Character Driven

What an event! You’ve helped choose my next side project from these stories : based on the 10 screenwriting genres from the book Save The Cat. Thanks for the support and here are the results:

Voting ended January 29th, 2013. The animated shot-in-progress and future shots can be found in a new post here.

It just so happened that you chose the project I most hoped to develop. Because of your votes and comments, I know how to make this a dynamic, even more enjoyable story. I considered story votes first, followed by design votes, and even took mentions into a small account.  Vanishing Ink (Day 1) took 1st place for story (13 votes) and had 17 votes overall. Days 3 & 4 tied in votes (7 ) for story but for design, Half (Day 3) had most votes of any image, taking 2nd place (15 total votes).  And down by 2 total votes, Cirque Du Solitude took 3rd place (12 total votes). After that, the stories placed in the following order:

Day 6) Sun, Moon, and Stars (8 votes)
Day 10) Super Corporate (7 votes)
Day 8) A Painter’s Touch (5 votes)
Day 7) Miss Perfection (4 votes)
Day 2) Mr. Hat Maker (4 votes)
Day 9) Flowers For India (3 votes)
Day 5) I Do (3 votes)

Thanks again for your overwhelming enthusiasm. Updates coming soon!

Day 1). A lazy, washed up magician discovers the lines, drawn by the creators as the structure of our world, are disappearing. Will he get out there and stop it?


– Vanishing Ink

Mike Gasaway, Animation Director & my former mentor, wrote his own interesting take on this story synposis. It made this great character take a more active role is the world slowly disappearing. Read more story details and Mike’s logline here.

Day 2). When a Halloween prank goes awry when stolen, magic hats begins transforming the kids who committed the crime.

– Mr. Hat Maker

Read More About This Story

Day 3). An ancient spell splits a girl’s soul in two, leaving the girl pure and creating her opposite, the ultimate Evil.

– Half

Click To See Larger Art and Read More About This Story

Day 4). An awkward, timid woman buys a private island to get away – only to discover strange inhabitants invading her haven.

– Cirque Du Solitary

Read More About This Story

Day 5). A newlywed bride has a vision of their imminently deadly one-year anniversary and makes plans to change her fate.

– I Do.

Read More About This Story

Day 6). As the nations who inhabit the sun and moon wipe each other out, the last sun-boy and moon-girl, though worlds apart, fall in love.

Sun, Moon, and Stars

Read More About This Story

Day 7). America’s favorite female celebrity becomes the prime suspect in the mysterious death of a homeless man.

Miss Perfection

Read More About This Story

Day 8). An old, mute painter returns to his alma mater, the university where secret deceptions destroyed his family, and makes his revenge… by painting.

–A Painter’s Touch

Read More About This Story

Day 9). In the depths of a rigid, oppressive society, a young girl joins a free-spirited, secret society with an unhealthy obsession for all things India.

Flowers For India

Read More About This Story

Day 10). A superstar business graduate is shoved to the bottom of a failing corporation, which drives him to super hero “delusions” and sneaking through the corridors of the skyscraper.

Super Corporate

Read More About This Story


  • genny

    I think this is a super interesting idea. I think I’m having trouble visualizing the lines, “paint”, and the ancient pens. This is kind of like the “ley lines” theory, correct? I like the idea of your main character being a washed-up magician. I think failure is something that resonates and that everyone can identify with. Also, it creates the immediate potential for a sympathetic character. I would consider writing into his character description one overwhelmingly good quality that drives him and in a way, redeems him. His failure in his profession could have suppressed it for a time, but seeing that one, identifiable, good quality resurface and carry him through the story could be very compelling. For instance, if he has incredible resourcefulness, or if he was gifted with uncommon empathy or compassion, an enlarged sense of responsibility or duty, etc…

    • Rather than Ley Lines, it’s more like how you would build a building, with a structure of steel beams, the covered in a coating of bricks and mortar…on the world is made up of hand drawn lines and a coating of the colorful world as we see it. Great point of the character trait – he has one that will be more evident as the story progresses. Thanks!

      • genny

        Oh, I see, yes, I like that idea much better! And I can picture how the paint and pens would work now. I can’t wait to see how it progresses!

  • Brook Wilberg

    (On Day 3) I love the look on her face and the motion of her dress and hair! the placement of her arms, hands and tiny feet make her look dainty.

    Tell Genevieve Wood that I loved her adaptation! You are both super talented! I just love this character! You should totally develop it!

  • Brook Wilberg

    (On Day 4) Love the bottom character! I love that you gave her the timid look with the possibilities for change….like her collar….looks like something that would be on a clown…same with the flower in her hat. It makes me think there was an event in her life that caused her to put away and hide her inner child, possibly early in life, but there is still something there that she is holding on to. Maybe there is an “inner something” that these new neighbors might be able to help her bring out and come into….the possibility that she could go from sad and lonely to being happy and, and like a clown, full of fun and constantly laughing. She is able to be the person she truly wants to be. Love the possibilities that this character could have!

    • Well, put, Brook! The bottom character is indeed the main character and you caught EXACTLY what I was trying to visually communicate / discover with her and this story.

  • David Wilson

    Wow, that got crazy dark! Not what I was seeing earlier, oh well. It’s still a great story concept.

    • Thanks for doing it, though! I love seeing other people’s take on things…and you picture got my brain-wheels spinning.

  • As most of the conversation surrounding this event has taken place on Facebook, I thought I’d write an update here. So far, the most enthusiasm has surrounded these ideas: (in order) 3, 1, 4, 9. We’ll see what happens once people vote : which will be on their top two designs (images) and their top two stories (descriptions).

  • Can’t wait to read your votes and thoughts here in the comments. It’s been a great event so far! Much of the buzz has been on facebook rather than in the comments below, but I’m confident a great book will be coming out of this! Of course, my animated shots take priority until I get back into a studio, but it’s fun to play with you in the meantime.

  • Nancy Lewis

    I like day 3 and 4 for both story and image! I only get two votes… But story description for 2 also sounds interesting. Be fun kids book for Halloween, good Halloween story and they would learn not to steal… Lol. Awesome job Scott!!!

  • Blake Montgomery

    I think the artwork for Day 3 is great, but story wise my vote would be either Day 1 or Day 6…. followed by Day 10. If I had to pick one or the other… hmmm… I guess I would vote Day 1 (if I had to). I think all of the stories have great potential, but those I can imagine being worked into something great without many thinkers’ blocks in the way because they are so open ended!

  • Christina Shupe

    I like the designs of day 3 and day 4. As for the stories, I like day 2: I think the story sounds like a lot of fun with the kids trying to hide the curses the hats put on them. I also like day 4’s idea, and as I read the description, in my mind I envisioned the lady meeting the circus people while they were practicing, and the circus people being so excited that they pick her up and include her in an impromptu show, much to her horror. It made me laugh.

  • David Wilson

    Vanishing Ink , and sun, moon and stars are my favorite stories.

    • Thanks, Dave, my brotha! Don’t you think “Sun, Moon, & Stars” would make a great short film?!

  • Tina Bohannon

    I like the Day 1 story line. Go for it Scott, and good luck!

    • Thanks Tina … that has been one of my personal favorites from the beginning!

  • genny

    I really like the story of Day one! Day one! Day one!
    Though 4 and 6 are REALLY close behind.

  • I vote for “vanishing ink”! And I think you’re mentor is in the right direction.

    Some suggestions/tips to jog thinking and play:

    Start the story off simple and then edit from there.

    Give it a clear antagonist, the character that is destroying the world. And make the antagonist powerful and just as interesting as protagonist.

    The protagonist’s desire to be a great magician when in fact he isn’t yet, is his weakness, but embed the answer to saving the world in the protagonist. That is, he is the only one that can stop the antagonist, if he unlocks his inner power.

    The antagonist knows this and instead of destroying him seeks to do worse, control him and woo him to the bad side to control the protagonist’s power.

    So the antagonist seduces him with dark power, i.e. dark forbidden spells/ink, that the protagonist uses to surpass the many naysayer magicians, commoners, master wizards, of this world, who by the way are ignorant of it’s destruction.

    The protagonist must discover, then overcome his drive for power, to stop the antagonist, before the antagonist fully controls him.

    And the antagonist should sacrifice something of great value, to do so, which would give an ironic ending.

    This may be on the nose and even a bit cliche, but it’s a plot idea that may jog something, better.

    The major suggestion is to develop a clear, powerful, and interesting antagonist, that on the surface has what the protagonist wants and desires to destroy the world because the antagonist is evil. Antagonist should push the our magician protagonist to his limits, which you set, then beyond.

    Sorry for the long post

    • Thanks for taking the time to think so much about this. You certainly recognize this story has a long road toward full development. I will certainly play around with antagonists, but I’m not sure whether or not the antagonist will be separate from the protagonist. We definitely don’t want to be cliche and on-the-nose, but I certainly want the story to be clear, compelling, and relateable to the audience. Thanks, Mark.

  • Nate Stout

    My vote is shifting towards days 6, 9, and 10. I see potential in all of these in different ways so I’ll just leave a generic vote without specifics. All in all, very cool Scott, I love the book you reference for loglines, Save the Cat!

    • Thanks, Nate! I’m interested to know what shifted you from number 1?

      • Nate Stout

        Marketability at this point. I think visually it could be amazing but I am having trouble nailing down who the target audience would be and how #1 would capture them. My decision came down to visual storytelling and financial viability. Sorry Scott but the MBA side of my brain is forcing me to shift choices towards my vote – 6, 9 , and 10. If I have to eliminate one, I’d struggle but end up with 9 and 10 as my final choice.

        • Haha, no need to apologize, I value your thoughts and still have some soul searching to do before I definitely pick 1. Of course, on the flipside of marketing, I listened to this incredible article with Ryan Woodward where he said that he logically thought his short film “Thought Of You”would be a flop – he thought it wasn’t a marketable video (before it went viral) … but it was a project that came from his soul and it succeeded … and now he says to follow the idea that most excites you as an artist.

        • Haha, no need to apologize, I value your thoughts and still have some soul searching to do before I definitely pick 1. Of course, on the flipside of marketing, I listened to this incredible article with Ryan Woodwardwhere he said that he logically thought his short film “Thought Of You” would be a flop – he thought it wasn’t a marketable video (before it went viral) … but it was a project that came from his soul and it succeeded … and now he says to follow the idea that most excites you as an artist.

  • finally thanks
    ok I go for 3,8,10
    be hard to hchoose just one

  • Amanda Kirkham Mitchell

    I like them all. How about 4 and 7. Oh and 3.

  • Shonna

    Definitely my favorite story line and design is Day 4. This appears to be the most original story out of those listed. It also seems that it will be filled with fun and interesting characters. There appears to be lots of room for conflict (humorous, serious, etc.); character development, and morals learned. Children could relate to shyness, difference, etc and how to adapt with changes in their world. This story could develop into greatness. Design appears interesting and depicts a character with depth and meaning. Second story choice is Day 2 for the same reasons. Day 6 has my second vote for design. It is beautiful art work.

  • Joan Baggett

    ALL are good I just seem to be drawn to these : 3, 8, 10

  • Rebecca Wiser

    Hi Scott, This is so hard to vote on your brilliant story ideas and designs but i think I’ve finally narrowed down my favorites. Design favorite is #3 Half, I Love both the original design and Genevieve’s version. Second favorite: Sun, Moon, and Stars. Third favorite (which I know is cheating since you are only supposed to vote for two of each) is: Flowers for India.

    Ok, for the story. Favorite: Vanishing Ink. Second: Super Corporate (Which i have loved since the initial idea). Though I love #4, #6, and #7.
    Love you! Becca

  • Rebecca Wiser

    I want to see #4 as a movie and I think your painter looks like he could belong to the circus too. 🙂

  • Ashley Guymon

    I really like 3 8 then 5

  • Melanie Parker

    I really love 1, 3, 8, and 10. Although I think 3 and 8 are my most favorites 🙂

  • Jared Higgs

    I realize this is pretty late for weighing in on voting and all; been busy preparing for a little one joining us soon. However, I would have to say that 7) Miss Perfection grabbed my attention so well that when I was done I was like, “Ok, where’s the book? I’m ready to read it.” The story and the design were perfect for creating the window in which I was able to see part of that world.

    As far as others for either design or story that caught my interest were: 1) Vanishing Ink, definitely for the story and how I could see the character trying to fix the world. And 6) Sun, Moon, and Stars for its story description.

    • Not too late, voting doesn’t end until Tuesday Night. I’ll post results on Wednesday.

  • Jenn

    Ok…. Hard choices. My favorite drawings are story #4 and the India lady #9. In truth, I like those because of the potential for bright colors and exciting artwork simply by knowing the story. I LOVE color.
    For stories, I’m most intrigued by #1 and #10. I think that ave great potential for both fun, adventure, and excitement along with the ability to connect with people’s own experiences in today’s world. I also want to say the story in #5 is most interesting. I just can’t help thinking about that story most of all and I really want to know how it turns out.

    • Thanks for the vote Jenn, I love color too! The book I’m planning on writing may be printed in Black & White, but I’m thinking about creating a companion book that has color exploration to inspire the imagination!

  • its has came down to #3 but I am in hopes that you finish all of them in the future

    • Oh, it isn’t over yet … and at the end of the day, I’ll be choosing the idea that MOST inspires my creative spirit. BUT, because of the voting I better understand my audience and whichever I develop first will be a better book because of you all. It’ll be a tough choice and I’m doing some soul searching as we speak.

  • Dan Wawrzaszek

    Hi Scott,

    My pick for best images are Vanishing Ink and Half.

    My pick for best story are Cirque Du Solitary and Half.

    I love your animation test!

    • Hey Dan!!! Thanks so much for the vote. What have you been up to since Wreck-It-Ralph?

    • Dan! Thanks for your support. You’re vote carried a TON of weight in my decision!

  • Janelle wiser

    visually i like 1,3 7, and 9 the best

    my favorite stories are 1,3,7,8,10
    but seriously i like all of them except for the circus one because clowns freak me out

  • jac

    I really like the story about the vanishing ink. Mostly because I think that there is a lot of potential depth in that story I also like the idea of corporate super hero because. Even in the hardest moments maybe of his life he still looks out and tries to help the company a kind of Christ parallel. I like the art of half and. Miss perfect. Probably because of becca 🙂 good luck!

  • Amy Pringle

    My favorite stories in order were: #3, #1, #8. I thought they sounded interesting and I wanted to read more of the story. My favorite artwork was also #3, #1, and #8. The art helped bring the characters to life and made me want to hear more about them.

  • Day 7! I can imagine that it would be difficult to make this stand out as much as the other ideas but totally worth it if you can pull it off 🙂 A seemingly shallow character who is actually quite deep can be a fun slow reveal 🙂

    • Oh and I guess I’m supposed to pick another: Day 4! I guess I’m a sucker for stories that explore a person’s personality and psyche in a not too fantastical reality. Mystery rocks! 😉

      • Very nice observations …. I tend to get fantastical very quickly so those ideas also appealed to me in that sense. I also LOVE the personalities of these characters and I’m sure if I don’t explore them now, I will one day. If only I had infinite time…

  • Natalie P

    I vote for 3 – Half. I know you said to vote twice, but I really like this one so much I didn’t want to choose anything else (although everything else looks and sounds phenomenal.) Good luck!

  • This has been a fun marathon! I’m excited about your new project! YOU’RE AWESOME SCOTT!


  • Well this was a blast! I’ll be excited to see what you come up with for Vanishing Ink 🙂 Reminds me of Epic Mickey so it’ll be fun to see how you take it in your own direction 🙂 Thanks for letting me participate XD

    • I’m so glad you did, people have been really excited about your art! Oh, I can assure you it will be MUCH different than Epic Mickey!

  • Vanishing Ink sure sounds great! 🙂

  • Aaron Mann

    Dude Scott. You have got to teach me how you paint like this.

    • And you have got to teach me how you storyboard like that. Thanks for the support, Aaron!

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