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The following is my favorite adventure music video of all time.

Furthermore, a lot of other people seem to like it too.  It has almost 90 million views at the time of this posting.  The first time I saw it this, the popular comment underneath went something like, “I really want to see a movie based on whatever story is behind this video.”  The reason for this enthusiasm was that, although the video isn’t exactly “unsatisfying,” it does leave us wanting more.

After all, we missed some important action right before the beginning.  What exactly did the kid do and why?   He looks scared rather than angry throughout the video, so we don’t think he actually hurt anyone who didn’t deserve it, but then why are the cops so mad?  And the last part of the video can’t possibly be the end of the story.  Does the expanding force field kill/disable people or only keep them off him for a while?  Do they catch him again?  And if he does ultimately get people off his tail and win a life for himself, what kind of life will it be?  He’s won the battle but maybe not the war.

This video is a perfect example of a story made compelling by the placement of the beginning and the end.  It starts after the action has already begun.  And the end isn’t all wrapped up either, which gives us the chance to imagine an aftermath for ourselves.  That’s compelling storytelling.  It begins and ends with action, leaving the before and after up to our imagination.  I wish I knew how to write an ending like that.  Unfortunately, as a writer I feel like I have tie-things-up-itus.  Maybe that gets better with time.

Meantime, can anyone else think of great “unfinished” endings that made for compelling stories?

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