Animation Scriptwriting
Stories - Part Six: Problems and Power
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Getting Attention

A key to success of any sort is 'getting attention'. If no one takes any notice of you then you won't make much progress.

We try to get attention in various ways. Here are some methods:

  • Be smarter than others, and do exams to prove it.
  • Be faster/stronger than others, and do competitions to prove it.
  • Be richer than others, and indulge in your wealth to prove it.
  • Be funnier than others, and create situations to prove it.
  • Be better looking than others, and present yourself to prove it.
  • Be more powerful than others, and act accordingly to prove it.
  • Be more daring than others, and do things that prove it.

We want attention even after we are dead, which is why we have our names on gravestones, and like to leave mementos of ourselves, of which Fame and Fortune are the best.

We want to get attention by those we respect, admire, want to copy, and even those we dislike. This attention-getting behaviour starts the moment we are born. A baby has three cries:

  • To say it is hungry (feed me).
  • To say it is in pain (help me).
  • To say it is in need of emotional comfort (love me).

Those cries are not unconditional though. If we feed, help, and love a baby we expect something in return. We expect the baby to relate to us in a way we find satisfying. We expect it to obey us, to entertain us, to love us in return, and ultimately, to carry our genes to the next generation. Also, feeding, helping, and loving someone will give us control over them. We like to feed bread to ducks in the park because it makes them come to us. We might hesitate to give money to a charity that bought bread for someone else to feed to ducks.

Helping people is doing them favours, and favours come at a cost. Rumplestiltskin was prepared to weave straw into gold in return for getting the baby of the Princess. Aladdin's wicked uncle was prepared to give Aladdin money in return for getting the magic lamp. Beauty, of 'Beauty and the Beast', was prepared to meet the Beast in return for him cancelling her father's debts.

In real life, the police are prepared to work with criminals who can give them information. Countries may form alliances with former enemies for collaborative support. In business, competitors in a field may merge for their mutual benefit. We want favours from others, and we give favours to others. These favours are part of a bonding between people.


There is a level of 'favour giving' that is recognised.
Write down which of the following people you would expect favours from.

Your immediate family - Your in-laws - Your best friend
Your neighbour - Your workmates - Your team mates
Your landlord - Your casual acquaintances - A stranger


Getting attention can have unexpected results. A child who lacks attention might be naughty in frustration, and then find that being naughty gets attention. The child then has some control over the situation, and knows that being naughty is the way to get attention, and cultivates this.

Another child may be bullied and laughed at by others, then discovers that being laughed at gets attention, so creates situations where he or she gets laughed at, and over a period of time is able to control the situation and become a funny person by choice.

A bully might also find threatening others is an attention getting device, and become a bully for that reason rather than intent to bully anyone.

One can imagine a young Sherlock Holmes getting attention for his puzzle solving abilities, then wondering how they might be applied to a career. James Bond’s athletic prowess and taste for high living would not suit many careers, but well suited to being a spy.


Think of four ways of attention getting that might be applied to work.


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