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Explanation (Optional)

Week 5 | Due Sunday, April 10th

Your job for this week is to make a storyreel for Act 1 of your story.

Here's a worksheet

Kickoff Video

Week 5 Deliverable: Act 1 Storyreel (1-2 hours)

Roughly sketch the images needed to tell Act 1 of your story and put them together in a video.

Record necessary audio for your story—you do not need to add sound effects or music. Act 1 is generally the shortest part of the Story Spine, so try to keep your video under two minutes.

For more direction, try watching the examples from our Fall session.

Past Week 5 Submissions

Each team should upload one Week 5 deliverable below.

Only one individual from each team needs to upload.

Read and discuss the Story Spine feedback you received last week.

Make any changes you think will help improve your story.

Here are some exercises to help you:

Now it’s time to create your Week 5 Deliverable.

Keep in mind your story can still change in the following weeks.

Exercise 1: Minor Beats (30-60min)

Major beats are the steps in your Story Spine. You've already made these—a major beat would be something like this: "A bank is robbed."

On the other hand, minor beats are the series of events that occur in and around each major beat. 

The minor beats for that previous example would be something similar to these:

  • "Someone in a disguise walks into a bank."

  • "They sneak back to the safe and input the code."

  • "They stuff the money into a bag."

Now, look at the first three steps of your Story Spine—this is your Act 1. Take this Act 1 and flesh out each major beat into two or more minor beats. You can think of this as a first draft of your story's opening:​

  1. Once upon a time _____ 

    • Minor beat​

    • Minor beat

  2. Every day _____

    • Minor beat​

    • Minor beat

  3. Until one day _____

    • Minor beat​

    • Minor beat

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: (you can share this link with friends, families etc.)
Incredible work!!!
Certificate Download
Week 8
Week 8 Gallery
Week 7
Week 7 Gallery
Week 6
Week 6 Gallery

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The submission will appear in the weekly gallery after it has been moderated.

You can view and edit your submission here after it has rendered:

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Exercise 2: Storyboarding (30min)

Watch this great video from Louis Gonzales, and then, try quickly sketching the minor beats of your first act on one page. 

Here is a template if it's helpful. Otherwise, work from a blank page or use index cards.

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Tell us what you think!

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Full Livestream (1 hour)

Livestream Highlights (30 min)

Act 1 Tips

Hannah Roman offers some tips on creating a great Act 1. Here are three things to consider this week:

  • How will you hook your audience?

  • What can you "show" vs. "tell"?

  • How are you setting up for a great ending?

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