Creating an Effective Story-Max Howard


About Max Howard

Max Howard has been worked in animation industry for over 25 years.He created and ran studios for Disney in London, Paris, Orlando and Los Angeles, working on some of Disney’s most memorable films including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. And he was awarded with l the 26th Animation Annie Awards in 1998.

Course Introduction 

This master class is 
for animation writers, directors and producers who want to master the art of storytelling for animated feature films, television and games that can gain international success.

The key to any successful film, television series or game, will be developing the idea into a great story.  The course shows exactly how to accomplish that goal.

Course Content

-The essential ingredients every story requires – the origins of creativity
-Writing for the international marketplace.
-An eight step Journey into film storytelling.
-Story Structures – explore:

  • The Hero’s Journey
  • The Buddy Movie
  • The Love Story
  • How they work and why

-The writing steps – creating:

  • The Synopsis
  • The Treatment
  • The Screenplay
  • Answering why these steps are required for success.

-The secrets to reading and analyzing screenplays.
-Key ways to communicate notes to the creative team.
-Why the movie title is so important.
-Explore good and bad movie titles.

Extended Course Information

Session 1: Writing for Animation

  • Introduction – An overview of the dynamics required for a great screenplay.
  • Eight steps found in the ‘Hero’s Journey’ story structure.
  • Discussing and analyzing each step of the journey.
  • Exercise: Analyze a screenplay for suitability as an animated feature film.

Session 2: Analysis of a Screenplay

  • Deconstruct and discuss a screenplay currently in production.
  • Exercise: Requires advance reading of the screenplay.

Session 3: Developing an Original Story

  • Reveal the writing steps – creating a synopsis, treatment and screenplay.
  • The purpose for each step and its importance in development process.
  • Exercise: Write a five hundred-word synopsis of a favorite animated film.