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Pixar Story Rules, Good Models and an Emersonian Admonition

There is a lots of buzz about “22 Pixar Points of Storytelling” these days. If one looks deeper, the main points are also articulated by Alexander Mackendrick from CalArts in his collected lecture notes On Film-making. And he credits them back further.
I’ve also being reading Marilynne Robinson’s When I was a Child, I Read Books. In it, she discusses ideas of imitation and quotes Emerson in an address to the Harvard Divinity School on his concern on the state of preaching. (I read storytelling.)

“Let me admonish you first of all: to go alone: to refuse the good models, even those that are scared in the imagination of men, and dare to love God without mediator or veil. Friends enough you shall find who still hold up to your emulation Wesleys and Oberlins, Saints and Prophets. Thank God for these good models, but say, ‘I also am a man.’ Imitation cannot go above its model. The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity.”

So, we can follow the Pixar rules as they followed Mackendrick’s rules, and on and on, -good models all-but to truly advance, we need to find our own rules and way of preaching.


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