The Million Miles Short Film Contest! Win a Thousand Bucks

Donald Miller

Tell Your Story in 90 Seconds and win a Thousand Bucks.

If you’ve read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and you (and/or your friends) have decided to tell an interesting story with your lives, make a film about it and you might win a thousand bucks. And more than that, you might just inspire others to live a better story, too.

The Million Miles Short-Film Contest is based on the New-York Times bestselling book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

The Million Miles Short-Film Contest is your chance to tell a great story, or rather, your chance to tell the world about a story you or a friend told with their lives. To create a short-film, just tell us about a character that wanted something and overcame conflict to get it. Feel free to tell us about a group of characters, too.

For example:

I wanted to run a marathon, I trained, and I ran it. (That’s a story)

A more sophisticated example:

My neighbor wanted to adopt a child and went to Africa and met a child in an orphanage. They worked for two years to bring her home, and now she lives happily with her new family.

And so on and so on…Just remember, a story is A CHARACTER that WANTS SOMETHING and OVERCOMES CONFLICT to GET IT!

Here are the official rules:

• Your film must be LESS THAN 90-seconds long.
• Your film must be a story (a CHARACTER/s that WANTS SOMETHING and OVERCOMES CONFLICT to GET IT)
• Your film must be uploaded before April 21st

Voting will take place between April 21st and April 30th, and a winner will be announced on March 1st. Good luck!!

Here’s how the contest works: Enter the contest using the orange banner below, (hit ENTER CONTEST) or on the Don Miller fansite on Facebook. Upload the video before April 21. Voting will take place between April 21 and April 30th and the winner will be announced on May 1st.

Remember, though, it’s not a film contest, it’s a story contest. Here are some tips:

  1. It doesn’t have to be a great movie. You sitting in front of your camera and telling the story (that you or a friend told with their lives) may win in the end. Pictures and music may help, but it certainly isn’t necessary.
  2. 90 Seconds isn’t long, and you can’t go over or you’ll be disqualified. So here’s what you need to focus on:
    1. A Character (who is this story about? What does he or she do? What’s their dominant characteristics.? Show or tell us that.
    2. What did the character or characters want? This needs to be clear. Were they wanting a date with the homecoming queen? Were they wanting to build an orphanage, fly a rocket ship, run a marathon or half marathon, propose to a girl, help a neighbor rebuild their barn, get to Haiti to find their family? Let us know, very clearly, what they wanted.
    3. What conflict did they encounter? What was standing between them and what they wanted? Show or tell us as creatively as possible.
    4. What happened? Was it a comedy (the character got what they wanted) or a tragedy (the mission failed.)?

Those are the basic elements of story. Not only might you win a thousand bucks (roughly payback for your time) but thousands of people will see your story. Feel free to put a website address at the end of your movie to promote anything else that you’re working on.

Some more tips:

• Did you go through the book with your small group? Make a film together, as a project.

• Does your grandmother have a story you wish the world knew? Set up the camera and interview her and edit it down into the elements of story.

• Did something remarkable happen in your past? That works, too, after all, you lived an interesting story. So narrate it and film some images that fit the narration.

Enter the contest here!

E-mail this page to some friends and see if they’d want to do it with you. Get together for coffee or dinner and talk about some ideas. If you do this in community, the making of it may be one of your favorite stories of the year.




Donald Miller

Donald Miller

Donald Miller is all about story. He helps people live a better story at creatingyourlifeplan.com and grow their business at storybrand.com. Follow Don on Twitter (@donaldmiller). To read more of his posts on the Storyline Blog, click here.

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