The geniuses over at Pixar are well regarded for their breakthroughs in animation, but their screenwriting also needs to be praised. Over the past decade, four Pixar screenplays have been nominated for Best Original Screenplay (“Ratatouille,” “WALL-E,” “Up” and “Inside Out”) at the Oscars, and while the company has gone home empty handed, their continued success proves they know a thing or two about the art of the screenplay.
The latest video essay from Lessons From the Screenplay focuses on “Inside Out” and the way it can teach aspiring screenwriters how to give their scripts the most personal edge possible. Screenwriters Pete Doctorr, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley began writing by asking fundamental questions (Pete Doctor noticed his daughter became quieter and smiled less once she turned 11, and asked the question, “What happened to joy?”) and using the script to answer them.
A popular piece of advice for screenwriters is to write what you know, but Lessons from the Screenplay argues that it’s actually better to write what you want to know. “Inside Out” was as much a journey for the screenwriters as it ended up being for the characters who populate the script, and it’s that kind of approach to screenwriting that can make your drafts personal and powerful.
Take some time and watch the “Inside Out” video essay below or bookmark for later.