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Video transcript

hi I'm Kristen Lester a story artist here at Pixar today we're going to talk about story structures the way we organize and tell our stories but before we begin have you guys heard the joke about the mushroom the ghost of the discotheque a mushroom walks into a discotheque and he walks up to a lady and he asked her to dance she says Oh gross no you're a mushroom so he walks up to another lady and asked her to dance ma'am not interested lady after lady yes her lady rejected rejected rejected nobody wants to dance for them finally the mushroom walks over to the bartender you know confused she says I don't get it what does nobody want to dance with me I mean I'm a fun guy see this joke has a structure it's got an opening a build up in the middle and an ending which is you know the punchline that structure is a big part of what makes it funny structure is the answer to the question what do you want the audience to know and win if you get the order wrong it can be a real problem check it out hey can I tell you a joke alright so there's this one guy and shoot I messed up the opening ok ok hey can I tell you a joke all right so there's a mushroom who walks into a discotheque and then there's a bartender there ha got it I messed up the middle hey hey hey can I tell you a joke alright so there's a mushroom who walks into a discotheque and there's a bunch of ladies on the dance floor he asked me to dance and they say yes dang we don't conflict joke over Oh see structure is important just as structures a big part of telling a funny joke it's also essential to making a movie that has the emotional impact you want on your audience in earlier versions of Finding Nemo the structure of the story was very different than the final film the director wanted to interweave scenes of Nemo's parents lives before they had kids as flashbacks throughout the whole movie so you would see the meet hello fall in love and eventually move into their house as a drop off in little scenes throughout the film oh honey it's beautiful the main story of Marlon and Nemo and their journey was pretty much exactly the way it is now but with a flashback structure it wasn't until the end of the film that you would find out that Marlins wife corals and all of her eggs were killed by a barracuda when they show the movie with this structure they had one big problem the audiences well they didn't like Marlin looking at their story structure the team realized that in this version of the film the audience didn't find out why Marlin was acting this way towards the Sun until the movie was almost over so they decided to re-edit the movie and remove almost all of the flashbacks leaving only the scenes where coral and Marlins home is attacked by the barracuda killing coral and all of her eggs except for a Nemo they moved these scenes to the beginning of the movie I promise I will never let anything happen to this change in the story structure changed the audience feelings about Marlon a lot they knew right from the beginning how much Marlon had lost and how brave it was for him to go after Nemo and they loved him for it in the case of Finding Nemo finding the problem was a matter of rearranging the story structure of course all our movies are different and their story structure challenges are - in this lesson we'll look at the many different ways we think about story structure here at Pixar and you'll get to try out for yourself different approaches to structuring your story hmm I wonder if I told the mushroom jokes and flashback should it be funnier probably not [Music]