“What We Talk About, When We Talk About Story” by Caldwell

  • ©Craig Caldwell



Entry Number: 01


    What We Talk About, When We Talk About Story

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    Story (content) is not just the domain of directors and producers… anymore. Today, it is as important for technical directors, animators, VFX creators and interactive designers whose work is essential in making “the story” come to life. This information is particularly useful when communicating with screenwriters, directors, and producers. This course answers the question, “What is Story?” (and you don’t even have to take a course in screenwriting). Knowing the basics of story enables the crew to become collaborators with the producer and director. A director may talk about their story goals; and the crew will know what specific story benchmarks they are trying to meet. This information builds from a story being more than “a sequence of events (acts) but can become a dramatic story that builds from setup through resolution.

    Having an understanding of story structure allows one to understand a story’s elements in context (i.e., theme, character, setting, conflict etc.) and their relationship to classic story structure (i.e., setup, inciting incident, rising action, climax, resolution, etc.). This information is for all whose work makes the story better, but their job is not creating the story.

    The following course notes are adapted from Story Structure and Development: A Guide for Animators, VFX Artists, Game Designers, and Virtual Reality Creators. CRC Publishers, a division of Taylor and Francis. Available on Amazon.

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