Advanced Visual Storytelling

I’m a firm believer in continuing education. Recently, I took a masters class in advanced visual storytelling. This was a writing class that required us to translate our written short story to the screen. The assignment required only one scene plus an establishing exterior shot at the beginning and end of the story. I made the creative decision to not use the exterior shot at the end of the story, hoping to keep the audience focused on the protagonist’s experience.

The story had to include a beginning, middle, and end. However, the professor said we didn’t have to use an ending if the short was getting too long. The goal was to create a 30 or 60-second story, figuring that no one would watch past that point. I made the decision to make the story about 2-minutes long in order to develop the characters. I was warned that most people would not watch the full two minutes.

The big question that I faced was whether or not I developed the story to the point that people would watch it for the full two minutes. A secondary question for me came from wondering if such a short film could still be of value, as I’ve never told such a short story.

Then there are those social media questions about whether or not the film would take off and go viral. I decided to not make the show public, but private. This means that if a person tells their friend to watch it, they won’t be able to find it by searching the internet or YouTube. The only way for their friend to watch the video is by having the link sent to them.

That means the show can’t go viral unless each person purposely takes the time to pass the link on to someone that will then watch it and pass the link on to someone else. In other words, the only way to see this clip is for someone who has a relationship with someone else that has the link. No one can accidentally stumble across the story.

Mathematically, if everyone that watches the film from this site shares it with two people they know, and those two people do the same, the film could be seen by 300 million people within seven days. But, the odds of anyone sharing the video in the first place is less than one percent. But regardless of the math, here is the story for your entertainment.