Logline / Treatment / Synopsis & Character Bio for Help a Haven

After completing the script and story the next step in the writer’s process was to develop a Logline, Treatment, Synopsis and Character Bio for the project. I felt confident in completing these as I have already done many throughout my time studying Media Production at College, so these weren’t new concepts to me. However, writing these documents is still a valuable process for me to complete as it better helps me understand and visualize the story, as in previous scripts I’ve written I can often find myself forgetting the story or getting lost in it I’ve learned.

Logline

Help a Haven Logline-1

I began writing the Logline by noting down some basic ideas that convey the key message of the animation instead of trying to nail it first try. I’ve learned how important idea’s generation is in previous modules (such as Creative Play last year), and how your first idea is almost never your best, so I wanted to write down a few, building on the last until I felt I had achieved a strong, hooking Logline.

I was struggling to build from the first two that I wrote, so after exploring online I found a fantastic article from Raindance on the topic of writing Loglines. I learned from this that to create a compelling Logline you need to include your character with a basic description (a single adjective works well), his/her goal and the antagonist that get’s in the way. This tells the most basic version of your story, and after settling on the last one I feel confident that I’ve achieved a strong, interesting Logline.

The key thing I learned from this experience is that the Logline should come first, before embarking on writing the story. Having to shape a Logline around an already written story is dangerous, as it’s recommended in the article that if your Logline doesn’t work, your story wont either. So had I written the script and then couldn’t deliver a strong Logline, I may have had to rework the story. In future before planning on writing the script or developing the story, the first steps I need to take will be to write a strong Logline/Premise to the story.

Treatment & Synopsis

Help a Haven Logline, Synopsis and Treatment-1

I found the treatment and synopsis very easy to complete due to the experience I’ve already had writing them in College. Having these in documentation form however allows me to send it to anyone working on the project to better help them understand the story and themes of the project. It helps get everyone on the same level of understanding and something to refer to should a detail of the story be questioned. With it being written down we’re setting the story in stone, so there shouldn’t be any changes from this point forward.

I’ve learned that an extremely important part of the writing process is to identify any and all key problems with character, story and technicalities. Writing these documents and setting the story in stone should be the mark that we’ve ironed out all kinks, thought about every possible problem – especially technically (in terms of production) – and that the project is ready to go to be completed on time and to a high quality. This isn’t something I’ve thought about before, but idea’s and stories should be vigorously tested because the script is the foundation of all the work to follow. If something comes up later in production it’s too late to change it.
I plan on doing this for all future projects that I work on, as having a strong story with all problems averted will make production much smoother, hopefully running into fewer problems that could slow us down.

Character Bio

Talulah Character Bio-1

I found the character bio particularly difficult to complete as it’s unlike any other I’ve written before. In the module Character and Performance, Joe Dembinski told us that when writing bio’s you should only include the information relevant to story. This was helpful to have learned, as the character of Talulah is a dog. Just a simple, plain, realistic dog – how could I write about her family history and political views?

Instead I wrote just the relevant information to her character for this story. This has taught me that rules can be broken. I felt discouraged at first as I thought writing only half a traditional character bio would downgrade me, however, I now know that I can bend the rules when the story – or in this case character – calls for it. The physical attributes works for the team as it’s a secondary reference to the height charts completed, and the character traits can inspire Levi when animating as he has a guideline of what fits into our character we’ve created.

Overall I feel confident in the writings I’ve produced, and I’ve learned a lot about how important having a strong foundation to work from can affect the team, project and production of the story your working on. I intend on creating these documents and using the skills learned to carry me throughout the rest of University and into Industry so I can continue to improve my writing and storytelling abilities to the next levels.

Author: Joshua Macey

Animator l Filmmaker based in Manchester.

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