Storytelling for 360 Media

THE CHALLENGE

With new emerging platforms today (and the general evolution of new media) we now find ourselves with some interesting narrative challenges.

Specifically, of note; 360 video or virtual reality experiences where your viewer has a choice of what they want to focus on. Experiencing a 360 video can be stunning to the viewer, but telling a story with the medium can be a challenge. There are many ways to tell a story and we are entering a new evolution of what that means with 360 video and the VR world.

So how can we evolve from our current storytelling paradigm into a 360 medium?

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Story Design – Story Flow Using Adobe XD

As I develop another story for a VR series I’ve been experimenting in various ways of mapping episodic storylines. Typically, I use post-its on a board, but that works best for feature film length projects. I’ve also used mind mapping software, but this time I wanted to try something new.

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Story & Editorial Project: IDEOCookstove Initiative

Client: IDEO.org

Job: Editing, color correction, music/sound mix

………..

IDEO.org worked with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to identify opportunities to increase demand for clean cookstoves in Tanzania and beyond.

This is a video that I cut together from video supplied by IDEO. Working with the writer I crafted a film would show what the day-to-day lives of women in Tanzania using cookstoves actually looked like.

My 3 Act Map

As I write, I look over old materials and review the many ways of building a story. Here is one of my old diagrams that I made compiling some things I’ve learned. It’s labeled Aristotelian Arc only in that it has 3 acts, and it is designed to tell a story where the protagonist becomes whole through the plot. I look at this map when I write a script or a video game. By all means this is only a framework and not created as an absolute.

Screenwriting Expo 5

Lots of things happening; got a new camera; outlining my Fuel & Fire graphic novel, and I just got back from 3 days of the Screenwriting Expo.

I have gone to Expo 3 and found it a pretty fun event. This year Pixar had a full day of speaking, and it was amazing. A list of what of talks I attended:

  • Creating Worlds, Not Just Stories – Rockne S. O’Bannon
  • Lunch Speaker – David Rambo
  • Marketing Yourself and Your Script – Philippa Burgess
  • Writing Horror – Dan O’Bannon
  • Guest of Honor – Oliver Stone
  • Beyond the Hero’s Journey – Pamela Jaye Smith
  • Pixar Storytelling – Andrew Stanton
  • Endings: The Good, The Bad, & The Insanely Great – Michael Arndt
  • The Writer/Director Relationship at Pixar – Stanton, Gerson, Reynolds, Unkrich, Arndt, Chapman, Mecchi, Murray, Rydstrom.
  • Trust the Process – Andrews, Capobianco, Del Carmen, Katz
  • Creating the Incredibles – Brad Bird, Mark Andrews
  • Picture the Deal – Philippa Burgess
  • Personal, Passionate Pitch – Coleman, Murray
  • Saleable & Commercial Scripts – Victoria Wisdom

Except for a few items all of the talks were a amazing. I managed to avoid all the speakers that had a book to sell and only use the event to say, “It’s all in my book, buy it and find out.” My primary focus was to find the speakers that had done the work of writing, not just writing books, and were not script consultants. No offense to the consultants, they can provide a valuable service, but I wanted to hear from the front lines. I picked some great ones. Worth every penny.

I didn’t do any pitches this year; that’s something I plan on next year.

Okay, that’s all I’m going to write since I should do more writing; rather than writing about writing.

Finished Draft Treatment (2 of 3)!

I finished the prison film treatment this morning! I had most of it done last week, but it was a slow week of changes from the producer. Right now I’m primed to polish it up this weekend if I get any last minute notes. I also need to write a character study for it.

With the amount of thinking that I’ve put into the treatment, I feel I could bang out the script in no time. The treatment came out to 9 pages – not huge and not small. Terry Rossio says a treatment should be about 7 pages, my screenwriting teacher said (looking at my notes) 8-12 pages.

Who cares, I say. I’m done, and I’m happy with the results, even if this film never sees celluloid. Or maybe I’m just happy to move on.

Of course the next thing I was going to move onto is the horror film. But more notes came in and I’m going to need to put in a whole rewrite for the first treatment I finished for said producer (the music film). One of the other producers wants to go in a different direction. He calls the shots, and that puts me into a whole new rewrite. Bummer. Oh well, I’m still having fun.

More research this weekend.