Writing for Animation

Photography courtesy Scot McKim

Workshop: Script & Screen - Focus on Animation (BASICS) Instructors: Nathan Bechtold
Saturday, June 8th, 2024 - 1:3pm

Location: Carmel Clay Public Library
Contact - Nathan Bechtold at: ShadowFormPro@gmail.com (CFF - your name, as subject)

Workshop Description

Saturday, June 8th, 2024, 1-3PM as part of the Carmel Film Forum - covering the basic aspects of the art and craft of writing a script or screenplay, with a focus on animation.

Topics covered in these notes will include techniques for generating ideas, the drafting process, classical screenplay structure, conflict, characterization, dialogue, how to write visually, how to analyze your own work as a screenwriter, dealing with notes/feedback, scene structure, rewriting and other tools of the trade. As well as, the business side of screenwriting, such as selling a script, working with agents, managers, producers, directors, casting agents, etc.

Upon completing this workshop and others, participants will undertake creating a short animated project, set to be evaluated by professionals, judged, and shown.

The focus of this workshop will be more basic principles of screenwriting and story structure, rather than the more advanced and in-depth approaches to the art. Ideally participants should come to this workshop already prepared with an idea for a story that they will apply into a short animated project. We will explore techniques for generating ideas, using the three-act structure, development of character, locations, worlds, dialogue, etc. This workshop will be a mixture of lecture, discussion, analysis, some writing exercises, discussion of viewed film scenes, etc.

Nathan’s Fifteen Drives:

I prefer to define each segment of the three acts with varying aspects and degrees of using these fifteen “drives”. They don’t have to be in a concise order, they can be large or subtle, they can relate to the overall story and the world you’re creating, as well as each individual character, location, sub-text, you-name-it.

Introduction - The Beginning, Establishing the Narrative, World, Characters, Back-Story, etc. Character - Elements of Protagonist/Antagonist, Function. What got us to this point so far? Provocation - Something Happens! Conflict, Motivator, etc. What Starts the Story? Opportunity - Gain or Loss, Hope or Darkness (usually both)

Turning Point - Lead(s) must make Choice(s)
The Fever - The Fuel that Fires, Passion, Reason, etc.
Certainty - The Focus or Believed Focus, Belief or Faith
The Threshold - Maximum Effort Given! Something major must happen for a reaction, result... The CRUSH - Can’t go any further for whatever reason... Hope Lost, Separation, Failure, etc. Doubt - Fears, Failings, Worries, etc.
Catharsis - Understanding Limitations, Understanding there is no Certainty
The Reversal - Stepping back to move forward, regroup, lick wounds, think, new approach... The Cost - What are the costs of the actions made or about to be made?
Reflections - Self understanding, humility or leadership, looking within and not outwardly, etc. Resolutions - The End! Set the world you have built in a new direction, resolve loose ends, etc.

Just a few films that best utilize the three-act structure and these fifteen drives are:

Moana, Star Wars: A New Hope, The Matrix, and Die Hard . (name others?)

Script & Screen Focus on Animation
Workshop CFF 2024 - Animation.docx