1. We are all storytellers
World & character
- A What If statement is ultimately connected to a world and a character. When we say world, what we really mean is the environment, or set of rules, in which our story will take place. It could be literal, like a coral reef, or figurative, like the mind of a young girl. Character, of course, refers to the subjects or individuals we follow on the journey of the story. What if there was one last robot left on Earth? Let's hear about some of the worlds and characters that inspired our Pixar story artists. Star Wars has this great What If question, which is what if there was a band of rebels that were trying to be the guardians of the human spirit and let's say there was this great war that was going on between this non-feeling technology trying to wipe out this kind of subtle human feeling and it just has this great powerful What If question that really drew me in to that world. - The great thing about the world of Toy Story is that it's this really beautiful metaphor for growing up. And it's so genius because it's so, from the outside it looks so simple, but from the inside it's so complicated and so beautiful. So I think that's a really good example of a world sort of leading the story and a world containing a metaphor within it that we can all sort of grasp and hold on to. - One of my favorite movies is Raising Arizona by the Coen brothers. Well, the world takes a backseat to the character of this protagonist who wants to sort of steal a baby, so him and his wife could have this family. That character is so incredibly alive to me that he could just stand there on the screen and it would still be really compelling. - Personally, I always think character should come first and then the world comes after. For example, a blind person forgetting his pants and going to work will have a completely different story than a seeing-eyed person forgetting his pants and going to work. Two characters will have completely different stories but all of the objects and the setting and everything else is completely the same. So, for me, character is king. - Everybody works a little differently. So, for me, I like to come at it from world first and then find the character to go into this world, or who that character is going to be. I needed to set the stage for a bunch of other characters to go through and then that was the equation for stories to come out. - Sometimes the world comes first and sometimes the character comes first. Either way, the story's born when both things, world and character, meet. Let's get warmed up in this next exercise, thinking about characters and worlds in the stories you love.