Recently I got myself along to the Pixar Finding animation seminar. I did the two day story stream with lectures by Pixar story artist Matthew Luhn and story consultant, Bobette Buster. It was two long days with so much information that I'm still digesting it all days later.
Matthews lecture focused on the Pixar method of story development from concept to final animatic. I found the story development stuff the most interesting and it has given me a fresh way of looking at a few projects of mine that had stalled and just needed a new perspective to get them back on track.
Bobette's lecture was a gripping and refreshing analysis of story structure that wasn't as Joseph Campbell's heroes journey focused as I was expecting and which I really appreciated. The lecture finished with a deconstruction of Toy Story 2 in it's entirety which has got me looking at the kids films my children watch in a whole different light. Picture that scene at the end of the Matrix when Neo is seeing the code behind the world and you'll get what I mean.
I've come away from these lectures by two people who really know and love the craft feeling inspired , far more informed and with the tools to help push forward with my projects which had stalled because I knew something was wrong with them but didn't know what. It came at the right time for me and consider it well worth the money. If you are interested in telling stories and telling them well I can't recommend getting along to one of these seminars enough.