Plot for animated series revealed

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Re: Plot for animated series revealed

Postby Ianafle » Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:22 pm

Could some of you maybe show some examples of what you want to see, and it'll me better my symmary/plot, and also Freaky Phil is my first choice for a name.
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Re: Plot for animated series revealed

Postby hayasidist » Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:48 pm

Ianafle wrote:Freaky Phil is my first choice for a name.
Freaky Phil may be your first choice, but someone else already uses it. Have another think or risk litigation from the owners of the name.

Ianafle wrote:...maybe show some examples
Here's one from a previous piece of work.

This was the first draft of a treatment for a short (about 10 min) standalone film.

Genre Children’s (under 10s) fantasy adventure
Hero The lonely princess and the stable lad.
Objective The princess wants freedom from her controlling parents; the stable lad wants more than clearing up after horses.
Trouble The princess’s parents keep her under close control; the stable lad can’t approach her. They both have a given role in life and no way to change their fate.
Importance Wealth and higher social position does not guarantee happiness. A parent’s goal is to make their children better off than they were, in whatever way that is important for the child.

Plan The stable boy and princess wave to each other from afar. She tells her father that she wants riding lessons.
Luck She arrives at the stables. The head groom tells the boy to bring the pony out. Their hands nearly touch as he gives her the reins.
Alas Her Governess admonishes her and the Groom beats the boy for even thinking about a relationship. Riding lessons are cancelled.
Tension The princess is to be sent away to the neighbouring kingdom to “learn her duties” from the obnoxious son of that King.
Outcome Dawn breaks and the whole kingdom is still sleeping – except the Boy and the Princess. Their hands touch and magic explodes across the kingdom in a “happy ever after” moment.

Needless to say, that got expanded upon …

hth
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Re: Plot for animated series revealed

Postby lwaxana » Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:07 pm

You're getting great advice here on how to plan/pitch a series. And maybe that's the right thing for you if your interests are primarily in writing or directing.

But if I were fourteen years old again, I would take that time to experiment with animating scenes. For me, that's the exciting part of animation. The beauty of being 14 is that there's no pressure to make the world's greatest thing right now. It's complete freedom. You have the power to make characters come to life!!! In the future, after you've had your fun, and you've had plenty of practice animating shots and scenes, that's when I would worry about taking a more disciplined approach to story.

Wish you all the best!
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Re: Plot for animated series revealed

Postby Ianafle » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:20 pm

Thank you for the example, but I wasn't exactly trying to do what your example showed, I was simply just putting a little brief and to the point summary of the show, later on in production I will do something like your example.

And also my second Name choice was:
The Adventures of Phil Jones.
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Re: Plot for animated series revealed

Postby Greenlaw » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:17 pm

What you have here is a 'premise'. There's nothing wrong with that. A premise is basically an idea, and all stories start with an idea. A premise for a story can be a few paragraphs long or as brief as a single sentence.

Here's a premise in a single sentence:

A humble farmer is swept up in a quest to a rescue a rebellion leader and helps fight an evil empire.

Sound familiar? You might say Star Wars but this premise is so vague, it could just as easily be set in ancient Egypt, Japan, or Europe. Heck, the farmer could be a girl and the leader doesn't have to be a princess. And if this premise is for animation, the characters don't even need to be humans. In fact, this premise raises many questions. An obvious one is: why would the farmer want to get involved?

What would make this uniquely Star Wars is the details. We know why Luke leaves Tatooine to go on his dangerous quest, but this could easily be a completely different story when we change the details. And that's where you move into a stage called the treatment.

A treatment is a bit longer, sometimes a few paragraphs and rarely more than a couple of pages. It's usually written in the present tense. Just for fun, here's George Lucas' original treatment for Star Wars:

http://www.scifiscripts.com/scripts/Sta ... atment.txt

I say 'just for fun' because this treatment is actually completely different from the screenplay Lucas wound up writing for Star Wars. But I think it shows how much more a treatment needs to be compared to a simple premise or idea. (This is why 'ideas' by themselves, are not eligible for copyright protections but a unique interpretation of an idea can be.)

TBH, I think the Star Wars treatment at that link is a bit long. Since this is such a well-known film, a good exercise might be to break down the final version of Star Wars into as few paragraphs as possible--sort of reverse engineering a treatment.

First, you would have to figure out what the barest essentials are to tell Luke's story. Try itemizing those essentials in a numbered list. This list is called 'story beats.' The story beats for Star Wars might go something like this:

1. A renegade Princess Leia is arrested by an evil empire for smuggling secret plans that could aid a rebellion. Before she is captured, she hides the plans in a small robot.
2. The small robot comes into the possession of a humble farming family, an elderly couple and their nephew Luke. The aunt and uncle are executed by the empire but the Luke escapes with the robot.
3. The robot leads Luke to a desert hermit, who reveals to him the story of the princess and the rebellion. Luke decides he needs to help the princess complete her mission. The hermit turns out to be a wizard of sorts and teaches Luke about a magical 'force' that may assist him on his quest.
4. Meanwhile, we learn that Leia is being held prisoner at a moon-sized spaceship called the Death Star. We also learn that the Death Star is the empire's latest weapon, and it is capable of destroying entire planets.
4. Luke's quest leads him to the Death Star, where he rescues Leia. They escape but with the empire in pursuit.
5. Leia brings Luke to a rebel hideaway on a moon, where she explains the plan that will help the rebels defeat the Death Star.
6. As the Death Star approaches the moon and prepares to destroy it, Luke joins the rebels in a spectacular space battle to stop the Death Star. Luke uses the 'force' to destroy the Death Star, and the rebels live to continue their fight for another movie.

Obviously, I left out a lot of characters and stuff that also happens in the movie, but I think this list covers the most important details that turn our vague idea into 'Star Wars'. Now, write the above story beats as complete paragraphs, and you've got a treatment for a script.

An even better exercise might be to take the original 'farm boy's adventure' premise and make a completely new story out of it.

Anyway, I don't really expect you to do the exercises I described but maybe this will give you some ideas for improving your premise and turning it into a treatment.

Hope this helps.
Last edited by Greenlaw on Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:52 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Plot for animated series revealed

Postby Ianafle » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:24 pm

Thanks
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Re: Plot for animated series revealed

Postby synthsin75 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:32 pm

Greenlaw wrote:A humble farmer is swept up in a quest to a rescue a rebellion leader and helps fight an evil empire.


That's a good, short premise. It evokes action and conflict. IOW, it has an emotional hook...aided by words like humble, swept up, rescue, and fight. Action and emotion.
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Re: Plot for animated series revealed

Postby Greenlaw » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:56 pm

It's probably obvious but I should point that the example above is for a 2+ hour feature film. For a 22 or 11 minute TV cartoon, everything should be shorter and can probably be less detailed than the above example. But essential details like the character's motive should be there.

When you get around to writing your scripts, consider that 1 page = 1 minute of screen time. Obviously, this 'rule' varies with each show or movie, but it generally works out that way.

In my case, the few shorts I've made have run 1 to 2 minutes, and the scripts reflect that...about 2 pages in length. My treatments were pretty short to...maybe two or three paragraphs at most. I don't recall you saying how long your episodes will be but this will give you some guidelines when you start writing them.

Another tip: write down your ideas when you get them. If you wait, you're probably going to forget them. This happened to me a lot so now I always keep a small notepad in my pocket and jot down ideas as brief text and/or doodles when they pop into my head. When I get home, I transcribe the notes to a 'idea log' on my computer...just in case I lose my notepad (that happens too.) if the ideas are doodles, I'll take a picture with my phone and send that to my computer and paste it into the log. This way, I always have an idea ready when I find time to work on a personal project.

Most of these ideas are only one or two sentences long...just enough to get me started. For example, when I'm in the mood to draw a new Brudders comics, I just pull an idea from my 'Brudders Brainstorms' log and I start drawing it right away. Very little time is wasted coming up with a new comic strip idea because I already have a file full of ideas ready to go.

You might consider a similar approach for your animated series.

Oh, and write down every idea. Don't worry if they're good or bad ideas, just get them out of your head and on paper. Clearing your head makes room for new ideas, and you can decide later which ideas are junk and which are gold.
Last edited by Greenlaw on Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Plot for animated series revealed

Postby Greenlaw » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:16 pm

Another tip:

I don't usually act on an idea immediately because sometimes when I thought I had the greatest idea ever, I spent lot of time and effort developing it, only to later realize it was a pretty stupid idea to begin with. So now I let my ideas cool down in my 'idea log' for a while and look at them again later. If an idea is really worth pursuing, a good one will still stand out and excite me when I revisit it. And, by then, maybe I can be objective enough to see exactly what to do with it.
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Re: Plot for animated series revealed

Postby Ianafle » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:51 pm

Each episode will hopefully be at least 7-10 minutes long, and thanks for the insight on my treatment.
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Re: Plot for animated series revealed

Postby Greenlaw » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:14 pm

Oh, yeah: here's a bit of trivia that every hardcore Star Wars fan already knows, but it's relevant to this discussion. Stars Wars is actually based on a premise for another movie, the 1958 Akira Kurosawa classic The Hidden Fortress. If you've never seen the film and are curious to see how the plot and characters parallel Star Wars, it's definitely worth a look.

I thought of this while I was reading Lucas' original treatment for Star Wars, and the similarities to the characters and situation in The Hidden Fortress is unashamedly blatant. Lucas must have realized that, which is probably why the final film is so different from the treatment. The final movie is still pretty similar though, at least in its premise. (I mean, HF's premise, not the Star Wars one.) :)

The premise for another Kurosawa film The Seven Samurai was the basis for several other movies: The Magnificent Seven, Battle Beyond The Stars, A Bug's Life...
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