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Pixar Storytelling: Rules for Effective Storytelling Based on Pixar’s Greatest Films (English Edition) eBook Kindle
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When the book arrived, I saw that neither were true.
Sure, that version of the book read like a good, undergraduate thesis. It highlighted several classic storytelling (and screenwriting) tropes and plot construction methods, with lengthy, scene-by-scene examples from almost every Pixar hit film, ever.
But like another reviewer, I thought this was good information, but amateurishly presented.
The "rules" were solid, familiar points I've read over & over again in excellent books by Jeffrey Alan Schechter, Blake Snyder, Shawn Coyne, Larry Brooks, and others.
And, as a Pixar and Disney fan, I was kind of appalled that the book's title and thumbnail cover image (with the Pixar-ish desk lamp) suggested that the author has some connection with Pixar. It's why I bought this book.
My previous review - of the first version of this book - was a dismal two stars. And even that seemed a little too generous.
Since then, the author completely revised his book. He also sent me a review copy, with no strings attached. He simply asked me to read it and see if it changed my mind.
It did, once I actually read it. (The Pixar-ish cover still put me off. I'm a busy person; I don't have time to revisit books that disappointed me the first time.)
Yesterday, I decided to cross it off my to-read list before starting 2018, fresh. (Honestly, that's the only reason I started reading it.)
I'm glad I did. This edition IS a worthwhile read.
This new edition focuses on the elements that can spark a brilliant and endearing story, whether you're an author or a screenwriter, or involved in any kind of storytelling.
It's nicely and systematically presented. Within just a few pages, I could see what the author had tried to present in the first version of this book, but - in that edition - he'd missed the mark, badly.
Now he clearly explains the deep-seated dilemmas that can make any story unique. He delves deep into the internal and external conflicts in several classic Pixar films, and presents the reader with examples that do NOT require you to see every film he references.
Also, his evocative writing makes it easy to connect-the-dots between his advice and your current creative projects, even if they're only vague concepts at this point.
I'm glad I read this book, and I can recommend it to others. My only hesitation - and why I'm giving it four stars - is the price. (It's US$19 as I'm writing this.) It's NOT that the information isn't worth the money. In fact, I think it's good value for anyone who actually reads the book and applies what author Movshovitz shares.
But, the perceived value of a 6"x9" book (113 pages long) may trigger misgivings among some readers, from the moment they open the Amazon shipment and see this book. I think $12.95 would be about right, and $9.95 would make it seem like a great, rave-review purchase.
In other words, I wouldn't want a reader to open the cover and start reading, harboring a "this had better be worth it" attitude. That's not the in-flow state of mind that will make the most of the creative sparks in this book.
Aside from that, I applaud the author for radically revising this book - both contents and presentation - to make it a valuable addition to any storyteller's reference library.
If you're telling original stories, or want to improve the emotional content and tension in any story (fiction or nonfiction), I recommend this book.
It's interesting to see how Pixar has utilized basic storytelling "rules" and pushed these concepts throughout their films
If you have not read Robert Mckee's "Story"...
and you weren't sure about reading Blake Snyder's "Save the Cat" trilogy...
I would start there with those first.