This past week io9 shared two short films, both of which were entirely visual featuring no dialogue whatsoever. The filmmakers were trying to, as I read it, bring film back to some of its basic elements, focusing on the style of the animation and the ability to tell story through scenes rather than with words.
The Two Of Us was a fantasy story about a boy and a girl on the run from shadowy forces, trying to escape their kingdom and move on to a better world.
Le Gouffre, a film that was actually funded on Kickstarter, is about two friends who build a bridge across a gorge so that they can continue on whatever adventure it is that they are pursuing.
I found it interesting that two directors who chose not to use any words in their films had their works showcased so close together. It also made me think about the ability to tell stories in such a concise manner. Both of these films really had more tension and drama in them than the entirety of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Both were also better love stories than Twilight (even if they weren’t love stories). And both eliminated an element that we often take for granted in film.
As a writer I thought about how one might approach storytelling in a similar manner. Flash-fiction sprung most to mind, as it is the genre that is the most concise and forces the writer to deliver impact while being efficient. But I think eliminating other elements could be fun to attempt as well. Like the films, cutting dialogue could be neat, focusing more on exposition. Or perhaps vice-versa. At the very least I feel like limiting oneself or cutting down to the bare essentials is a great exercise in creativity.