Andrew Stanton Storytelling

Andrew Stanton Storytelling

General rules of storytelling

How early should the promise be developed?
Storytelling is joke telling
Stories cross the boundaries of time and allow us to connect to each other
Stories affirm who we are
Make me care with your story
The beginning of a story should give a promise that it’s going to go somewhere
A well-told promise can propel you through the story
Links into anticipation and building tension – don’t make things predicatableStorytelling without dialogue is the purest form of storytelling
“Make the audience work for their meal [but don’t let them know they’re working for it]”
Unifying Theory of 2+2: don’t give them 4, give them 2+2
Every character has an itch they want to scratch – the spine of the character
This “itch” could be positive or negative, but we all have it
Can tension be built even in a “dull” scene? Stories die when things go static, because life is never static
“Drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty”
Anticipation is tension – audience wants to find the conclusion but don’t make it predictable
Links into Hans Zimmer’s idea of finding the “rules” of the film and then breaking themStorytelling has guidelines, not hard and fast rules
A strong theme is always running through a well-told story
In other words, make people connect and care!Most important part: can you invoke wonder?
The best stories are able to infuse wonder in its audience
Draw from what you know
Capture a truth from your own experience


Andrew Stanton’s basic, overarching principle of storytelling is to use what you know and make your audience care about what you’re trying to say. Stories are meant to make us feel connected on a deeper level, and according to Stanton, being successful in this means invoking wonder and creating anticipation that keeps an audience engaged.

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