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   Welcome to Week 4  |  Due Friday Oct 29th | 3-4 hours work


Your job for this week is to
create an outline of your story using a story spine.
To get warmed up, check out this video on the importance of story structure.

courtesy of Khan Academy/Pixar in a Box

Now work through these 5 story exercises with your team.
(here is an optional worksheet to help)
Exercise 1: Introduction to Story Spine (10-20 min)

The rest of the exercises will help you create the story spine for your own story.

As a warm up try to fit one of your favorite movies into a story spine.

courtesy of Khan Academy/Pixar in a Box

Exercise 2: Theme (10-20 min)

Brainstorm ideas for the moral in your own story (return to the needs of your main character from the Character lesson for ideas)

courtesy of Khan Academy/Pixar in a Box

Exercise 4: Act 2 (20-30 min)

Now develop the information you want to present in Act 2 of your own story. Think about the following:

  • What is the goal of your main character(s) at the start of Act 2?

  • Does your character reach a low point, and if so, why?

  • Describe the point of no return or turning point where your character learns something new and realizes their needs.

Try fitting this into the Act 2 steps of the story spine (fill each step out with 2-4 sentences if it helps)

courtesy of Khan Academy/Pixar in a Box

Exercise 5: Act 3 (20-30min)

Now develop the information you want to present in Act 3 of your own story. Here are some things to think about:

  • What is the crisis? ("step 7 "until finally..." is the crisis)

  • How could it be resolved?

  • How will the main character demonstrate that they learned what they needed? (step 8 "and ever since then")

  • What is the theme or moral?

courtesy of Khan Academy/Pixar in a Box

Finally work through this assignment with your team.
Also, don't feel like you need to have your story set in stone this week, it can
always evolve as you develop it further.
Final assignment: Story Spine (30-60 min)

Once you come up with a story spine for your story that your team likes, draw or find an image for each step in the story spine and turn it into a short video like this. Don't worry if the images are very rough, you'll redraw these frames in later weeks.

Exercise 3: Act 1 (15-30 min)

Think about what you want to present in the first act of your own story.

  • Ask yourself Who/What/When/Where

  • Try fitting it into the first three steps of your story spine, and flesh each step out with 2-4 sentences if it helps

courtesy of Khan Academy/Pixar in a Box

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LOUIS GONZALES started in animation in 1996 at Warner Brothers Feature Animation in their Training program where he studied both Layout and Animation.  After graduating from the WBFA internship program he worked on Quest for Camelot, Iron Giant, and Osmosis Jones.
In 2000 Louis moved to Pixar to work starting as a CG Layout artist on Monsters inc. & quickly made his way to the Story department on the Incredibles. His credits at Pixar include Monsters University, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, Ratatouille, Cars, Cars 3, Brave, The Incredibles 1 & 2 and other shorts & films. 
He currently works as a Director at Pixar Animation Studios where he has directed 2 short films. “Nona” (2020) & “Know Your Rights.” (2021)

Our Next Livestream Guests! 
5pm PST/8pm EST Nov 29th on Week 8 page

McKenna Harris is currently a story supervisor on an upcoming film at Pixar Animation Studios. Previously, she was a story lead on Pixar's Luca, and directed its spin-off short Ciao Alberto. Her animation career began in character design on Cartoon Network's We Bare Bears; after Bears, she focused on pursuing storyboarding, which lead to interning in the story department at Sony Pictures Animation, and later joining Walt Disney Feature Animation as a story apprentice. Her feature credits include Wreck-It-Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet, Frozen 2, and Raya and The Last Dragon. In her spare time she loves dreaming up ideas for personal projects, drinking coffee, and binging on Netflix. 

The Public Exhibition is live!

Congratulations to all participants, we were blown away with your passion and dedication.

Shoutout to our wonderful facilitators who provided incredible student support and contributed to the success of the pilot.

Exciting News: There will be a Spring 2022 Story Xperiential with Pixar!  

Dates and program details will be announced early in January (aiming for a mid-Feb start).  For more information add yourself to our waiting list.

For tips on how your students can continue developing their storytelling abilities, please download this Resource sheet.

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