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One of the things I want to do during the great adventure I began this year is to get training. And although now I have some experience in storytelling, drawing and even animating, I lack a lot to learn. As you know, I will begin next October Modeling, Animation and Narrative Master (MAN) at Pepe School Land (and how excited I am, by the way ;)) but meanwhile, I am attending short courses and talks on very specific issues …Again I feel like a student!

I have always been self-taught, and have believed that for learning to draw you just have to observe how the masters do it and spend thousands of pencils. There is no other way. However, I consider two exceptions to this rule: one is when you have to learn something so complex that it outstrips you, and another is when your expertise has reached a decent level and you need the experts teach you their tricks.

Six years ago I enrolled in the 3D Modeling and Animation Master at CICE . 3D is, never better, another dimension. The software is so complex that a guided tour seems to me essential for learning in a reasonable time. Of course there are exceptional people who have learned on their own and I am the first to admire them, but my choice was another. My master in CICE was the first contact with 3D, and since then I have advanced in many fields of drawing, design and animation. And at this point, with Roberto as an excuse, I’m at the perfect time to get a much more specialized training in the points I need more knowledge. The character animation is the clearest for me, and Pepe School Land’s MAN is exactly what I wanted. I told you all my infatuation with Daniel and his School ;)

Earlier today I heard from Pepe School Land, with the Weekend Seminars that Daniel has organized with experts in different aspects of animation and character design. So, after breaking my piggy bank, I enrolled in two: ZBRUSH Seminar , conducted by Alex Huguet and BLENDER 2.63 Seminar , conducted by Daniel Martinez Lara. I feel a little disappointed because the Acting for Animators 3D Seminar, conducted by Nerea Lamb was full … I hope I will luckier next year!

In addition, I have been looking for other training in different fields I find very interesting to address the MAN and Roberto project. This weekend I will attend the Seduction Workshop, conducted by Luis Dorrego . Do not be fooled by the name, it is not about to learn how to get free drinks at the disco. A good friend of mine strongly recommended it to me, and it will help me to know myself better, to know how others see me and to improve my communication. Next week I will tell you my experience ;)

On the other hand, quite by chance and through publications of a great friend in G+, I realized that I also had to get training in the art of screenwriting. In the middle of the process of rewriting the script for Roberto, I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to attend the intensive courses that will impart the Script School of Madrid, directed by Alicia Luna, on June. So I’m already registered at Screenplay for Beginners and at Rewriting Workshop where I will try to give a twist to Roberto’ script.

I promise to share with you the results of all these activities, and I hope you find them useful and that they encourage you to investigate for yourselves whatever you want. I inaugurate this category today, so you can see that you can trust my word :p

Film adaptations from literature and reality

Last week I attended a Master Class on how to carry out film adaptations from novels or true stories, delivered by one of the best scriptwriters in Spain. In just two hours and a half, I filled 5 pages of my notebook with methodology, tricks of the trade and any new ideas to incorporate into Roberto. Here’s my main conclusions:

Adaptation methodology

  1. Read the story to adapt several times in order to internalize it.
  2. Review the story eliminating the literature and keeping the main actions and important characters, and build a beat sheet with the main actions.
  3. Delete or condense actions that are not vital for the story and create the missing to give structure to the plot.
  4. Remove or hide the traps (continuity errors in the actions, inconsistencies or areas undefined)
  5. Back to research the story to tell, to make it yours.
  6. Create a structure typical of film language from the above results.

General tips

  • Avoid all prejudices. You have to understand that you are creating a new work, and not get held back by the desire to be faithful to the original. To get the film works, your adaptation must be yours, and must exploit the resources of the cinema. Sometimes, to be faithful to the story, you must be unfaithful to the literature.
  • Try to minimize the flashbacks and dialogues, at least in the first stages. In film, leaps to the past generally impoverish the narrative rhythm and make the audience to lose the thread of the story. The dialogues, while important, must be accompanied by action to show things. Instead of telling how is someone through memories or conversations, show it through present actions. These two pieces of advice are due to the strength of immediacy, the present action, which is of vital importance in film and gives greater force to the story told.
  • Always try to tell facts ​​by characters with name and surname. Your stories will have greater force if the audience can empathize with a character, and will be best remembered.
  • Find connections between people, places or events giving solidness to the story. Discovering connections within the story makes it robust and gets that the audience feel complicit in the narrative in a way.
  • Always keep in mind your limitations in terms of budget, time and other factors. There are always alternatives and creative ways of telling the same with less resources.