We speak with Luther Chuah, a participant of Animated Visions: Story Development Lab 2021. His project pitch “My Maths Teacher is a Robot?!” received a Special Mention in the Story Lab. 

Luther shares his experiences at the lab, how the mentors’ feedback helped him improve his story, and also why it’s important to write with a clear audience in mind.

Tell us about yourself

I’m a final year uni student and amateur writer who wishes he could talk to his younger self, but unfortunately (or fortunately) doesn’t have a time machine and has to do it through writing stories.

Why did you decide to join the story lab last year? 

I’ve always been interested in animation (even though I’m pretty bad at art), and had a story I wanted to tell that I thought would work best as an animation.

Tell us briefly about your project.

“My Math Teacher is a Robot?!” follows the story of Chris, *that* weird kid in his primary school class, and his crusade to expose the truth of his math teacher, Mr Toby, being a robot sent to brainwash them. Will he succeed? Or is his wild conspiracy only a figment of his imagination?

What is the most interesting thing you learned from industry experts? 

Understanding the “business” element of the industry and editing a concept on audience considerations – I had an idea but thinking back, didn’t have a clear audience in mind. When I decided that it would be a story for kids, the story and its themes really began to take a clearer shape and become a lot more focused. 

What is one thing about your project that changed over the course of the lab? 

I think through the process of re-writing and getting feedback the story and characters became a lot more streamlined. I had a much clearer idea about the direction that the story would take, the characters and their motivations, and most importantly the overall takeaway.

Would you recommend this to others?

11/10 would recommend – the story lab isn’t just learning about animation, but having a good time playing with your story and getting to know other writers and storytellers.

Any future plans for your project moving forward?

It’s still in development and a long way from coming to a screen near you, but besides trying to get it production I’m also looking for publishing opportunities to turn it into a graphic novel or webtoon series. 

Have an animated story idea but not sure how to develop it? Sign up now for this year’s Story Development Lab by 19 September 2022! More information on the lab can be found here.