The 89-year-old George H.W. Bush, who just a few years ago parachuted out of an airplane, is no longer able to stand and spoke less than a minute at the White House Monday. But the 41st president still showed his spark with the colorful socks that are becoming his trademark and the barbs he traded with his son, Neil, chairman of the Points of Light organization. Bush simply thanked the Obamas for their hospitality and then turned the floor to Neil by telling him, “Keep it short.”
---The Washington Post 7/16/13
A remark we never hear is, "That was really good, I just wish it was longer."
If we're on the producing end of a show, we take the approach it's not done until there's nothing left to remove. Or shorten. Or save for another day.
This is a powerful way of looking at things even when working with defined running times for broadcast or cable spots. In the right context silence can be much more powerful than music or voice. Musicians often say it's more about what's not played than what is played.
When developing or revising a script, it's often useful to ask yourself if what you're saying is the best use of the medium. For example, would my laundry list or procedural descriptions be better suited for a print or web article? Or, is this person's back story about their childhood better truncated by the narrator than having him/her explain it on camera?
Seeing your audience checking their watches (or scrolling through your web video) is no way to live.
The highest compliment we can hear is, "I'd like to know more about that."