Friday, 24 September 2010

Understanding the Story

Some valuable points from, Ideas for the Animated Short.

Firstly mentioned is, What is a Story?

CHARACTER - This is who the story is about and through whose eyes the story is told.

GOAL - Something the character wants to obtain or achieve

CONFLICT - what is between the character and reaching their goal?
(what the character wants and why can't they have it?)

There are three forms of conflict :
- Character Vs. Character
- Character Vs. Environment ( Scrat, Ice Age)
- Character Vs. Self ( Hayo Miyazaki's Howls Moving Caste - Howl )

Characters, themes and conflict.

The Universal Story
Why do all stories feel the same?
Nearly 2,300 years ago Aristotle defined what we call 'the plot', the three-act structure.
The plot is not just a sequence followed to create the story but what is necessary to move the audience emotionally forward through each Act.

Act 1. Empathy and pity are established for the character so that the audience will engage in the characters pursuit.
Act 2. Conflict, the character is faced with suffering and challenge.
Act 3. Cathasis, an emotional release of fear and tension for the audience and closure to end the story.

In the 20th century, Joseph Campbell, an American mythology professor, writer, and orator, found universal images and characters that existed in one story shared by all cultures through all time periods. The story appeared again and again, so he called it the monomyth, the one story, the universal story.

The monomyth tells the story of a hero and is called "The Hero's Journey".
Campbell had successfully broke down the process in which these stories follow and summarized them to a simplified way of reading and understanding them.

The book also defines character archetypes however these are referring to a feature film. All these character archetypes which are present in a feature length film are not used in an animated short because a short is only between 1 minute to 10, which isn't enough time to convey all this information to the audience clearly.

The story needs to be clear for the audience or else how will they relate or be entertained by what we are showing them?

So although characters are most certainly important i will refer to the character types later.

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