In the making of my animated short, I felt that there was something lacking in the emotional investment that the audience needs to make. That statement above pointed out in neon bold letters the problem I think I had.
The one below struck me.
"Remember the goal we are after? We want to give the audience an emotionally satisfying experience."
It was a section from a book "Directing The Story" - by Francis Glebas.
Most of it is something that is common sense about but often something that you do not give serious thought. Its a really good book to get your hands on.
Some useful notes about it.
- "The most important thing about making a movie is that it must be about something big, important and significant. Otherwise why should we care. "
It has to say something important about the particular subject matter. i.e friendship, love.
- "Show the audience why your characters are absolutely driven to do what they do"
- "Characters drive stories, like characters who go after a goal and face obstacles, make decisions, then take actions of life changing consequences."
- "It has to speak to something that we can relate to". Does not have to be a big story. But got to be big issues. e.g family, honor, law, crime, freedom, guilt. etc...
- "Something has to be at stake" e.g Have to show what the consequence is if the mission fail."
There is a paragraph about the hero's journey, about creating obstacles which is already covered in many other books. So I wont get into it.
But in summary
- We watch movies to feel good. Meet that need in your audience
- Make sure your story is about something that matters
- Aim at providing an emotionally satisfying experience for your audience but works at a structural level
- The secret of storytelling is story-delaying. There is a whole repertoire of story-delaying tactics based on the control of info of who gets to know what, when and how to tease your audience by making them wait.
What I tell myself everyday.
To all the people watching, I can never ever thank you enough for the kindness to me, I'll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask is one thing, and this is.. I'm asking this particularily of young people that watch: Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism - for the record it's my least favorite quality, it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you, amazing things will happen." - Conan 'O'Brien