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Monday, November 20, 2006

Akira's Nightmare Scriptwriting Animation Laboratory

Writing for Animation: The Audience
by Akira's Nightmare Scriptwriting Animation Laboratory

The type of audience is one of the crucial elements in building the concept that will eventually form the premise. Like the character matrix, one must understand the general characteristics, characterization and emotional baggage of a given audience. In this case, familiarity in the over-all dynamics of demographics becomes a powerful tool in coming up with an effective material.

There are three main categories in terms of audience. These are adults, children and pre-school. Under each category, there are several sub-categories. For example, under the children's category there are three main age groups namely 1) 5 to 8 year old, 2) 9 to 12 year old and 3) over 12 years age.

Audience is not only affected by age; geographic locations, economic considerations, religious orientations and socio-political factors also affect it. Thus, the concern of a child in the United States is different from the concerns of a child in Malaysia. Given this fluidity in audience characterization, a specific group in a population exhibits a unique personality signature that determines its behavior.

Audience's behavior, a product of personality, has two main components namely need and want. Needs and wants are relative and have different forms depending on the type of audience. Meaning the 5 to 8-year old age group differs from the over 12 years age group in terms of needs and wants. Furthermore, there is a big difference between satisfying an audience need from satisfying an audience want. A team should never interchange the two or assume that it can change a need into a want. Historically, naive corporations, teams and individuals that did this paid for it in the box office.

Respect is the operative word in this case. To impose upon the audience is like attacking the very person who feeds you. That is why, listening is an important skill in making sure that you know what the audience want and what the audience need. Sounds easy right, but believe me or not, simple things tend to be forgotten in the midst of extreme arrogance.

The customer is always right. This holds true for animation audiences in general. Feedbacks are valuable in shaping present and future materials. Testing a material through a focus group that approximates the target audience is very helpful in identifying the flaws in a material. Arresting these flaws before the actual production saves time and money at the same time.

In my short stint as an animation scriptwriting instructor, I often encounter animators who are reckless in the practice of their art and craft. In the end, they learn the harsh reality that animation is not about the animator and it is not about the audience. It is all about the relationship between the two.
True, the audience is always right. But this is just one part of the whole exchange. The animator, given the statement, must make a choice whether or not he or she will validate the feedback of the audience. Thus, whatever the choice is, what is important is that the animator listened to what the audience's want or need and from there made an educated decision regarding his material.

It is truly difficult when a perfectionist who does not know what he or she wants or need leads a team. Interaction between the audience and the team is not fully realized as a function of creative exercise. Eventually, the pre-production gradually deteriorates affecting the well being of the production and post-production stages.

Thinking inside and outside the box share a common bond in terms of interaction. There should be parallel development and management of wants and needs for both audience and the animation team. The audience's type of need or want should be the same with the team's type of need or want. How can you deliver world peace as a message if the audience thinks that world peace sucks.

Understanding the audience, as stated before, is just one of the crucial elements in determining the concept that will form the premise. A team who makes an effort to reach out to its audience usually gets a corresponding gesture. To think that animation is a sole domain of the audience or the animators is over-simplifying the nature of human relations.

Animation, in my opinion, is making inanimate objects move with the deliberate intention of visually deploying a compelling story, plot, genre, conflict and characters. Thus, one can not effectively do this without the general knowledge of what the audience's need and want as well as what you as the animator need and want. There is nothing wrong with being a perfectionist as long as you are confident, open to interaction, certain with what you need and want and respectful to the need and want of the audience.

Akira's Nightmare
Basic Animation Scriptwriting Laboratory
(CONTACT NUMBER 09215081060/ 6822404)

Registration Day:
December 04, 2006
11am to 5pm
@ Asia Pacific College Magallanes

Laboratory will start:
December 09, 2006
10am to 5pm

Dec 09 : Saturday : 10am to 5pm
Dec 10 : Sunday : 10 am to 2pm
Dec 16 : Saturday : 10 am to 5pm
Dec 17 : Sunday : 10 am to 2pm

Asia Pacific College Magallanes
Asia Pacific Building 3
Humabon Place, Magallanes Village
Makati CitY

Tuition Fee
5,000 APC students
6,000 Non_APC students

* Understanding The Animation Industry
A. art
(1.) artist
(2.) craftsman
(3.) artist-craftsman
B. science
(1.) method/process
(2.) hardware & software
C. business
(1.) conventional studio set-up
(2.) alternative studio set-up
(3.) "One Man Show"
D. medium of communication
(1.) statement of fact
(2.) statement of argument
(3.) statement of propaganda
(4.) statement of persuasion
E. visual document
(1.) past
(2.) present
(3.) future

* Understanding The Market
A. vision vs. mission
B. production staff, places, product and placement
C. audience, distribution, animated media, and genres
D. Dimensions
(1.) political
(2.) social
(3.) religious
(4.) economic
(5.) anthropological

E. Types
(1.) narrative animation
(2.) experimental animation
(3.) documentary animation
a documentary- narrative animation
b narrative-documenta ry animation

* Animation Production (2d-animation)
A. Pre-Production
B. Production
C. Post Production

* Animation Production (3d-animation)
A. Pre-Production
B. Production
C. Post Production

* Types of Animation
A. Distribution
B. Audience
C. Types of Animated Media
D. Genres of Animation

* Formulating An Idea
A. Sources
B. Types
C. Components

* Story Concept
A. Dramatic Potential
B. Comedic Potential

* Premise Development
A. Subject
B. Action
C. Short Premise vs Long Premise

* The Character Matrix
A. Building A Character
B. Creating A Character

* Story
A. Components
B. Elements
C. Structure

* Breaking Down a Story into Beats (story beats)
A. Characteristics
B. Protocol in Beat Development
C. Logic in Beat Development
D. Putting The Beats In Order
E. Evaluating Beats
F. Breaking Down A Scene (Beats)
G. Story Dynamics

* Outline

* The Script
A. Method in Writing Animation Scripts
B. Write the Script
C. Edit the Script

n Components of The Script
A. Writing Description
a Visualization
b "Communication"
c Continuity
d Pacing

B. Writing Dialog

* Writing In Terms of Types of Distribution

* Presentation of the Bible
A. Story Concept
B. Premise ( Logline / Pitching Line
(1.) short
(2.) long
C. Character Matrix
(1.) characters
(2.) environment and props
(3.) conceptual art
D. Story (Story Beat)
E. Animatics
(1.) Storyboard
(2.) Dialog Track
F. Outline
G. Script
(1.) Master Sequence Screenplay
(2.) Speculative Screenplay

* Project Development
(1.) Determine the Creative Set-Up
(2.) Idea
(3.) Story Concept
(4.) Premise
(5.) Story Beat
(6.) Outline
(7.) Script
(8.) Dialog Track
(9.) Story Board

* How To Pitch
* Steps in Promoting Your Product

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