fast hero’s journey simplified
1. The Ordinary World can be communicated efficiently in a single image. The backstory of the hero can be assumed based on what we see about his/her appearance, behavior, social status, etc.
2. The Call to Adventure, IMHO, is essential. The audience needs to know there is something at stake, something happening that the hero must react to.
3. Refusal is useful to establish fear, suspense, and to tell you something about the hero, but it’s not strictly necessary. So cut that from your abbreviated Hero’s Journey. Or, acknowledge it quickly and efficiently, with a single look of doubt on the hero’s face, quickly overcome.
4. Meeting the Mentor, again, is useful but not necessary. It can be implied by the hero’s belief system, indicated with a glance at some talisman or symbolic object that suggests the hero’s source of inspiration, or it can just be left out altogether.
5. Crossing the Threshold is fairly important, signalling that the hero is now committed to the adventure. But in a really compressed version, you could just skip this step and the next two (Tests/Allies/Enemies and Approach), and cut directly to the Ordeal. As with all the steps, there is a quick short-hand way to represent this movement — the hero simply crosses a bridge, goes up a flight of steps, enters a new room.
6. Tests, Allies, Enemies allows the hero and audience time to marvel at the new world and to build personal connections. In the short form, the hero may simply glance at the wonders of the new world and move on directly to the ordeal.