Story Design Methods

LAY EACH PROPOSAL OUT LIKE THIS (so you will have 6 of these):TITLE: Your Title or Untitled (if no title, yet)MEDIUM: Web Series, Game, or Short Script (2 of each)GENRE: e.g. action, comedy, thriller, horror, fantasy, etc.LOGLINE: 1 sentence — 2 maximum if absolutely needed — and less than 45 words(see below and attached docs for guidance)SYNOPSIS: 200 – 300 words (see below and attached docs for guidance)This assignment must be typed. You should have 6 entirely different concepts: 2 ideas for a web series, 2 ideas for a narrative-based (story driven) game, and 2 ideas for a short script.Each idea must be ORIGINAL (from your own mind and not based on any existing works or containing existing characters that you don’t own the rights to). For the short script and web series, think in terms of low budget, few locations, and small cast, something you (or someone you know) might actually be able to make.Please include the main character (protagonist), their goal, main antagonist, main conflict, and stakes. Also include setting (location and/or year) and timeframe (ticking clock), if applicable. Your favorite in each medium should come first. Titles are optional at this stage. Remember, the protagonist and antagonist should be set up to get in each other’s way of the other’s goal.And how is the main character’s goal impossible?STARTER LOGLINE FORMULA: When a (positive adjective), (negative adjective) (occupation/descriptive noun for protagonist) (Inciting Incident), he/she must overcome a (positive adjective), (negative adjective) (occupation/descriptive noun for antagonist), in order to (goal) by (how?).FOR EXAMPLE: When a dutiful, water-phobic police chief discovers that a great white shark is killing the beach’s visitors, he must overcome a powerful, greedy town council that demands the beach stay open, in order to protect his town by slaying the giant, blood-thirsty predator. (“Jaws,” 43 words)If you use the logline formula, and it’s a little mangled in terms of how it flows, try moving parts around until it’s a smoother read. The important thing is to capture your story in a single, CLEAR sentence. Attached is a document that goes into depth about how to construct a logline. You should also read this:http://twoadverbs.blogspot.com/2006/08/think-hallewood.html.Also attached are 2 documents for synopses. “Synopses” (page 1) gives you 2 examples, 1 paragraph form and 1 pitch form (which can be written as a paragraph). “One-Minute Pitch Format” also gives you another option for organizing your paragraphs and what to include (you don’t need to include any info beyond “time to sell”). Ignore the part about the one-sentence synopsis — I’m looking for a paragraph of 200 – 300 words.THE ASSIGNMENT EXPLAINED ANOTHER WAY:Web Series, Original Idea #1 – logline and one-paragraph synopsisWeb Series, Original Idea #2 – logline and one-paragraph synopsisGame (Narrative-Based), Original Idea #3 – logline and one-paragraph synopsisGame (Narrative-Based), Original Idea #4 – logline and one-paragraph synopsisShort Script, Original Idea #5 – logline and one-paragraph synopsisShort Script, Original Idea #6 – logline and one-paragraph synopsisSUGGESTIONS FOR BRAINSTORMING IDEAS:Think about what kind of genres you enjoy WATCHING (or playing). Those are what you should probably write.Write each idea in a different genre for variety if you’re not already focused on one or two.Come up with a character, give him a profession, give him a fear or flaw, and then put him in a situation where he’s going to have to face/overcome it.Look through the Resources section on the course menu. There are many documents that might help you but you need to go look through them.Do the exercises in the The Screenwriter’s Bible textbook. There are actual activities in the book that will help you come up with ideas. Again, you have to do the work.If you’re still struggling, you can try to mash-up existing movie ideas. Take 2 movies, figure out their loglines and then combine the ideas to make a new original idea. For example, I found this example on the web:Movies To Mash: Eight Legged Freaks and Attack the BlockLoglines:Eight Legged Freaks – A vicious chemical spill in a small town causes the towns poisonous spiders to grow to abnormal sizes.Attack the Block – An eclectic group of teenagers take on the heroic role of saving South London from an alien invasion.Movie Mash Up Title: Human FreaksLogline: A small, quiet spider populated town is viciously invaded by toxic human aliens.Description: A town with a population of spiders are living an average life. The spiders live in a small, grassy town. They wake up, drop the spider kids off at school, and head into work. One day this all changes. Venomita, the town mayer, one day looks out her window only to find that the human freak aliens have landed. Venomita then rounds up the strongest spiders in town to fight them off. Will they save it?(from http://twillgz.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/movie-mashup-1/)

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