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Miracle Again

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Miracle Again

Hello Again AWN "Forumers",
It has only been a few weeks ago that I last wrote this forum and frankly, your generosity the last time makes me feel a little selfish to be taking even more of your time so soon after my first coorespondences that I tryed to get my present "question" answered on another Animation website.(I don't mean for any forum to be used as the "Miracle Studios Showcase") . The other site however was only slightly helpful and did not offer as much feed-back as I recieved on yours so selfish or not, here I go again.

As some of you may know, our growing 2D traditional animation studio has hired a variety of former Disney animators and is begining work on our first 2D feature production. We believe we have a solid story concept which envokes the characteristics of the best Disneyesque classics yet is our own individual unique story. It contains spirited original musical sequences of which we are presently animating our first piece. This 5.5 minute sequence defines the main characters and their enviornment. SO, where's the question?

I know that the success or failure of our first (critical) feature, depends on a great story and a great method of telling that story. I am asking you that if you were in my shoes, if you were depending on your studios first feature to launch your new studio, WHO WOULD YOU want to show your story to ? WHO WOULD YOU want to get an opinion from? WHO DO YOU think has the best handle on creating a sound story? WHO are the BEST story-tellers in the animation business today? (Wait a minute, that's a lot of questions) AND what do YOU feel really makes a great classic story for the ages?

We are attempting to locate solid story people and to fly them out(or if we have to, we will fly to them) on a paid "consultant" basis. The feature may also give screen credit to this effect. This does not mean re-locating or a long-term commitment but could be the start of an on-going relationship. YIKES I just re-read and this is beggining to sound like a Help Wanted ad. What would be most helpful however are your opinions on story content, and opinions on who you believe is the BEST in animation story.

Thankyou again for your time and contributions. The animation community has been a good friend and supporter .

Tom Hignite
Miracle Studios Inc.

I'm sorry, as animation business is a new territory for me, i can't tell you names of persons, who you could show your story to. But I'm sure many of the AWNlers can help you.

The reason I'm writing is, that I'm sooooo glad, that someone is keen to "reincarnate" the old classic disney story and style and this time is obviously setting a high value on a good storyline and strong characters!

Good luck and best wishes

It's really hard to get good solid feedback you can use when it comes to story. It seems like everyone will have an opinion, and they're all pushing you in a million different directions. Some of them will not understand what you are trying to do. Others will want you to make more of the sort of film they approve of. The last thing you want to do is surrender your direction to everyone's whims.

Continuing in such a vein, my advice is to watch that things don't get too sickly sweet. That has been one of the downfalls of those who strive to do the 'Disney style'.

But ultimately, when all is said and done, make sure you make the film you wanted to make.

Sadly, the best contemporary story man, Joe Ranft, died in a car accident last month. Rest in peace, Joe.

Pixar seems to have a pretty good handle on story these days - pop in your copy of Incredibles or Nemo and look for story credits. Then Google those names and see what you find.

You could also ask the former Disneyites you have on staff - certainly they've worked with story folks at the Mouse House that they could recommend.

Actually one of the best dvd references for story I have seen is the "Original Treatment" on the Monster's Inc dvd.

In 10 minutes of simple drawings and narration, it is clear that they have the foundations in place for a great movie. Even though it isn't exactly what they ended up with, it shows all the possibilities.

I would say put together something like that, that shows the story in a visual way, and which won't take up too much of anyone's time and invite them over to have a look at it.

It's probably hard to get in touch with some of these people, but you could start by sending out offers to some of the more obvious people. They either respond to you or they don't, you can't lose much by trying. If you sent a letter to 'John Lasseter, care of Pixar', it may or may not reach his desk, but why not give it a shot. You could also get in touch with Don Bluth, who probably has more experience than anyone, directly through his website. A paid consultancy sounds like a pretty sweet deal, so I think your chances of getting someone good may be pretty decent. You could also try Ron Clements and John Musker, they finished at Disney recently, and may be inbetween projects at the moment.

Like Ant-eater said, you have to stick to your guns and tell the story YOU want to tell. It's hard, because you really do need other peoples' input on something like this. Take a page out of Brad Birds book on story. He would always do things his way unless some one had a way to tell something better. If it was just a different way of telling something, he's stick with his version.

Speaking of Brad Bird, he would be a good choice to contact for story, along with Pete Doctor, Glen Keane, and like Ant-eater mentioned Ron Clements and John Musker. Oh and if you are flying people out... of course me. I'm good at story too. :D

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

You could also get in touch with Don Bluth, who probably has more experience than anyone, directly through his website.

But...he said he wanted someone good at story... :D

Sorry; couldn't resist...

Call Phil Vischer, this very minute.

Reply again..

Hello AWN,
Once again you all have given helpful feed-back . To "Bandita" Disney (like-em or not) classic animation is a treasure we too are "soooo" glad to do what we can to continue(Well, we're not actually helping Disney but...) to keep that style alive and growing to another level.

To "Ant-eater" your Monsters Inc. idea will be done tommorrow by a few members of our staff. We want the story to be sweet but when it becomes "sickly" sweet is hard to judge sometimes. Good advice.We(I) have a firm view of the stories vision and the importance of the root message, as well as the way which we want to tell the story. I can assure you that as nice as I try to be to everyone , I have little trouble holding onto my ultimate vision. I always appreciate the encouragement . I have heard from our Disney folks on-staff that many a good story has been watered down "by commitee" when too many people are involved in making their mark on the picture. When the day is done, the picture will have MY name on it and Good or Bad, it will be MY credit or fault. Just as in many decisions we all make, we all want a diverse set of views and opinions to help us see possible "blind-spots" or ways to "PLUS" the project. Even a good doctor gets a second opinion before cutting open a patient sometimes. I have already called Disney to attempt to get contact information on Ron and John last week. I have not had success as of yet. Can anyone help in this search?

To D.S.B. , we have(as you suggested) brought this to our staff of former Disney animators and have traveled a few of those paths presently. Joe Ranft has even endorsed one writer lead(I have found out) and we hope to have contact soon with that writer. We have looked for a list of Pixar names from their credits but they are likely under contract with Pixar presently. A letter to Pixars President has been drafted. I was hoping perhaps someone knew of a hidden Jewel. I have found a few already through conversations.

To "Animated-Ape" I will take your names, look into them and also look into you as well if you wish to give me a few details addressed to me at my contact information found at Please tell me that your "ALOHA" at the end of your posting does not mean your airfare is from where I think it is.

Lastly(for now) , "SpaceGhost" I have Googled Phil Vischer, I have sent him an e-mail and I hope he will coorespond in return. As far as Bluth, I visited his web page. His writings seem to be that of a nice man and his stories have turned out to be classics in large part(The Pebble and the Penguin not withstanding) but I was looking for someone who had strong input on recent Disney classics such as Beauty and the Beast, Alladin, and The Lion King. One of our Ex-Disney staffers has also worked for Bluth in both good and bad times.

Any more hidden jewels or comments in general on what you think makes a great story and what does not? I am all ears(not the round type but..)

Continued Blessings
Tom Hignite

More stuff

Hey Tom I really like the new pics of your studio on your site but how bout more rough animation about your feature?(I have seen the forklift ...nice)