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Essence of Storytelling Lecture (Part 2/4) Story Spine Explanation by Jeff Biancalana

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Professional Animation Story Artist Jeff Biancalana held a workshop where he explained story structure and helped apply it to Green Ninja films. In this part, Jeff explains the "Story Spine." Lecture playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfgw9o_pQzKK0sAmVlrkoao6RpqoErXOD&feature=mh_lolz Download Story Spine Worksheet: http://www.greenninja.org/presentation/essence-of-storytelling-lecture-worksheet 0:17 - Character Arc 2:22 - What is "Story Spine"? 2:56 - Once Upon a Time 7:54 - The Rules of the Universe 9:18 - Everyday 9:35 - But One Day (Inciting Incident) 11:09 - Because of That 11:50 - Because of That, Because of That, Because of That... 14:55 - Until Finally (Climax) 16:14 - And Ever Since That Day (Resolution) 18:25 - Climax vs Resolution Jeff's Notes: ==Thoughts on story spine The story spine is a common format for thinking about story. It is representative of a three act structure that has a beginning, a middle and an end. This may sound obvious, but it is often overlooked by inexperienced storytellers. The Spine 1. "Once upon a time" - This is an opportunity to teach your audience. Who is your character, and what are the rules of the universe he/she lives in. Do we like him? Is he a good person or a bad person? How will we get the audience to root for them? 2. "Until one day" - The inciting incident. This is a pivotal moment that alters the character in some way. It forces them to do something they don't want to do. It exposes something that is lacking in their life, or inspires them to do something different. Whatever it is it should be an emotional moment. 3. "And because of this" - The Hero's quest begins. Our main character has now stepped out of their comfort zone and has put themselves into a position of risk. 4. "And because of this" - This may represent the start of act two for a feature, but it can be repeated as much as necessary. Probably not needed for shorts but could be used. The important thing to remember is the emotional value must change. It will switch between positive and negative, growing in intensity until it peaks near the end of act 3. 5. "Until finally" - The quest is completed. The hero finds a solution to the problem. This is the climax of the film. It should be the emotional peak of your story. It often involves the hero sacrificing himself or being sacrificed for. There is almost always risk at this point. The greater the risk, the stronger the emotion. It is important to understand that a character is defined by the decisions he/she makes under pressure. This is true throughout the story, but never so much as at this point. The risk is placed not on the hero, but on everything the hero holds dear. 6. "And ever since that day" - The audience learns how things have changed. In traditional storytelling things are for the better. Our hero has changed, and grown into a better person or has affected those around him in a positive way. Or Both! Films on YouTube: Casablanca https://www.youtube.com/movie/casablanca The Matrix https://www.youtube.com/movie/thematrix Free Birds https://www.youtube.com/movie/free-birds Horton Hears a Who! https://www.youtube.com/movie/dr-seuss-horton-hears-a-who
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Text Comments (1)
Dixon Dark (2 years ago)
All ideas that you may have heard before if you have been watching a lot of videos on YouTube, but I really like the way it is presented / explained. If you are starting to write this is a great introduction.

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