Character: A giant the size of a skyscraper
Location: A small, uninhabited island
Action: A yearning for friendship and community
Story 1: The giant's island is discovered by colonizers who start to build a settlement there. At first, the giant is excited to be part of a community but they struggle to fit in due to their size. Slowly, new policies in the settlement force the giant further and further out to the edges of the island. The colonizers grow more apathetic towards the giant and learn to ignore them, building new technology to replace the functions the giant provided. Eventually, the giant is left standing far out in the ocean, a forgotten entity. When the island is suddenly struck with a natural disaster, the colonizers employ their new technology to put out the fires. However, these tools end up breaking down or catching fire and the colonizers are left helpless. When the giant notices their island is on fire, they begin wading through the ocean back to shore. The giant’s movements through the water create large waves that crash over the settlement and put out the fires but the waves themselves cause some damage too. When everything settles, the colonizers berate the giant for causing water damage to the settlement and leave the island. The giant is left alone on their now burnt and tarnished island.
Story 2: At night, the giant wistfully gazes at the flickering torch light on distant coastlines and dreams of being part of a community. The giant decides to attempt to visit these coastlines and begins wading through the ocean. However, every village they visit seems to be abandoned moments before their arrival. Unbeknownst to the giant, they are creating tidal waves as they move through the ocean which causes the village people to evacuate their homes. After some time, there is no more visible torchlight on any horizon and the giant wanders aimlessly. They start to notice some little torchlights around their feet, which then stretch out the entire surface of the ocean. These aren’t torchlights at all but instead the reflections of stars overhead, more visible than ever. The giant witnesses their reflection amongst all the stars and smiles.
This week I expanded upon a simple story building process we explored in our lecture. This process begins with defining a series of simple building blocks which can then be expanded out to form the basis of dramatically varied stories. This process emphasizes the varied possibilities of storytelling and how great ideas can come from the simplest of beginnings.
I defined building blocks, the character, location and action, with exaggerated elements to evoke strong imagery and mood to inspire the basis of a story. I found these exaggerated elements served as a greater launching point to guide ideas and form stories I had never thought to tell. These dramatic and exaggerated elements are enabled through animation, opening my mind to new ideas.
Singles by Rebecca Sugar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tgue81LVZ4E utilises a strong visual/character design conceit that guides a lot of the story telling and ideas. This exaggerated concept of a recursive being creates a rich possibility space of ideas to be explored.
I was surprised by how difficult it was to come up with elements that felt energised and evocative. Infact, I found it quite difficult to write anything at all and it was only through the explorations of this process that I was able to find my groove. I feel less daunted now having broken down the concepts of storytelling down to it’s smallest pieces and then seeing how those can grow into fully fleshed out ideas.