Pixar’s Brave has hit theaters to resounding applause! I loved it, personally. However, instead of digging into the movie as it was released, I wanted to scan back in time to our first glimpse of the movie. When news was first released of Pixar’s next endeavour, all we were given was a few images, a short video, and a simple blurb:
Set in Scotland in a rugged and mythical time, “Brave” features Merida, an aspiring archer and impetuous daughter of royalty. Merida makes a reckless choice that unleashes unintended peril and forces her to spring into action to set things right.
While none of the plot is given away, the entire story as we received it is all there in that simple two sentences. Pixar are master’s at the art of story. The two simple sentences above reveal the secret to their mastery: they keep the plot simple and hold to it. The plot for an hour and a half movie can be summarized in two sentences. It’s all there.
What are you creating right now? Can the story be summarized in two (or less) sentences? When it’s summarized, is the whole story still there?
If you can’t do what Pixar did above, then you don’t know your plot. Let me rephrase that: if you can’t summarize your plot in two or less sentences, then you don’t know the story you’re trying to tell.