Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

This list of Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling is excellent, and makes for interesting reading on its own. Pixar, of course, has been amazingly successful, and story is the reason why. Their visual effects are second to none, but that's not what makes a movie work. If the story doesn't work, the movie doesn't work.

And one of them jumps out at me.
14. Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.
I didn't love Toy Story 3. And when people asked why, the only answer I could come up with went something like this - in all of their previous movies, there was a story burning to get out1. Toy Story 3 felt like a set of characters that they thought they could find one more thing to do with. (Cars 2 suffered from the same problem.)

So it's interesting to see that item on the list, because I think that's what happened with the ones that weren't as good as the rest...

1 - To the extent that my expression of that particular idea was influenced by external works, those works would be the Asher Lev books by Chaim Potok. The question that Jacob Kahn had for Asher was, is there a scream inside you trying to get out.

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