FINE 3845: Preproduction— Story Development



A seminar course focused on the story development/preproduction phases for the DAC senior thesis short. The principle focus of the course will be story development, preproduction activities and organizing the production team and production pipeline for the thesis short.


  • Students will study, through participation, the necessary professional interpersonal skills needed to be successful in the film making industry.
  • Students will gain mastery of production terms and relate them to principles of production animation
  • Students will develop practical knowledge of the animation production pipeline
  • Identify key filmmakers and animators; production styles; and film genres
  • Recognize cinematographic and lighting techniques used by diverse filmmaker and animators as well as traditional artists and apply these techniques to their own work as well as works produced by other artists
  • Understand the process of creating original narrative, stories, characters and environments.
  • Understand filmic composition, filmic grammar and the tried and true methods of developing cinematic content
  • Identify the importance of character and conflict to develop compelling charters and gripping conflict
  • Posses a deep knowledge and clear, comprehensive overview of the workings of the 3D animation industry
  • Identify of the processes and phases of developing a project from conception to final delivery


  • Exploring story, character and environments development
  • Create storyboard and layout animatics
  • Learning technical vocabulary
  • Examining story organization and editing
  • Learning how to apply their skill set within the greater whole of the production
  • Experimentation and investigation developing a fluency in motion and screen-based design
  • Learning the stages of film production
  • Learning how to create and the value of storyboards as a preproduction tool
  • Screening works by historical and contemporary artists
  • Learning the importance of audience, demographics and context
  • Learning research skills and protocols
  • Learning methods of observation and its application to film making problems


  • Learning to contextualize animated film making as visual culture
  • Learning the relevance and ramifications of their aesthetic choices
  • Learning to articulate and express art, design history and theory and its relevance to animated film making
  • Developing a process oriented approach to a film making problems
  • Learning the value of deadlines
  • Learning presentation skills and practices
  • Learning aspects of professionalism
  • Learning the stages of production
  • Learning to articulate the value of their work