“Story is the King”, they say.

Making a Faery Tale is a process that exceeds 18 months of pre-production and production. It’s the pilot project of Rocket Coil to learn and understand the process of making an animated film. Whatever mistake might be made on the Faery Tale, is the mistake we can learn to never make again.

In December 2016 I was ready to make the layout for the Faery Tale, and then push it onwards into animation. I guess if I went about it fairly quickly, I could proclaim Faery Tale finished in about 3 months. There was just this little itch in the back of my head that Story simply wasn’t good enough. It would make a good music video, but as a movie it would fail to leave a lasting impression. There was no resolve, the characters didn’t grow.

So the first thing to do was to fix story. I’d have just read the Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull. It’s full of amazing lessons on how to run a creative business, but as far as an animated film goes, the lesson is – the story is a king. If the story doesn’t hold, everything else won’t work either. You can’t sell a story that you cannot connect with.

That’s just a fraction of the rewrites I did.

Truthfully, by the time I decided to rewrite the story it was already rewritten dozens of times. Every time I changed something that felt out of place, and now I came to a realisation that this refined story won’t do for me. Quickly I decided to just ditch everything. For the sake of easier production, I decided to keep the following things:

  • The characters will remain
  • It’ll still revolve around music
  • It must stay at maximum of 4 minutes

The first two things were an easy choice. I wanted to keep the characters, especially because, I knew the story wont’ shift all that much from them. Besides, most of the stories could somehow be adapted to the characters I’ve already had in one way or another. I wanted to keep the music magic in it partially because I don’t have the dialogue in the film and music can fill that void. Mainly I wanted to keep it because I love good music and music can really bring a certain magical feeling to every single person.

I felt I can probably come up with a new, good story in a couple of weeks. But it just didn’t come together. I did come up with better concepts and stories, but none felt just right. Some would require dialogues, some would require at least narration, some would require a backstory, and so on and so forth. When I really started to doubt myself and scrapped everything off, I decided to take a little bit of a different approach. I wrote down how I want people to feel. After that, I decided to find out how to transcribe the feeling into motion picture. And then it worked. A problem that would make me bang my head at the wall for two months, was then arguably fixed in just several days.

There’s a reason the best rated films in history are known for a good story. There’s a reason the ones that lack a good story are not there. While I don’t think my film will be considered amongst the best short films in history, I certainly wanted to make sure I believe it’s as good as it gets. If I believe that, I won’t need to second guess myself every step along the way.

It’s been four or five months since the story was set and I still think it’s a very good short story, and I’m glad some other people (whose opinion I value very much) think so, too. And I’m sure you will recognise it as a good story as well.

More on the development of Faery Tale will come in the following days.

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