A dear colleague contacted me to review a script she’s been working on. Understand she’s not a screenwriter by profession. First time writers are the hardest or easiest clients to take on. They have great instincts or do it for the wrong reasons. She’s an educator who has been writing screen plays for fun for approximately 15 years. It’s something that calls to her heart. This is her passion animated project she’s been wanting to create for as long as I’ve known her. Of course I agreed.

She approached me with her concept. An animated series based on historical events that has shaped her educational career and influenced her life. The themes were innovative and interesting based in true events and historical real people. Something I haven’t read in a long while.

I read through the break down of the characters and then the treatment. Which wasn’t easy to read. Formatting was unorganized, and not in a way I was use to and the characters had no emotional traits to relate to or connect with. I struggled with this. It took me a long time to read to understand the story, but I’ve read hundreds if not thousands of scripts in my lifetime to make an assessment. These are some basic techniques that a writer need to utilize to communicate the story.

We took some time to go over those topics. It’s technical and it’s an art form. She admitted she didn’t have much of either down. We talked about about her inspiration. She quickly explained almost in a defensive way, she wanted to focus in the animation. I felt like the wagon was ahead of the horse. Most first time, young, writers have this sort of unorganized and ambitious energy with a need to justify what they did or how the did it or what they are about to do. Writing is the foundation of any project. Weather it be a live action or animated project. Most stories we listen, watch, give our attention to, have a structure we as audiences instinctually expect to have. Otherwise our response will be flatline or worse. Story plots are based on characters. Archetypes that we have seen over and over again throughout history exist for us in all genres of stories. They are our human connectors into a fictious world.

We talked about her ambitions for this project. I wanted to understand WHY or what compelled her to write this. Those are the foundations that can help leap a project into the right direction with the right energy. As I listened to her more intently, I knew with my experience, I could truly help her lift this off the ground to make this come to fruition. We had a nice long conversation about her why and I agreed to come on as a consulting producer.

This person is a real dear friend of mine, so I have to put that aside because there’s a certain amount of knowledge I have to relay, much like a teacher, to make her dreams come true. There will be an enormous amount of tasks to take on over the time. You see, I believe that anything you dream of can come true with a certain amount of action but a deep well of Discipline, Humility, and Faith. You’re always given choices. Staying aligned and on task with your dreams implements yourself awareness, and through those choices being made. Distraction, Lack, Fear will push you further away from your dreams and God. This is my belief.

Coming back to the animated project, I know providing her with character development processes, additional story construction examples, identifying the compelling story and underlying stories are vital. A strong story with entirely driven characters based on historical real people will allow her intent and passion to rein through, and make it a project worth while for anybody. My main goal and objective is to help her identify her goals, small and large, her tasks, her deadlines and ultimately create something innovative and have a joyful experience doing so with good storytelling.

If you have a creative project or a screenplay that needs some direction or need an assessment, contact me for a short consultation. Learn more about my work at Everybody has a story