Films come at too high a cost (both financially and personally) to allow for dysfunctional stories. Going with one’s gut instincts and hoping that it will all work out in the end sets a production of the path towards a very steep cliff. Trusting the process of writing sets the stage for failure. Craft a solid blueprint—making allowances for serendipity and creativity—and then start production.
No use wasting everyone’s time on a shoddy foundation.
James R. Hull is a professional screenwriter & story consultant with over twenty years of experience in the entertainment industry. Whether as a writer, director, storyboard artist, or character animator, James has always sought to improve the quality of storytelling. His credits include writing & storyboarding for the legendary Warner Bros. director Chuck Jones, and animating for Walt Disney Feature Animation on Tarzan and Enchanted. At Dreamworks Animation he animated on 14 different films, including Shrek 2 and How to Train Your Dragon. For Walt Disney Imagineering, James developed animation for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride in Florida and the Enchanted Storybook Castle in Shanghai. At Dreamworks Television, he directed several episodes of The Adventures of Puss in Boots.
The company he founded and runs as CNO (Chief Narrative Officer), Narrative First (narrativefirst.com), provides writers and producers the knowledge and expertise needed to craft deeply meaningful and complete stories. By integrating the revolutionary Dramatica® theory of story into every project, James and his team assure a solid story structure that amplifies the Author’s truest intent. Narrative First’s track record of proven success speaks for itself: clients have yet to receive a single studio note questioning the integrity of their narratives.
James’ most recent collaborations include developing Disney’s animated television series Tangled: Before Ever After, an upcoming young adult book series from Avatar: The Last Airbender creator Mike DiMartino, the animated feature Monday Night ROAR!!! with the WWE, and The Greatcoats series and The Spellslingers series for acclaimed novelist Sebastien de Castell. From novels to plays, screenplays to television series, James’ body of work celebrates one common purpose: tell a great and lasting story.
Jim can be found @jameshull on Twitter.
Summer is the co-creator of Deliberate Storytelling and a sometimes Story Analyst for Narrative First. We say sometimes because many of the insights—particularly those backed by a more holistic and experiential account of a story—emanate from her unique perspective.
If you’ve seen Big Eyes, Jim is basically Christoph Waltz painting over Summer’s name in many of the analyses.
With her holistic perspective, Summer can rapidly connect relationships between people, place, things, and events—an essential tool for effective storytelling. Her personal life experiences naturally inspired her to become a writer and the analytical artist she is today. Her influence flows throughout the work here at Narrative First.
Contact Jim to begin discussing how we can take your story to the next level.