The Pixar Rules

There are rules every Pixar animator and director uses to create some of the most amazing Pixar Animated films. That is what they specialize in. Most of the Pixar animators, especially directors worked for Disney before Disney bought Pixar. Despite being under Disney’s ownership, there is still a slight difference in how the movies are made. Below are the 22 rules Pixar movies have. So if you want to have your work possibly being animated by Pixar (there is a long process to that so good luck) here are things to remember.

  1. You admire a character for tying more than for their success.
  2. You gotta keep in mind what is interesting to you as an audience and not what is fun to do as a writer.
  3. Trying for themes is important but you won’t see what the story is about until you’re at the end of it. Now Rewrite it
  4. Once upon a time there was a ___. Everyday, ____. One day ___ because of that, ____ until finally ____, is how the stories are
  5. Simplify, focus, combine characters, over detours when you edit. It will feel like you are losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
  6. What is your character good at? Comfortable with? Throw the Opposite at them, Challenge the, and see how they deal with it
  7. Finish your story, let it go. Even it is not perfect. In an ideal you have both and but move on. Do better next time
  8. Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously, endings are hard, get yours working up front
  9. When you’re stuck Make a list of what wouldn’t happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
  10. Pull apart the stories you like, What do you like about them? It is a part of you. You have to recognize it before you can use it.
  11. Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you will never share it with anyone
  12. Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th get the obvious out of the way and surprise yourself.
  13. Give your characters opinions. Passive, Malleable, bright seem likable you as you write but it can be poison to the audience.
  14. Why must you tell this story? What is the belief that is burning within you? What is your story feeding off? That is where the heart is
  15. If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations
  16. What are the stakes? Give us reasons to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against them.
  17. No work is ever wasted. If it is not working, let it go and move on. It will comeback and be useful later.
  18. You have to know yourself. The difference between doing your best and fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
  19. Coincidences to get characters into trouble is great but coincidences to get them out of trouble is cheating.
  20. Exercise: Take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How would you rearrange them into what you do like?
  21. you need to identify with your situation characters. You can’t just write “cool.” What would make you act that way?
  22. What id the essence of your story? Most economical telling of telling it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

These rules are great to know if your serious for writing in general. Everyone writes differently but overall these rules are good use.

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