What Makes This Story Successful?

The simplicity of this short video is astounding. Visually, only a small portion of each character is within the frame – we see no faces. The set is minimal. The filming is jumpy, and the image quality is poor. Most action is outside the frame. We really have only dialogue and a few visual clues to piece this together. It’s short (31 seconds). But after 31 seconds, we all know the characters and what has happened to the characters, and we all have an emotional response to that story.

This piece shows the power of omission. As is often said about still photography, the hardest thing about lighting is NOT lighting. To make something more interesting, don’t light all of it. The off-screen action here intrigues our imagination, provoking us as viewers to assemble the story in our own mind.

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