Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Story Graph

Making a story for an animated or live action short film takes a lot of time and thought. Below is a Story Graph which helps show how your story is constructed. While you are working up a story, use this story graph to place the parts of your story before you begin drawing the storyboard. You need to see how your story will fit together and make sense, otherwise you will jump into boarding a story that doesn't make sure or has other problems.

Take a look at the commercial below and then study the Story Graph underneath to see how everything fits together and builds to the conclusion.

The story graph sets up the beginning of your story by establishing the normal world and introduces your main characters. The first thing that changes the "normal world" is called the Inciting Incident, which sets the story in motion. The character then encounters the first plot point, which is the first turning point in the story. Conflict occurs to stop or delay the character from their goal. Without Conflict there is no story and we don't get to see how the is something the character must overcome or solve to get to the next plot point. When we come to the 2nd plot point, this is where something happens to the character which is the lowest point in the story and it looks like the character will not get what they want afterall. However, this is where the character might learn from his past mistakes or there is a twist and we come to the climax, the highest point in the story! And now, we have the end to our story called "the Resolution,"

Here is another story breakdown for a short called "The Saga of Bjorn".

Here is the actual film which is broken down showing the plot points below. 

Use the Story Graph to help figure out your story first, before moving onto boarding it. Its a great tool for building a story with a solid beginning, middle and end. You can also use this formula to plot story points in other shorts as well.

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