David Price (2011) reposts a series of 22 “Pixar Rules” that were originally posted on Twitter by a Pixar story artist Emma Coats. The rule that gave me an epiphany was the fourth rule, “Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.” This rule is really more of a format guideline for story artists but it is basic elements of structuring a good story. Large portions of Pixar productions follow this model and which has proven to be a success, where the newly released Pixar film, ‘Inside Out’, crushed the box offices setting the new record for biggest opening weekend revenue for an original film.
Which made me wonder have other production companies caught on to Pixar’s story format where Pixar has set the standard for the stereotypical story board?
Rule number nine was another that I really enjoyed, because many writers hit a brick wall when attempting to develop their story. Emma Coats suggests in her 9th rule on Twitter that, “When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.” Too frequently writers will find themselves stuck attempting to think about what would sequentially happen next without considering what absolutely wouldn’t happen. I believe that this rule helps any story artist where they can go through a process of elimination figuring out the direction their story needs to go.