Pixar six step storyboard

Note: all my latest storytelling notes are now on the PipDecks site.

Pixar’s best stories can be summed up – according to script editor Emma Coates – in six steps:

  1. Once upon a time
  2. Every day
  3. One day
  4. Because of that
  5. Because of that
  6. Until finally

In technical terms, there’s character and stasis (where the journey starts) in stages one and two, the trigger in stage 3, action and reaction in stages four and five with resolution in stage six. This exercise is a different version of the story arc but with the same aim – tell your idea like a story.

You need: 30 – 40 minutes, pen and paper. Decide who is the hero of your story then use the six boxes in the worksheet to write or draw what happens in each stage.

pixar storyboard

Credit: Emma Coats‘ rules on storytelling