Story Process

Making a filmmaker: how 13 pros got their start

Vimeo is filled with inspiring people whose video-making experiences run the gamut. To celebrate our incredible community, we talked with 13 Vimeo filmmakers about how they first began their careers.

Read, Set, Go! Tech for easy reading

While some of us love our paper books, lugging those fairytales, comedies and romantic novels around can be back-breaking. Luckily, with the explosion of internet powered mobile devices and apps available, it’s possible to carry thousands of titles around in your pocket.

So which of these modern eReaders are worth keeping and where are the best places to buy and find eBooks? We asked around the iiOffice and put together a quick rundown of the best e-reading resources for all our bookworm customers out there!


Bruna Papandrea in conversation with Matilda Brown

Greg Haddrick:  Janet King, creating great female characters and being a writer-prouder

The Invisible Ink Blog

“Invisible Ink is a powerful tool for anyone who wants to become a better screenwriter. With elegance and precision, Brian McDonald uses his deep understanding of story and character to pass on essential truths about dramatic writing. Ignore him at your peril.” —Jim Taylor (Academy Award?- winning screenwriter of Sideways and Election)


The Hero’s Journey

Sebastian The Slumberland Odyssey: Fede Ponce Official Interview – HD


The Evolution of VR Storytelling  VR IS A FANTASTIC BEAST  Framestore’s Andy Rowan-Robinson on building interaction and expanding narratives in virtual reality.

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling –Visualised






Pixar’s Story Process with Austin Madison

Interview with Luke Davies: Writing the award-winning screenplay for Lion

What Makes a Great Superhero Movie? Posted on 

Superhero movies are all the rage. They have been dominating as some of the highest grossing films in recent years. The AvengersIron Man 3, and Captain America: Civil War all make appearances in the top 20 highest grossing films of all time. So why are some of these films featuring our superhuman saviours starting to fall flat with fans?

Hay Miyazaki – storytelling techniques

No Tiara, No Problem: ‘Rejected Princesses’ Have Stories Worth Telling

FINAL  DRAFT:  Screenplay formatting, story structure software.

How to Format a Screenplay

CONFLICT, is it a bad thing, expand the meaning to include positive conflict, an obstacle to be overcome.

OBJECTIVE, concrete, is it provable, pursue, is it achieved, can it be improved, is it a shifting target

ANTICIPATION, pursuit of a provable objective, do you react before it actual happens

Thinking tends to lead to conclusions and emotions tend to lead to action: emotions driving the action and the audience is empathising with their emotions.  An automatic value response, values and mental associations that are held, feeling emotions and acting is doing.

We humans empathise only with emotion.


Are you interested in creating meaningful digital experiences that connect with your audience, or transforming your ideas from page to screen? The current digital media landscape covers a wide range of media formats and platforms, so content creators need to engage their audiences in their natural digital habitats. A sneak peek into the world of Multiplatform Storytelling, Design and Filmmaking with Industry experts:

Kate Ayrton – Digital Media producer of VR and AR for television and web projects, screen writer and digital content producer.

Knowing who your users/audience are, where they are, what they are viewing, and how they are interacting long before you start development or production to create engaging multi-platform experience that you can share as story tellers and content creators.

Previously there were two main outlets, broadcast and cinema, with terminology has changing over the years.  Today’s multiplatform storytellers and designers work as a Transmedia Producers, producing content across a lot of different platforms bringing innovative and strategic thinking skills to the experience, as well as a level of interactivity and participation which is what audiences have come to expect.

The traditional broadcast based model of storytelling and branding is over, consumers are now active participants in value creation and are both discerning and empowered in the way they consume their media which is what is driving the economy forward.

Story tellers need to think about how they connect and what the user experience is like, how the user interface looks, how it works, usability, interaction design, how and where it works, its accessibility and most importantly the target audience.  Need to know what is in it for the audience and develop an engagement strategy that is going to hook them in.

Why do we love stories, they stimulate the imagination and create a sense of community between the storyteller and the listeners, at the heart of the human experience.  How we are telling stories is  changing and evolving from the traditional story telling ways of rock art, puppetry and folk tales to tell them thought connected cities, connected homes, internet and screens, social media, AR.  Audiences are technically savvy and highly engaged with the content and consuming large amounts of media, often at the same time and across a range of platforms that are changing and evolving.  Storytellers need to keep up with technology, be aware of the hundreds of tools, methodologies and platforms as they are for use as a tool box to help with storytelling.

Moving from manufacturing to service based economy, specialising in niche markets such as Air B & B and Uber where users are seeking personalisation, customisation and optimisation on a new level.  They way we consume media has changed, people are binge watching when ever and wherever they want to watch.  Moving into an age of smart technology, homes, cars and cities and need to start having smart stories that learn and evolve with us and reflect our needs and are increasingly connected to the digital world.

People are different, how do you know who they are?  As story tellers we need to know who they are, where they are, what are they viewing, how they are viewing it and how are they interacting with it.  Merging and coordination of mass communication outlets such as print, tv, radio, internet, portable and interactive technologies to various digital media platforms.

Converged communications provides multiple platforms for storytelling, consumers can select their levels of interactivity while self directing their own content delivery.  As a content creator we need to design the whole experience and think beyond any single platform.  Where is the audience, they jumping in and out, tough points, access it, multiplatform, cross platform and transmedia.

  • Multi Platform – the same story, the same content and can view on various platforms such as television, online video, podcasts.
  • Cross Platform – different content on different platforms, do not need to see them both to understand what is happening, one does not preclude the other.  TV series with a blog and web page and are not interdependent on each other, not dependent on driving the experience or the story forward.
  • Trans Media – takes the viewer on a journey across multiple different platforms, choose your own adventure and be seeding content in one platform, putting it into another and designing an experience that takes people across all of them.  You cannot jump in on one and know what is happening on the other one, it is a whole experience that you design.

It is important in the way you think about story telling and content and how you set it up. Where do you start?

The first thing is always the audience or the user, collecting a bunch of data about their daily habits as they relate to the story or product.  It does not need to be a complicated thing, a bunch of friends, school or where people are that you want to create content for.

  • need to observe them
  • interview them
  • talking to them
  • listening to them
  • understand the world they live in
  • what is important to them
  • what are their days like
  • what is their time like
  • their daily habits
  • interview
  • surveys

How are you going to present them, where are you going to present them, the whole purpose is to get feedback.

Fail fast, fail often, fail early, fail better.

Make improvements and adjustments in small increments, working collaboratively not only as a team and also with input and feedback from customers.

The importance of Design Thinking and Human Centered Design (HCD) principles within any digital project, as well as Ideation and Design Strategy tips and tricks as part of our storytelling.

Human Centered Design is about designing meaningful and useful products and experiences for humans using a set of design principles.

A design and management framework that develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process. Human involvement typically takes place in observing the problem within context, brainstorming, conceptualizing, developing, and implementing the solution.

Ideas can be workshopped on youtube, experiment and immediate feedback.

RackaRacka’s videos such as  Harry Potter VS Star Wars

Digital Production is made up of interdisciplinary teams – film makers, game designers, programmers, user interface designers, user experience people, audio, writers, budget managers, project managers, clients, users working in a more collaborative and circular fashion than in the film world. Pass the parcel instead of upstairs downstairs.

From Agile to Scrum to Waterfall to Kanban, there are a variety of different project management frameworks. Some, like Scrum, follow a more rigid, structured methodology. Others, like Kanban, are easier to introduce and implement on top of existing processes. They all have pros and cons, so how do you know which one to choose?

Product manager methodology was started by developers and programmers to streamline work practices.

Design Thinking, David Kelley, IDEO, to focus in on, target the best way and best solution for audiences and users.  “When I started the firm that would eventually become IDEO, all I really wanted to do was work with my friends on cool projects. My dream for the future of IDEO is the same as it was back in 1978: that everyone at IDEO finds their calling; that being here feels like working with friends; that we are all enjoying our lives; that we are engaged in what feels like important work we were personally put on Earth to do.” —David Kelley

A tool to find how best to tell your story based on five main practices.

First learning to empathise with the user or audience, know who they are, observe them and getting the data on them, what they are interested in and what matters to them.

Second phase to define what it is, create a point of view of what you are looking at. Come up with a problem statement, problem area, identify what the missing holes are, what their needs are.

Third phase, ideation, throw ideas up on the wall, as many as possible, what ever, good, bad and go through as a team and work out the best ones

Fourth phase, prototyping, build a representation of what the produce might look like., rough draft, dummy version and test this with the people where the research has been done.

Self direction process where you are looking for patterns, holes, insights, frame questions, frame problems to stimulate thinking to help innovate and ideate to work collaborative to come up with solutions.  Comfortable with experimentation.  It is a short cut to learning, testing and understand as well as improving products and services before building and launching the product. A way of testing ideas, exploring different directions and can be apply to any discipline or concept.

Story telling today is not only about the idea or content, it is also about the creative process to take it to market.  The process is changing because technology is changing to create meaningful and useable experiences.  A good way to find out if the idea has legs.

Warwick Young – Filmmaker, Actor in theatre and film also an officer in the Australian Army, active service in Iraq in 2006. 

•Hear from an experienced filmmaker how to take an idea from script to screen, to create a powerful story that connects with your audience.

A huge congratulations to Warwick Young, whose short film STUFFED has had more success, taking out Best Foreign Film at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.

Cinematic story is an art from and we cannot forget that, because of this it has gramma.  Master craftsmen can see the gramma and break it down, including the lens choices that affect how we see the images.  Good storytelling, cinematically, needs you to know what you are doing.  What is going to grab people is the story and how it is told, if it touches your heart – the rapture, the beauty.  Can be their pain, the world the storyteller is putting you in.

Traditional film making is a dictatorship and is collaborative, if the artists chooses good people to work with.  Need to see co-collaborators strengths, see their ability to put the vision of the story and story world onto the screen.  Need to draw from your experiences and give depth, heart and soul to storytelling.  Tell it from your heart, otherwise it will not connect and need to be brave enough to go out on a limb.

Needs a premise – the central idea, the argument of the film, the reason the story of the film is being told.  Must have a very clear and distinct story world.  The time, era, what the people did, how they lived their lives, real characters with a lot of depth, needs to be believable, authentic so we can then connect with it.

Life is hard, everyone has challenges, disfunction, brick walls and hurdles.  If you can connect with people in your stories it is because they see that, they have connected with something they can identify with.  What you need to understand is the pain and how that can change you mentality because we have done it ourselves, then we can get it because we have done it ourselves.   We all have the same faults, flaws and good story telling connects with us that way, that is what characters do, they speak to us like the way we speak to ourselves.  Laughing because we have all been there, done that, it happens and that is what makes us real, makes us characters, we need to have and good storytelling will do it.  It is what makes the hero.

One clear hero, the young boy, Ethan Hawke playing Todd Anderson.  The hero overcame his fatal flaw, finding his inner voice, speaking what comes from within.  During the film he cannot talk, too shy and a disappointed to his parents then speaks at the end of the film.

Writing process, need to talk about three things:

  • What is the Premise:
  • What is the Story World:  brings it into reality
  • Who are the characters: what do they do, is there a heres journey overcoming our fatal flaws.  The things that make us connect with other people.

How are you going to tell the story on the screen?

Brings the designer early, art and ideas can be woven into the story world, have mood boards and designs for specific sets.

Pre-visualising the film, spending as much time here as possible.  Cinematographer, how they see the story world shot, their concept and a brief from the director about the style, lens and reasons behind it, certain filters, lighting that will be used to help tell the story.  Every decision is always about story, otherwise the story will not be authentic to the audience, might look beautiful though will lose them.

Shot lists, basic shot lists about how the story is going to be told in pictures, how it is going to be shot and this will change.  Can shoot scenes, work with actors and how they are going to move.  Give as much time as you can, can solve problems here that you are going to have.  There will always have obstacles, will always need to come up with new ways to do things on the set and good preparation will keep the tone, shooting style and other aspects of the film making to stay the same and consistent.

Shoot becomes very organic for the actors, the most important people on set, the performances need to be believable.  Prepare adequately in pre-production so all the heads of departments, all the people working with you collaboratively have asked the questions they need to ask, the answers given are the best that can be given at the time and when you get on set the shots are about the actors.

Editing is where the film is made.  There are three films that you make, the one you write, the one you shoot and the one you edit.  Where the shooting ends and the film starts with endless possibilities, can be reshuffle in many different ways.  Have the editor on during the shoot.

The sound is integral to the film and is as important as the pictures.  Turn either the pictures or sound off and will still get the story. Listen to the music and can get the story.  If leave it to fix in post, run out of money and good VFX is expensive so understand what is required.  The grade needs to be consistent with the tone of the film and colour palette and needs to be consistent across the images.  Telling the story with the right colour palette and the right sense of feeling in that colour palette.

Need to know it in order to create the rapture.


Spend and hold back on resources?

What can you afford, put time and effort into having a great story. If they read a great story they will want to be part of it.  What does the story require, put the resources there.  Let the story make the decision.

Who has control and feedback?

A dictatorship comes down to when a final decision needs to be made you need to make it and let the story rule.  A good film maker is very collaborative and a fool if you do not listen to the people around you that you respect and trust.

Using agile methodologies to creating a transmedia story, how are you iterating it, how does it grow over time, a story that wows people and can you do that gradually?

The process is really important.  Having everything worked out in advanced, then constantly amending it.  Does not all roll out at once, getting feedback as you go and making adjustments and changes.  Can have a rough prototype of what you think you want to create and test it out in the market with some of the uses in advance.  Depending on how you roll it out may affect how you make changes.


Pixar Launches Free Online Course About Storytelling Featuring Studio’s Filmmakers

We are all storytellers:  What makes someone a good storyteller? Storytelling is something we all do naturally, starting at a young age, but there’s a difference between good storytelling and great storytelling. In this lesson you’ll hear from Pixar directors and story artists about how they got their start, what stories inspire them, and you’ll begin to think about what kinds of stories you might want to tell.

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