Pixar Storytelling Rules For Effective Storytelling Based On Pixars Greatest Films Download !!LINK!! Epu
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Pixar's Storytelling Rules: A Guide to Effective Storytelling Based on Their Greatest Films (Epub Download)
Do you want to learn how to tell captivating stories that engage your audience and inspire them? Do you want to discover the secrets behind Pixar's amazing storytelling skills? If so, this article is for you.
Pixar is one of the most successful animation studios in the world, producing hit films like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, Inside Out, and many more. Pixar's films are not only visually stunning, but also emotionally powerful and memorable. They have a unique way of crafting stories that appeal to both children and adults, and that touch on universal themes and emotions.
But how do they do it? How do they create such compelling stories that resonate with millions of people? Well, luckily for us, Pixar has shared some of their storytelling rules and tips that they use to develop their films. These rules are not strict formulas or guidelines, but rather principles and suggestions that can help any storyteller improve their craft.
In this article, we will explore 22 of Pixar's storytelling rules, based on a series of tweets by Emma Coats, a former story artist at Pixar. We will also look at some examples from Pixar's films to illustrate how these rules work in practice. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what makes a great story and how to apply Pixar's storytelling rules to your own projects.
Rule #1: You admire a character more for trying than for their successes
The first rule is about creating characters that are relatable and likable. We don't want to watch a story about a perfect hero who always wins and never faces any challenges. We want to watch a story about a flawed hero who tries hard and overcomes obstacles. We want to see them struggle, fail, learn, and grow. That's what makes them human and interesting.
For example, in Ratatouille (2007), we admire Remy the rat for his passion for cooking and his courage to pursue his dream, even though he faces many difficulties and dangers along the way. He is not a flawless character; he makes mistakes, he doubts himself, he gets into trouble. But he never gives up on his goal and he always tries his best. That's why we root for him and celebrate his achievements.
Rule #2: You gotta keep in mind what's interesting to you as an audience, not what's fun to do as a writer. They can be very different
The second rule is about knowing your audience and what they want from your story. As a writer, you might have many ideas and scenes that you enjoy writing, but they might not be relevant or engaging for your readers or viewers. You have to think about what will keep them hooked and invested in your story, not what will please yourself.
For example, in Finding Nemo (2003), we are interested in following Marlin's journey to find his son Nemo, who has been captured by divers. We want to see how he overcomes his fears and meets new friends along the way. We don't care about the details of his life before Nemo was born, or what he does after he finds him. Those scenes might be fun for the writer to write, but they would not add anything to the main plot or the emotional arc of the story.
Rule #3: Trying for theme is important, but you won't see what the story is actually about til you're at the end of it. Now rewrite
The third rule is about finding the theme of your story. The theme is the central message or idea that your story conveys. It is what your story is really about, beyond the surface level plot. The theme can be something like love, friendship, family, courage, identity, etc.
Finding the theme of your story can be tricky, because it might not be clear until you finish writing it. You might have an initial idea of what you want your story to say, but as you write it, you might discover new aspects or perspectives that change your original intention. That's why it's important to rewrite your story after you finish it, to make sure that your theme is consistent and coherent throughout.
For example, in Up (2009), the theme of the story is about letting go of the past and embracing new adventures. At the beginning of the story, Carl is a grumpy old man who is stuck in his memories of his late wife Ellie and their unrealized dream of traveling to Paradise Falls. He refuses to move on with his life and rejects any change or opportunity that comes his way. However, as he goes on an unexpected journey with Russell, a young boy scout who becomes his companion, he learns to appreciate the present and the future more than the past. He realizes that Ellie would want him to be happy and adventurous again. He also finds a new purpose and meaning in his life by helping Russell achieve his goal of earning a badge for assisting the elderly.
Rule #4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
The fourth rule is about creating a simple and clear structure for your story. This rule is based on a classic storytelling formula that can be applied to any genre or medium. It helps you establish the main character, the status quo, the inciting incident, the rising action, the climax, and the resolution of your story.
For example, in Toy Story (1995), we can use this formula to summarize the story as follows:
Once upon a time there was a boy named Andy who loved his toys, especially his cowboy doll Woody.
Every day, Woody and the other toys would play with Andy and have fun.
One day, Andy got a new toy for his birthday: a space ranger action figure named Buzz Lightyear.
Because of that, Woody felt jealous and threatened by Buzz, who didn't know he was a toy and thought he was a real space hero.
Because of that, Woody and Buzz got into a series of conflicts and adventures that led them to be separated from Andy and captured by Sid, a boy who liked to torture toys.
Until finally, Woody and Buzz learned to work together and escape from Sid, and they became friends and accepted each other's differences.
This formula is not meant to be rigid or restrictive, but rather a helpful tool to guide you in crafting your story. You can add more details, twists, and subplots as you wish, but make sure that they serve the main story and don't confuse or distract your audience.
Rule #5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You'll feel like you're losing valuable stuff but it sets you free
The fifth rule is about editing your story and making it more concise and focused. Sometimes, as writers, we tend to overcomplicate our stories with too many characters, subplots, scenes, or details that are not essential or relevant to the main story. This can make our stories confusing, boring, or messy.
To avoid this, we need to simplify our stories and focus on what matters most. We need to combine characters that serve the same function or role in the story. We need to hop over detours that don't move the story forward or add anything new. We need to cut out anything that doesn't contribute to the theme, the plot, or the character development of our story.
This might feel like we are losing valuable stuff that we worked hard to create, but it actually sets us free to tell a better and clearer story. It also makes our story more engaging and satisfying for our audience.
For example, in The Incredibles (2004), we can see how Pixar simplified and focused their story by combining characters and hopping over detours. For instance:
The main villain Syndrome was originally two separate characters: Xerek, an old enemy of Mr. Incredible who wanted revenge; and Syndrome, a young fanboy who wanted to be a superhero. Pixar decided to combine them into one character who had both motivations: Syndrome was a former fanboy who turned into a vengeful enemy after being rejected by Mr. Incredible.
The original opening scene of the film was a flashback that showed how Mr. Incredible met Elastigirl when they were young superheroes. Pixar decided to hop over this detour and start the film with a present-day scene that showed how Mr. Incredible was unhappy with his mundane life as an insurance agent. This scene established the main conflict and theme of the film more effectively than the flashback.
By simplifying and focusing their story, Pixar made The Incredibles more compelling and coherent.
Rule #6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
The sixth rule is about creating conflict and tension in your story. Conflict is the engine that drives your story forward and keeps your audience interested. Conflict can be external or internal, and it can come from different sources: the antagonist, the environment, the society, the self, etc.
One way to create conflict is to throw your character into a situation that is the polar opposite of what they are good at or comfortable with. This way, you challenge them and force them to adapt, change, or grow. You also reveal their strengths and weaknesses, their fears and desires, their flaws and virtues.
For example, in Monsters Inc. (2001), we can see how Pixar used this rule to create conflict for their main characters. The film follows Mike and Sulley, two monsters who work at a company that generates power by scaring human children. Mike and Sulley are good at and comfortable with their jobs, until one day they accidentally bring a human child into their world. This creates a huge problem for them, because human children are considered toxic and dangerous by monsters. Mike and Sulley have to deal with the consequences of their mistake, while also trying to protect the child from harm and return her to her world.
By throwing Mike and Sulley into a situation that is the opposite of what they are used to, Pixar created a lot of conflict and humor for their story. They also showed how Mike and Sulley learned to overcome their fears and prejudices, and how they developed a bond with the child.
Rule #7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front
The seventh rule is about planning your story and knowing where you want it to go. The ending of your story is one of the most important parts, because it is what your audience will remember the most. It is also what will give meaning and closure to your story. A good ending should be satisfying, surprising, and inevitable.
However, endings are also hard to write, because they have to tie up all the loose ends, resolve all the conflicts, and deliver on all the promises that you made throughout your story. That's why it's a good idea to come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. This way, you have a clear destination in mind, and you can work backwards to build up to it.
For example, in Coco (2017), Pixar knew from the start that they wanted their ending to be a musical celebration of family and memory. They wanted their main character Miguel to reunite with his great-grandmother Coco and sing her a song that would restore her memory of her father Hector. They also wanted Hector to cross over to the Land of the Living and see his family again. Knowing this ending helped Pixar craft their middle and set up all the necessary elements for their climax.
Rule #8: Finish your story, let go even if it's not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time
The eighth rule is about finishing your story and moving on to the next one. As writers, we often have a tendency to be perfectionists and obsess over every detail of our stories. We might rewrite them over and over again, trying to make them flawless. We might also be afraid to share them with others, fearing criticism or rejection.
While it's good to strive for excellence and polish your stories as much as possible, it's also important to know when to let go and move on. No story is ever perfect, and there is always room for improvement. But if you spend too much time on one story, you might miss out on other opportunities or ideas that could be even better.
That's why Pixar encourages its writers to finish their stories and let go of them, even if they are not perfect. They also encourage them to move on to the next story and do better next time. This way, they keep learning and growing as storytellers.
Pixar is a master of storytelling, and we can learn a lot from their rules and tips. By following their advice, we can create stories that are engaging, emotional, and memorable. We can also improve our writing skills and become better storytellers ourselves.
If you want to learn more about Pixar's storytelling rules and how to apply them to your own projects, you can download the epub version of this article here. You will also get access to more examples, exercises, and resources that will help you craft your own stories the Pixar way.
Thank you for reading this article and happy storytelling! 4aad9cdaf3