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Pixar’s 22 Rules of Story

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Story

In 2011 a former Pixar colleague, Emma Coats, Tweeted a series of storytelling aphorisms that were then compiled into a list and circulated as ‘Pixar’s 22 Rules Of Storytelling’.

She clearly stated in her compilation blog post that the Tweets were ‘a mix of things learned from directors & coworkers at Pixar, listening to writers & directors talk about their craft, and via trial and error in the making of my own films.’

We all learn from each other at Pixar, and it’s the most amazing ‘film school’ you could possibly have. Everybody at the company is constantly striving to learn new things, and push the envelope in their own core areas of expertise.

Sharing ideas is encouraged, and it is in that spirit that the original 22 Tweets were posted.

So since Pixar’s name is associated with that list, I decided it’d be beneficial to the world’s storytellers for another Pixarian to write a series of blog articles to look at the aphorisms one-by-one and analyze them.

In the spirit of inspiration, exploration and discussion in which the advice was intended, I found points of agreement and disagreement, and offer up caveats, expansions, and excisions that I felt made the advice stronger.

This book is a compilation of those blog articles (with a few edits, most notably this intro stopping before going off-topic).

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Story

by Stephan Vladimir Bugaj (PDF) – 75 pages

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Story by Stephan Vladimir Bugaj