his fists, making boxing movements. Ameno turns around (still dazed), heís immediately alert when he sees the demon. He jumps up and walks towards the demon. Ameno is standing with his fists up in front of the demon. He jumps up and punches with his right fist. The demon dodges the attack easily. He tries to punch the demon again, the demon laughs at him. When the demon is not expecting it, Ameno punches him in the stomach. The demon collapses, but he stands up again. Heís irritated and picks up Ameno, throws him in the air and hits him into the sky.

Then he sees Ken and starts chasing him. Ken is terrified and starts running.


CUT TO

Ameno falling from the sky and landing on the ground. Ken is running towards him. Theyíre running towards a cliff. Ameno jumps over it, but Ken doesnít make it and falls. Ameno jumps after him, he flaps with his arms like a bird trying to explain to Ken that itís a dream and that he can fly if he wants to. Ken is flapping his arms but nothing happens, heís still falling. The abyss is getting closer, Ken is still desperately flapping his arms. He sees the ground approaching and squeezes his eyes. But nothing happens, no crash, he opens his eyes and realizes that heís flying and next to him is Ameno. They land on the ground and forgot all about the demon. Unfortunately the demon is still behind them.

Ameno pushes Ken behind a tree. Now the demon has caught up with them. Ameno is ready to attack and jumps up to the demonís face. The demon grabs him and throws him away. Fortunately Ameno lands on his feet, meanwhile the demon is walking towards him ready to give him a blow with his hammer. But then Ameno sticks out his long tongue and grabs the hammer, pulling it out of the demonís hand. The hammer falls on the ground, but that didnít stop the demon. He raises his arm and hits Ameno against a tree. Ameno is knocked out and lying on the ground. Ken sees Ameno on the ground. The demon starts walking to the tree, loud footsteps.

Ken has to come up with an idea, but he canít think of anything. He sees Ameno unconscious and remembers that itís a dream he can do what he wants. He closes his eyes and when he opens them heís in a samurai suit. Ken walks away from the tree with a sword too big for him to carry. When the demon sees him with the big sword he begins to laugh. He hits with his hammer, Ken can barely lift up the heavy sword and blocks the attack. The demon hits again and this time the swordís hit into the air. Without his sword Ken is walking towards the demon but the demon lifts his arm and stops him with one hand. The demon has his hand against Kenís head, Ken is trying to walk forward and punching in front of him. Ameno is conscious again and sees Ken struggling. He sticks out his tongue and wraps it around the demonís arm. The demon is surprised and he pulls, Ameno is pulled towards the demon and lands on his face. The demon drops his hammer trying to get Ameno off his face. Ken sees the hammer and hits with it on the demons foot. Crying out with pain the demon reaches for his foot. Ameno jumps off his head. The demon is furious and grabs his hammer, Ken is still holding it. The demon swings with the hammer and Ken canít hold onto the hammer he flies into the sky and lands on Ameno. The demon is ready to hit them, Ken closes his eyes and when he opens them the demonís disappeared. Thereís a silly quacking frog in front of him jumping away. (or the demon has shrunk to mini size and is running away)

The sky starts to brighten up. The sun appears again.

Totoro
06-28-2005, 06:49 PM
Character profiles:

Ken Fujiwara

Race : Human
Gender : Male
Age : 7
Height : 115 cm
Weight : 20 kg
Place of birth : Koyasan, Japan
Favorite food : Gyoza (dumplings)
Hobby : Drawing, fly kites
Favorite song : Momotaro-sanís song
Biggest fear : Monsters
Ambition : Become a samurai just like his father



Other : Ken lives in a small village in a small house with his grandmother. Heís generally suspicious of strangers. Ken is a shy boy who doesnít speak much. Heís intelligent though and has a big heart. He also has a vivid imagination. He doesnít have a lot of friends because the kids in the village think heís a chicken.


Ameno

Race : Baku
Gender : Male
Age : Unknown
Height : 72 cm
Weight : 40 kg
Place of birth : Dreamland
Favorite food : Nightmares, demons, monsters, etc.
Hobby : Fly around
Biggest fear : Not able to help kids with nightmares



Other : Ameno lives in Dreamland. His job is to eat nightmares from children and make them into sweet dreams. Heís the smallest Baku in Dreamland. He has to proof himself and show that heís capable to protect the children from nightmares. Ameno is playful and likes to fly through the fluffy clouds in Dreamland.


Kabu

Race : Nightmare demon
Gender : Male
Age : Unknown
Height : 200 cm
Weight : 175 kg
Place of birth : Akakura mountain
Favorite food : Fear, monster juice, dried salamander
Hobby : Scare little children, sleeping
Biggest fear : To be kicked out of his clan


Other : Nightmare demons arenít the brightest demons. Kabu just like scaring people and causing chaos. He is short tempered and kinda lazy too. Kabu belongs to the Nakata Clan which is the biggest clan.

CGTalk Moderation
06-28-2005, 06:49 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.