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Current time:0:00Total duration:5:03

Video transcript

hi I'm Christian Roman and I'm a story artist at Pixar I'm your host for this second lesson on storytelling which is on character development and I have a few friends joining me I'm Austin Madison I am a story artist my name is Ashton Corden and I'm a storyboard artist my name is Louise Smith and I am a storyboard artist my name is Ronnie del Carmen I am a story person director designer and all-around troublemaker around here at Pixar the goal of this lesson is to explore our character development process by which we go from simple character concepts such as a robot or a fish or a girl to complex characters people can actually care about let take Wally he's not just a robot he's a lonely curious robot who fears thinks and ultimately loves or Nemo he's not just a fish he's a young fish who craves independence from his father but endanger himself in trying to achieve it we're Merida she's a young princess who wishes to pursue her own hopes and dreams rather than conform to her parents expectations we can call these characters fully developed this means we've gotten to know them so well that we can imagine them in almost any situation creating a fully developed character isn't easy you're basically creating a new life from scratch but it's really special when you get there so how do we begin character development at Pixar we can talk about characters in two ways they have their external features which is their design their clothes what they look like and then much more interesting is the internal features are they insecure are they brave are they jealous I will pretend like I'm having a conversation and getting to know a friend and think okay well what do they like to do what is what are their beliefs what do they enjoy what do they not enjoy I think actually I work more externally first now that I think about it you know what they're wearing how they spell their hair and that kind of informs internally what's going on you know one of my favorite Pixar characters is Syndrome you look on the outside and he actually kind of looks like a superhero he's got the superhero costume on he's got a cape he's got this dazzling hair but inside he's totally a villain and he wants to actually do away with all the supers so you kind of have that great little contrast there for that character that makes him feel really rich and really real characters have to come from authentic human emotions and experiences and it doesn't necessarily have to mean make every character you it could also be draw from people you know things from real life listen to that little voice saying oh that's just like what my mom used to do or all this just like this friend I had in high school or my little brother was like that when we were growing up because it's much easier to go from your family members or a friend when you're trying to search for a character the specificity that people bring that you can't make up on your own is something that I look forward to and I enjoy when I'm trying to pinpoint down a character I was working on up I was the story supervisor now I'm a little invested in Caryl Stern II because back then my father was not well he also had a full head of white hair so when he gets it a tepui Karl actually has to be alone in his house essentially looking back at the life that he had led with Elie and he does this silently at that point when I was storyboarding that sequence my father was already in the hospital and he's unable to speak and when I actually talked to my father he can only communicate to me through his eyes and with smiles and facial movements that actually helped me actually storyboard those moments when Carl silently thinks about his life with Ellie and without dialogue we understand the emotions that he's going and without my experience with my father I wouldn't have been able to actually tackle that moment Mugen story was credibly and I told him that dad and growing you as Carl understanding a character both inside and out will help you figure out what the character really desires which is what drives them through their journey in this first exercise you'll have a chance to think about the difference between internal and external character traits remember the more you know about your character the more real that character will feel