Make A Great Story, and Make It Under Two Minutes

The most popular movies are usually ones that have such powerful stories, and ones we don’t mind sitting down for a few hours to watch. But is it possible to write an empowering story that conveys as much emotion as a feature length film?

The answer is yes.

I came across, Break Free, a two minute advertisement done by a fellow filmmaker named, Eugen Merher. The story follows an elderly man struggling to find meaning in his assisted living home, until one day he sees people outside running. We then learn he used to be an olympic runner, and is wanting to bring the past to the present by running again. He’s stopped along the way by nurses and doctors, and having everything taken from him that could get him running. But with the help of his fellow residents at the home, he manages to break free from the home and run outside where he is limitless.

The short film could absolutely be a feature film, yet it’s a two minute advertisement for Adidas (actually a self project by Merher and not associated with Adidas).

How is the story conveyed?

The opening shot is of our hero sitting in his dark and constricted room. This shot alone tells us so much already! No dialogue need (there’s no dialogue in the entire short anyways)!

By ten seconds, we already know what he wants – a shot of our hero glancing out the window at a person running gives us a clear idea of what he is longing for.

These short commercials are the best to watch when trying to write your feature, because they teach you how to cut the fat off your film! Of course feature films have more story going on, but many times we’ll see films that struggle to get their story across because they’re emphasising things that aren’t important to the story. Let’s take a note from creatives like Eugen Merher and make feature films, short films, music videos and everything in between, and make compelling stories within everything we do.

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