Pixar’s five points for storytelling success

    Author Zoe Aresti

They may be shorter with smaller budgets, but the stories in the ads before the main features in cinemas are just as important to the experience.

In the latest issue of Campaign (15 July), Pixar’s Story Supervisor, Matthew Luhn, offers five key points for storytelling success and below is a summary of the article.

1. Empower the Artists

Pixar takes pride in rewarding the best ideas within the company and realises that a great story can come from anywhere.

"Pixar flipped the rules of how it usually works in Hollywood, where the people that make the final creative decisions are the people who went to business school,” says Luhn. “That doesn’t make sense, does it? So we created a culture that empowered the artist."

2. Obsess Over Your Audience Connection

Luhn speaks about playing on the audience’s emotions. Pixar’s stories are fuelled by particular feelings that transpire through the viewer. The company knows that success comes by truly connecting with the audience.

3. Use Data to Aid Creative Expression

Research is also key to Pixar’s success and the stories and characters reflect real world research. By giving their beloved characters human traits, the audience recognise and resonate with them.

4. Get Feedback – But From the Right People

Pixar never garners the reaction of an audience too early, says Luhn, as this would spoil the beauty of the creative process leading to something unnatural being made.  

5. Fail Faster to the Best Idea

Luhn encourages creatives to be bold and courageous with their ideas: “The great creators that have existed on this planet are the ones that have taken chances."

Read the original article, Pixar inside out, on Campaign.