Setting a Story in Motion at Pixar

Think about it for just a moment… have you ever seen a bad Pixar film?

Nope.

Is that only because of their ever-evolving, cutting edge animation and star-powered voice acting?

Nope.

As we’ve all seen time and time again, when quality visuals and star power are glittered over the top of poorly written stories it almost always leads to mediocre results (at best). So why is Pixar consistently exceptional?

Simply put, Pixar’s dedication to story is unparalleled in the entertainment industry.

Whenever I have conversations about screenwriting and the film industry with non-writer friends (often after them sharing their unmet expectations of a recent “blockbuster” film), I always like to mention how Pixar uses one writer on projects and how that’s one element of their consistent quality. Along with Pixar choosing extremely talented writers, having that singular voice even in a highly collaborative environment gives their stories, and ultimately their films, that unique Pixar glow.

So, I was tickled when John August posted a link to Toy Story 3 scribe Michael Arndt’s video on how to set a story in motion. Click here to check out the article and watch the video.

Along with being an enjoyable insight into Michael Arndt’s perspective and process, his way of presenting first act structure in this video helped me further solidify these familiar building blocks in a unique and fun way.

Thanks, Michael!


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