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The Art of Storytelling.

This presentation for UNT Short Film Club covers where to find stories, why we tell stories, how to make a story interesting, and how to grow a story into a script.
by

Wesley Kirk

on 17 September 2013

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Transcript of The Art of Storytelling.

The Art of Storytelling.
Elements of Storytelling
What story do I want to tell?

Why do I want to tell this story?

Who is my audience?

How will I tell this story?
WHY DO WE TELL STORIES?
Because they entertain us.
INTERESTING -
HOW TO GROW
YOUR IDEA:

PITCH YOUR IDEA
WHERE TO
FIND STORIES

WHY DO WE TELL STORIES?
Because they teach us about the world.

They allow us to share our experiences.

They allow us to express our emotions.

We learn best from challenges we face.
WHY DO THEY ENTERTAIN US?
Because they allow us to escape.
IF STORIES HELP US ESCAPE,
WHY ARE THEY ALL ABOUT
YOUR DUTY AS
A STORYTELLER:
HONESTY!
Tell the truth.
VERISIMILITUDE!
The appearance of truth.
...or at least...
CONFLICT?
Elevator Pitch: a short summary used to quickly and simply describe the story you want to tell.
Pitch to people over & over again to anyone and everyone who will listen.
Keep adjusting your pitch until you get people excited just hearing about your story.
PLOT YOUR IDEA
Write out each scene onto note cards, including a summary of the scene.
Arrange the scenes in an order than makes the most sense. Rearrange as necessary.
Eliminate any scene that isn't essential to the story. Keep it short.
WRITE YOUR IDEA
Treatment: a piece of prose, detailing all the story points in order.
Reads like a short story, told in the present tense, describing events as they happen.
Ask people you trust for their opinion.
WRITE YOUR SCRIPT
Properly formatted, 1 page = 1 minute onscreen.
Describes only what is seen & heard.
Screenwriting programs: Celtx (FREE) or Final Draft (Trial or Pro versions).
The basis for the entire production.
Ask trusted filmmakers for advice & opinions.
HOW TO TELL AN
INTERESTING STORY
"arousing curiosity or interest; holding or catching attention."
CURIOSITY
The audience should always be asking questions.


Make them want to know more. (What happens next? How it's going to end? What does it mean?)


Some questions will be answered along the way, and in an ideal story, everything will be answered in the climax of the story.

Example: A detective story.
INTEREST
Is this relevant?

Is this RELATABLE?

Is this something people care about?

Is this something people should know?

Every film needs an audience. Your story has to connect with people in some way.
ATTENTION
Make it matter!

Make every moment important in some way.

The events should make a difference in the character's life.

The higher the stakes, the greater the payoff.
WHY DO WE
TELL STORIES?

THE UNIVERSE
IS MADE UP OF
TINY STORIES
Everyone has a story.

Look for them. Ask about them.

Imagine the lives of others, their narrative, their struggles.

Write down every idea. They might come in handy some day.
WRITE WHAT
YOU KNOW
Ask yourself:
What's a good story from my life?
What's a problem I've faced?
What's a problem I might face?
What am I afraid of?
What makes me different?
What's my unique viewpoint?

WRITE THE STORY
YOU WANT TO SEE
Ask yourself:
What excites me?
What themes / characters / genres interest me?
What movie would I pay to see?
What do I love about my favorite stories?
EXPLORE ALTERNATIVE
STORYTELLING
Take familiar stories in a totally different direction.

Combine wildly different stories.

Create visual stories out of non-visual media. (Music, poetry, speeches, etc.)
Odds are, if you want to see it, someone else will.
There are stories only you can tell.
That's a good place to start.
Full transcript