Animation Scriptwriting
Stories - Part Six: Problems and Power
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Problem Patterns

There are several basic patterns in the way problems develop:


The single event. In this case something happens and you can fix it right away. You might put your best shirt on to go out and find it has a couple of buttons missing. You have no other suitable shirt, but you can sew the buttons on in a few minutes.


The domino effect. In this case one event leads to another. They are connected in the sense that once started there seems no way to stop the sequence. You put your best shirt on but find it has a small stain on. You try to remove the stain but you make the shirt wet and crumpled. It now needs ironing. You are in a hurry and can'’t find the iron.


The ripple effect. In this case events in themselves are unrelated but accumulate and spread in all directions. You find a stain on your shirt and try to remove it, getting it wet and crumpled. You find the iron and start ironing it. The phone rings, you are already late. You dash to the phone then turn to see smoke rising from the ironing boards as your shirt burns up.


The global effect. In this the devastation spreads out in every direction, and each event sets off its own train of incidents. While ironing your shirt the phone rings. You go to ring the phone but trip over the iron lead and fall and hit your head. In a dazed state you put your hand on the hot iron and jerk it away knocking the ironing board over. You open the fridge to put your hand on the ice cubes. The cubes fall out and you slip on them. You make a grab for the table but only grab the tablecloth. You pull it off with all the cutlery and plates on, etc.

This type of situation is common to old-time comedy routines, and used in many cartoon situations.


Write out a situation starting with your neighbour asking you to look after her dog for a day while she goes to hospital. Start by having something happen that allows the
dog to get out.



Problem patterns - Human behaviour patterns

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