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Explanation (Optional)

Your job in this program is to step into the shoes of a Pixar story artist and create a storyreel for your own short film.

Each team collaborates to create one storyreel.

What is a storyreel?

A storyreel is a rough draft of an animated film using simple drawings edited together in a sequence.

Watch this 1 minute video to hear why storyreels are important at Pixar:

Welcome to Orientation | 30 min

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8/9
CONCEPT
ACT 1
CHARACTER
ACT 2
ART
ACT 3
OUTLINE
EDITING

Each week you will take another step towards a finished storyreel following Pixar's process:

(click here for detailed outline)

Week 1: Brainstorm 3 "What if..." ideas

Week 2: Create a character profile

Week 3: Sketch your character & world

Week 4: Outline your story using the Story Spine

Week 5: Flesh out Act 1

Week 6: Flesh out Act 1 & 2

Week 7: Flesh out Act 1, 2 & 3

Week 8: Edit and Pace your storyreel

Week 9: Make revisions/Buffer week

Every week follows the same pattern: Livestream, Self-Paced work, Upload, Feedback.

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Monday
Livestream @ 5pm PST
Submit work in progress
Self paced work
Submit work in progress
Self paced work 
Submit work in progress
Self paced work
Give/Receive Feedback
  • Monday: 1-hour YouTube livestream with Pixar storytellers, 5pm PST/8pm EST

  • Tuesday - Thursday: Continue to work independently supported by the weekly content & community

  • Friday - Sunday: You can upload your weekly assignment to the weekly gallery

  • Next Monday: Give & receive feedback on other teams' work in the weekly gallery

Congratulations, you've completed your orientation!

We look forward to seeing you March 7th!

Feedback and iteration is the engine of creativity, both at Pixar and in our program.

Each week, every team member will provide feedback to 6 other groups, and they will do the same for you.

The quality of your feedback plays a role in your teams' final evaluation in the Exhibition.

Here is some feedback advice from Pixar:

Your final step is to upload a short (10 sec) "hello world" storyreel.

This will help us to confirm you have a video editing tool and understand how to upload your files each week for feedback. ​

Instructions:

  • Include 3 simple stick figure drawings

  • Add a "hello world I am from ___" voice over

  • Export your video 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio

Here is an example:

Give it a try!

Before hitting the submit button below, be sure to check your file:

1. Listen to the audio; is it easy to hear?

2. Look at the images; is anything out of frame?

3. Double check; does the video get cut off at the beginning or end?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, make necessary adjustments and re-export the video.

To do the above you'll need to use a simple video editor.

If you haven't done this before here are some free suggestions (or use any other tool you like):

In browser: Adobe Creative Cloud Express (2min tutorial)

Apple: iMovie (mobile or desktop)

Android: Filmorago

PC: Windows Photo Video Editor

In order to create your storyreels, you will need to do some simple video editing.

No matter what tool you use, you'll need to understand these three key steps:

1. Adding still frames (drawings produced on paper or digitally)

2. Adjusting frame timing (how long each frame stays on screen)

3. Adding voiceover and music (use as necessary)

Here is a summary:

Have a look at some of the storyreels from our last session:

Keep in mind, great art does not make a great storyreel, creating a great story is what's important.

Many successful entries use nothing but clear pencil drawings that communicate their story.

Our goal for Story Xperiential is to foster an educational platform that actively remains a safe space for all students to bring their authentic voices and engage in learning free of judgment and ridicule, and where all cultural and gender backgrounds, learning differences and ability levels are welcomed and celebrated for their uniqueness and potential to inspire all of us.

Upload Video
Submit
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Preview your video below. Videos can take some time to render, please wait for video to load.

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To complete orientation please submit this survey

How useful was orientation?

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Nice work, to confirm your upload worked look for it in the gallery:

Orientation Gallery
Week 8
Week 8 Gallery
Week 7
Week 7 Gallery
Week 6
Week 6 Gallery
Your host for Week 8: Connie He! Join the final livestream on Monday, April 25th @ 5pm PT/8pm ET

Connie He is currently a story artist on an upcoming film at Pixar Animation Studios. She was born and raised in Shanghai, China. She graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design in 2018, where she learned storytelling and CG animation. Her graduation film Watermelon: A Cautionary Tale has won 33 international film awards. Her animation career began as a CG artist on Netflix's series Love, Death & Robot. After that, she focused on pursuing storyboarding, which led to feature film development at Taiko Animation Studios. She joined Pixar in 2021 and is now working on a new Pixar film coming out in 2024.

We are now in the final buffer week.
Please submit your work at the bottom of the Week 8 page to be included in the Exhibition page which will go live on Friday, May 13th at 6pm PT. It's okay to submit partially finished work, that's what our program is all about. You must upload something by May 13th in order to earn your certificate & dedicated exhibition page.
Our awards & celebration livestream will happen via YouTube on Friday at 5pm PT. Here is the link to where it will happen.
The public exhibition page will go live after the livestream with ALL participants work: www.storyxperiential.com/exhibition (you can share this link with friends, families etc.)
Incredible work!!!
Certificate Download

Nova's tips (past participant)

  1. Ask for help. The team is always willing to assist with whatever problems you may have, and don’t be afraid to get family and friends involved—they might surprise you with the missing piece of your puzzle.

  2. Get some sleep! You’re always more productive when you’re well-rested, so don’t burn through the night to finish things. Your health is a top priority! Speaking of…

  3. Prioritize. Figure out what’s absolutely necessary and save fancy embellishments for later.

  4. Search for references. If you don’t know how to do something, figure out how someone else did it!

  5. Give good feedback. Good feedback doesn’t just help others—it helps you, too. We’re often blind to ourselves, so looking at another's work can be good self-reflection.

  6. Receive feedback graciously. I mean—really receive it! You just got a goldmine of perspectives from people all around the world, so read and consider all of it! Don’t disregard them.

  7. Browse the gallery. You’ll find some of the funniest, most enjoyable works here that might just inspire you in the future, and you’ll learn a whole bunch.

  8. Be intentional. All creative choices should have a reason behind them, whether it’s as simple as being funny or as nuanced as the meaning of life.

  9. Triple-check your work. Review your work multiple times before submitting. Check for missing audio or cut off endings.

  10. Never give up! Something is better than nothing—if you can’t get it done on time, don’t be afraid to show us what you’ve got. You can always come back to add more later!

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