TheCGBros CGInsider Newsletter
Do you love to read, listen to watch, or write stories? Who doesn’t love a good story – and the juicier and grittier – the better, right? Most people don’t know what it is that makes us love good stories or what elements make a story good – or bad – but we know a good or bad story when we hear it. This is an interesting subject because stories are really the main way that we, as humans, communicate important ideas, concepts, and information, that lasts beyond our time on earth in mortal form.
Just as importantly, stories are told to entertain and enthrall us. Stories put a face to an issue and are able to connect us to deeper issues. They humanize us and they are able to raise the stakes of the discourse. Stories have the ability to go way beyond simply telling or showing. As a matter of fact – this goes right to the heart of our own business here at TheCGBros of showcasing the best 3D animated short films on our YouTube channel.
What is meant by “the best” can be of course very subjective, but there are also objective means to determine what makes it through our selection process – and one of the most important among them is how good the story is. Of course, we use several other factors in reviewing videos for publication on our channel, but the STORY IS KING, and in this edition of TheCGInsider Newsletter, we’ll be sharing some tips and insights about what elements make up a truly good story that we’ve gleaned over the last 10 years from watching and qualifying short films and videos for TheCGBros YouTube channel.
"The Power Of Storytelling"
This month in TheCGInsider Newsletter- January 2023, we have an in-depth discussion on the topic of the Power Of Storytelling and how to use this super power to your advantage!
Why Are Stories Important?
Stories have been around since the beginning of time as has the art of telling them. The use of stories among humans is universal. Stories are an incredibly important part of the development and maintenance of great societies. Why? To start at the beginning, as children we begin to interact with stories. Reading stories to children is the best way to help develop a child’s power of imagination and giving them the gift of a love of reading, is one of the best and most lasting gifts we can give. Stories also help us to cope with our feelings both good and bad, and when we hear or read a story that contains these feelings it helps us accept not only our own feelings but understand how others feel as well.
Telling stories is one of the most powerful ways that people – including our leaders have to influence, teach, and inspire. Stories convey the culture, history, and values that unite people. Storytelling has been shown to be the most effective way of learning. Storytelling forges connections among people, and between people and ideas. When it comes to our countries, our communities, and our families, we understand intuitively that the stories we hold in common are an important part of the ties that bind us.
Is It Okay To Get Emotional?
The reason stories affect us the way they do is that they trigger emotional responses that are able to tap into our deepest emotions. The story structure consists of a character, a goal to achieve or a challenge to overcome, and the emotional journey that the character takes in getting there. The resolution of the challenge is full of drama, turning points, ups, and downs, and ins and outs until – the final climax.
Stories that lack these crucial “emotional hooks” will not want to be heard and they’ll all but disappear because nobody will want to retell them. The power of the story is that it almost demands to be told. Of course, by the end of the story, it’s possible that the goal itself may change, or the character accepts that the challenge is insurmountable. There are a lot of ways to interpret a story and that’s one of the beauties of storytelling – it’s as much an art as it is a science.
Does Good Character Matter?
The story is also called the storyline and is sometimes also called the main plotline. The storyline outlines the main plot of the story along with subplots of the story. What we call the “narrative” is the tool that works to weave and intertwine the threads of the plot elements with each character or set of characters throughout the work and is referred to as the “story arc”.
The foundation of every good story is the setting. It’s not possible for a story to exist without a setting. A setting in a story is the time and place or a suggestion of a time and place where the narrative exists. The narrative is the “voice” of the story. It’s also important to keep in mind that a single story can include many times and places. And as long as they’re woven into the story in such a way as to support the goals and conflicts of the character, these can be some of the most dramatic stories of all.
Character development is the next element of all good stories. Character development is a huge part of any story and we take specific notice of effective and strong characters. To make them effective, characters should be real and relatable, there should be sufficient conflict, the stakes should be high, and there should be clear causality. Very importantly, the story must have an emotional core in order to influence an audience, in order for them to care about the characters. Characters that allow us to see or identify with their flaws and weaknesses, their hopes and fears, and their failures and successes are the most relatable and enjoyable to experience. Just how much character development is needed depends on how important the character is to the overall story.
Should You Make It Personal?
You can think of a story as going on an emotional journey, an evolution of emotion toward an ultimate purpose or goal. While previewing videos submitted to us for the channel, we’ve found that the stories that involve the evolution of change that an individual goes through, ones that are generally the result of the conflict or conflicts the character encounters – really catch our attention and usually get quite a few views and do very well on our channel.
Another key concept to understand when creating a story of your own is that the story at its heart must be relevant. The relevancy of the story is a big part of attracting an audience that can relate to it. It allows the reader, listener, or viewer to “open up ” to the story and characters. Successful stories as I mentioned above demand to be heard making the case that, “you should take the time to experience this story’s message because it’s potentially important to you personally or to someone you know”, and it’s the kind of film we are really looking for here at TheCGBros channel.
Keep It Fresh, Unique, & Authentic!
We’d like to wrap it up on this very important point. It is also very important to know and understand the target audience” of your story. You’ll know you’ve hit that target and have a story that’s relatable when someone reads it and they feel like you were thinking about them when you wrote it! This can be challenging sometimes, especially when your audiences will range from your family to colleagues and customers, to potential investors, and yes…even your competitors. And keep in mind that there are very few stories that will appeal to everyone or every audience.
Nonetheless, you’ll garner a wider acceptance for your story if it is fresh, unique, and authentic. One thing for certain is that if you follow the guidelines that we’ve laid out for you here, and write your story to appeal to a sense of purpose, loyalty, pride, or celebration, you’ll become a successful storyteller yourself! This has probably never been truer than today.
Let us know what you think at TheCGBros.com! If you found this information interesting or valuable, please be sure to “spread the word” and pass this newsletter along to your friends and colleagues. Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising 🙂 Don’t miss next month’s issue of the CGInsider newsletter, where we’ll discuss different styles of animation!
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“We are following CGbros work until many years now and are loving the way they tribute to the animation and CGI world. It’s also an amazing community !” – Ambre Verse
VIDEO OF THE MONTH:
"BECKONING": CGI Trailer for the Forthcoming Action Film by Sava Zivkovic
"Wild" - by ECV Bordeaux
"Alienated" - by Luke Angus
News Articles "On the Edge"
What's New? The CGInsider Podcast
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TheCGBros CGInsider Podcast
This year, after encouragement from fans and consistent with our mission to provide our members relevant and quality content, we launched our own Podcast: TheCGBros CGInsider Podcast. In it, we’ll be answering many questions that our fans have been asking. We will also discuss trends and relevant topics about computer graphics imagery, jobs in the video industry, animation, gaming, and much more. Check it out!
This Month’s Schedule:
- 2301 – 01/03/23 How Are Plants & Trees Animated Using CGI?
- 2302 – 01/10/23 What Is Hard Surface Modeling?
- 2303 – 01/17/23 How Is Destruction Done Using CGI??
- 2304 – 01/24/23 CGI Insider Look Back: 2022
- 2305 – 01/31/23 What Are The 12 Rules Of Animation?
Next Month’s Schedule:
- 2306 – 02/07/23 What Are The Top 10 Animation/VFX Schools?
- 2307 – 02/14/23 How Is CGI Being Used In The Military?
- 2308 – 02/21/23 How Does AI Age & De-Age People In Movies?
- 2309 – 02/28/23 What Is 3D Photography?