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Old Dog New Tricks Story Spine

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  • What did you find confusing or unclear?

  • What suggestions do you have to make it stronger?

Desiree

Awww. That is cute!

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Colin (1 like)

Hello Team: Sanchez Taylor, this is Colin Cameron from Team: Bro HamCam. I love how you are able to give human-like emotions and magical abilities to Oscar as I find myself thinking about my dog's emotions just as much and in some cases more than my other family members depending on the mood I am in and not looking at my dog and my family as human vs. animal but more as one animal species vs. another animal species. Needless to say, I obviously love dogs, that is what attracted me to this story but I also think the plot and morals are very accurate for any type of animal whether it is a sibling rivalry, a new dog added to the household, or even to some degree with animals like ferrets or guinea pigs.
-This is all pretty clear to me; I just want to make sure. Yogi is just a house guest, right? He is not permanently staying there, right? There is just a lot of emotion going on here with Oscar, so I was just curious to see that I got that right.
-Lastly, I was wondering what Oscar's Aunt's reaction would be when Oscar turns into the teddy bear or is she out doing something when Grandpa is sleeping, or maybe she needed a dog sitter for the night or something? I just am not sure what her role is in the story or if she is important. Besides that minor point, I like this story a lot and think it has great potential!
-Hopefully this helps,
Colin C.

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Sanchez

Hello Colin, thank you for your feedback! You were pretty spot on, Yogi is the house guest, basically the status quo is that every year, Oscar's (human) extended family visit to watch the fireworks outside, and Grandpa's job is to look after Oscar inside, as the family think he'd be scared, so basically Oscar and Grandpa have bonded through many years of being alone together during the new year's celebrations, except this year, Grandpa is also looking after Yogi, so it's no longer jusy Grandpa and Oscar alone in the house, which is why Oscar gets jealous. Majority of the story is just Yogi, Oscar and Grandpa. I'll make sure to fully establish this in future drafts!

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Sara

I have a soft spot for dogs and that's why I empathized with Oscar so much. I really appreciated Oscar's journey and the fact that he doesn't give up when a younger dog come into his life, but tries to do his best to be worth of his human's love, even with difficulties and mistakes. I would like to know more about why Oscar is a magical dog and if also the new dog can develop magic powers? Brilliant story, looking forward to see more!

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Sanchez

Thank you for your feedback! I don't plan to focus too much on establishing lore/origins of Oscar's powers, but I do intend to finish the story with Yogi (puppy) learning a tiny bit of magic to establish Oscar's role as the older relative passing down knowledge if that makes sense?

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Sara

Yeah definitely, it can give Oscar’s a new purpose and make him feel important again!

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Patrick (1 like)

Wow. Touching story spine and such a unique spin on this. I love immediately the visual concept of a dog practicing magic that had me smiling from the beginning and really had me have a lean in moment to engage with this character a lot more. It sort of reminded me of Soul where Joe becomes a cat and must learn how to get back into his body. This one feels different in the fact that while in the teddy bear Oscar is able to comfort Yogi and be there. Some of the visuals were just heartbreak and heartwarming at the same time like the grandpa dancing with Oscar at the end. That is really strong and needs to be kept in because of how emotional it is. I know its hard in the simple story spine but maybe some more backstory on why Oscar needed to switch back before midnight? That seemed like a brief mention of it but I am intrigued to learn more and feel that time constraint may add more tension to the story. Overall love the innocence of that dog just wanted to be with the grandpa and love the unique twist on the story spine because instead of everyday you used ever year on new years ever which is really specific and sort of allows us as an audience to see why this is so special to oscar. That reminds me of what Hannah mentioned about killing two birds with one stone and seems like a great way to describe through showing us this character's relationship and wants.

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Sanchez

Thank you for your feedback! The urgency for why Oscar wanted to turn back before midnight was so that he can watch the fireworks with Grandad at midnight, I'll definitely work to convey that more clearly! My intention for that was so that he initially fails his task (then the fireworks scare Yogi), and then he realises that his 'want' was quite trivial/less important compared to passing on his knowledge/comforting Yogi! Thanks again!

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MJ

Hi Sanchez, could your team please upload the spoken parts as text in the video description? Our team is deaf and we cannot really give feedback on your work because the videos are not captioned. Thank you!

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Sanchez

Of course, I'll also post them below. I apologise, and will remember to add captions/the script from here on out!
Once upon a time - There was an old labrador named Oscar, who secretly practiced magic.
Every year - on New Year’s Eve, Oscar would watch the fireworks from inside the house with his human-grandpa, while the rest of the humans celebrated outside.
Until one year - Oscar’s human Aunt brought her new puppy, Yogi, to the party, who stole the attention of everyone, including Grandpa.
Because of that - Oscar, jealous of the attention, attempted to use his magic to swap bodies with Yogi while Grandpa slept, but accidentally ended up in the body of his teddy bear.
Because of that- Oscar tried to reach his dog body to switch back before midnight, but was ultimately unable to distract Yogi long enough to escape.
Because of that - Yogi got scared of the fireworks and hid under the bed, clutching Oscar. This reminded Oscar of his puppy days, when he too was scared of the fireworks, but Grandpa would console him, putting on music to drown out the fireworks.
Finally… Oscar made his way back to the music player, and switched it on to wake Grandpa. He switched back into his dog body while Grandpa comforted Yogi. To Oscar’s surprise, Grandpa still invited him for a dance, reminding him that he’s still loved.
Ever since that day - Oscar has gotten on well with Yogi, now seeing himself in the young pup, and confident that he won’t be forgotten.
The moral of the story is that family will always be there for you, even if your role within the household changes.

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MJ

Thank you! Much appreciated!

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Shayleen (1 like)

Hey, Sanchez! This is such an endearing story. I love dogs, and I've always thought about what my older dogs have felt when we got a new puppy. So it's cool to see a story come of it! :) The only thing I found confusing was what happened to Oscars body while he was in the teddy bear - did it go limp, or did it look like he was just sleeping? Overall, great job!

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Sanchez

Thank you for the feedback! The idea I think I’m going to go with is that his dog body just kind of goes stiff in teddy bear shape, somewhat of a gag with him literally swapping minds with the teddy bear, thanks again

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This is my story spine for my 'Old Dog New Tricks' story! All feedback is appreciated! Thank you!

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Sanchez Taylor
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