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First day of the Story Telling classes with Robin Blake. The Story is probably the most important thing in any production because no matter how much is spent on the special effects and the look of the film if the story is not right then it will not be a memorable experience for the audience they might enjoy it but will not remember it after a short time.

Where do ideas for stories come from? Often ideas come from interests of the creator or the skills that they have and there are a number of techniques which can help with capturing ideas and generating them. Keeping a visual diary and recording everything will be a great help in the flow of ideas, writing things down will keep the ideas churning around in your mind and there they will combine with other ideas and maybe blossom into new directions and possibilities. When recording ideas it is helpful to ask yourself “What if … happened?” this will open up new possibilities.

Writing “morning pages” can help clear out all the stuff in the mind and pave the way for new ideas. Reversing a situation can generate new possibilities. Keeping a diary of your dreams can help generate ideas and also encourages remembering more dreams.

Other ways to stimulate ideas is to use a dictionary and randomly looking up words, the mind automatically tries to create relationships between the words which could lead to a situation or an idea for a story. If in a group, a round-robin game can be played where each person adds a little bit to the story as it goes around.

Here are some of the elements of memorable movies:

      Beginning affects the end
      sense of closure
      Believable characters
      Flawed characters
      Ordinary people in extraordinary situations
      Attention to detail
      Managin audience expectations
      Relationship between characters
      Being able to relate/empathize/sympathize with main characters or the story itself

If you believe in the world that you are creating in withing the story and you keep the rules govering this world consistent then the audience will believe in it no matter how outlandish the situations maybe.

We looked at a great short film called “Balance” in order to better understand the Narrative Structure. The basic structure can be divided into:

      Beginning
      Plot Point 1
      Middle
      Plot Point 2
      End

The beginning setups up the premise, why the story is being told, and establishes where the story will go. A Plot Point is a point where the story changes direction, if the story didnt have the Plot Point then everything would go on as it was in the Beginning resulting in a very dull story! The first Plot Point leads the audience to the conflict which is contained in the Middle of the story, it is here that the audience will want to know what will happen next. After a plateau in the emotional flux of the story we reach the second Plot Point which leads us to a climax where the issues which were introduced previously are resolved in the End of the story.

http://aim.adc.rmit.edu.au/kcawley/

In the animation lecture David introduced another animation principle: follow-through which can breath life into the most limited animation. Various technical details such as pegs, exposure sheets, field charts and screen ratios were discussed: http://www.rmit.edu.au/aim/a_notes/tools_of_trade.html. We then went on to look at metamorphosis which is something that animation is very good at, and our new project was assigned: http://www.rmit.edu.au/aim/a_notes/02_morph_project.html

We are really diving into everything and things are flying past very quickly! Hang on tight…

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