Conference Masterclasses
ON SITE Raum Reutlingen Thursday, May 05, 12:30

Story Development

This session focuses on how story development produces emotion in the audience. Concepts include backstory, character profiles, a character’s flaws, research, generating ideas, iteration, identification, brainstorming, What-if, etc. While a story’s plot covers the outer journey a character travels, story development is about the character’s inner journey (how conflict reveals who the characters are under pressure which is why a viewer keeps watching). The difference between what a character wants and what they need. Archetypes versus stereotypes.

This session covers basics such as the unity of opposites, creating identification, making difficult choices, transformation, and it is not enough to just understand your characters... you have to care about them, even the villains. Story essentials include the five fundamental goals in a story (to win, to escape, to stop, to deliver, or to retrieve something) as well as what is at stake (i.e., survival, safety, love, esteem, etc.) that motivates the main character to move from their ordinary world to a different world, where the story really starts. Tip: All stories start better in the middle of a crisis

Designed specifically for VFX artists, animators, modelers, designers, technical directors, etc., whose work is essential in making “story” come to life. The session contains numerous visuals (i.e., animation/VFX clips) to illustrate how these ideas are used in the industry.

This presentation will only be available as video-on-demand on May 6!

Craig Caldwell, USTAR Professor, University of Utah, Film & Media Arts

Craig Caldwell, USTAR Professor, Digital Media Cluster, and a founder of the University of Utah, Entertainment Arts & Engineering (#3 USA Video Game program). DeTao Master at the Institute of Animation and Creative Content, SIVA Campus, Shanghai, China. Industry experience: Head of Creative Training at Electronic Arts, Tiburon Studio and 3D Technology Specialist, Walt Disney Feature Animation (Mulan, Tarzan, Chicken Little, Bolt, Meet the Robinsons), Burbank, CA. Academic background includes Head of the largest Film School in Australia at Griffith University and Chair of the Media Arts Department at University of Arizona. Presented at conferences such as Sundance, Comic-Con, SXSW, View, Mundos Digitales, SIGGRAPH, and GAFX. His book Story Structure and Development – A Guide for Animators, VFX Artists, Game Designers, and Virtual Reality; CRC Publishers.