Putting together a complete story with interesting and driven characters is a complicated and taxing process, but as a writer, building characters is my favorite part of the entire writing process. I love watching the bare bones of an idea form into a living breathing person, who's uniqueness and personality drive my story.
As artists, we want to leave a lasting impact on other people through our story telling, to entrance or inspire them or just make other people look at things through a different perspective. And it's through these interesting and complicated characters that we're able to do that.
However, I've learned that in production my own imagination and ingenuity can only take me so far. For a story to really have the impact that directors, writers, editors and producers want, it takes an entire team of dedicated workers fueled on Red bull to bring together the vision that one person may have had. As a writer I find it very difficult to part with my characters; they are my babies, birthed from my imagination and toiled over until everything is just right. But so much more can come from releasing your characters to other artistic minds and working collaboratively. I've found workshopping a story and getting new ideas from fellow contributors is one the best ways to grow as a writer and improve your work.
For filmmakers, a great way to bring together all the people who work on a specific story is Muse Story Builder, a web-tool developed by Still Motion. The website is in interactive space where everyone involved on the project, even the client, plays a part in the formation of the story. The website allows core elements of the story to be broken down and accessible to other members of the production. In this way, everyone gets to know the characters better and the characters begin to take on life of their own in this process. Story Builder allows everything to be organized and spread out, so plot points can be focused on or removed based on how they work in the story. Here you can put together notes and images to share with the team, draft plots and comment with other members of the team to collaborate and interact.
Story Builder separates development into what they call the 4 Pillars: People, Place, Purpose and Plot. The team can spend more time building the story before the cameras start rolling, cutting down pre-production time and alleviating the stress of looming deadlines. Story Builder allows you to exclude anything that does not add to the plot or give the story more depth. This shaves away moments in the story that you find are not necessary, saving both you and the editor time to focus on more the most compelling aspects of your story.
What's especially great about Story Builder is the way it helps you set aside the complicated logistics of production and focus onthe moments that first inspired you to tell your story. Check out the link below to get your production team set up with Muse Story Builder.