Film Study: How to Pull Off a Twist Ending in Your Feature

first_imgFollow these steps to really earn a twist ending in your feature film — one that will leave audiences coming back for more.Causal fans and seasoned cinefiles can never get enough of twist endings. There’s something about the experience of it all. You feel tricked, or even lied to, by being drawn into a narrative that turns itself (and you) on its head — but you enjoy it. While there are many examples of memorable twist endings throughout film history (several of them featured in this article), it’s actually a very nuanced trick to pull off.Let’s look at some examples of how to lure your audience in before pulling the rug out with these memorable twist ending tricks.Hide Clues in the BeginningImage via The Prestige (via Walt Disney Studios).The first tenet of earning a good twist ending is to hide clues in the beginning. (Bonus points if you can hide them in plain sight, as is the case with Christopher Nolan’s classic psychological magic thriller The Prestige.) Nolan leaves clues to the dramatic twist ending throughout the film from the very beginning. While these can subconsciously add to the anticipation, they also make great easter eggs for audiences to comb through again and again.Build ExpectationsHowever, while hiding clues about your twist ending may be fun, the majority of your film’s beginning and middle acts should center squarely on building expectations. Quentin Tarantino offers a master class in deceptive rising action in his breakout classic Reservoir Dogs, wherein he creates a boiling pot narrative filled with guns and angry gangsters. Inside the building tension, he’s also laying the expectations for what becomes a well-earned and powerful twist at the end.Consider Red HerringsImage via Shutter Island (Paramount Pictures).Alfred Hitchcock is perhaps the most well-known user of plot devices like the McGuffin and the Red Herring. While the former advances the plot, the latter is a great example of how to throw audiences off the chase and bring about new surprises and information. A stalwart Hitchcock homage-r, Martin Scorsese uses Red Herrings expertly throughout his film Shutter Island to mislead audiences into expecting one narrative before twisting it into something completely different.Invest Your Audience EmotionallyImage via Memento (Ambi Distribution).At the heart of every good twist is a movie with emotions and, well . . . heart. In another example from Christopher Nolan, one of his first features Memento is great inspiration for filmmakers who want to see how a film can build emotional investment in audiences. In Memento, Guy Pearce’s character is a tragic figure with an awful memory problem and a terrible past. Thanks to the film’s clever plot-telling device, audiences learn about the events of that past along with the character, which draws them into the narrative and builds investment for the gut-wrenching twist at the end.Twist at the ClimaxImage via Fight Club (20th Century Fox).For both Gen Xers and Millennials alike, Fight Club might be one of the most memorable twist endings in modern cinema. David Fincher, who also brought us other notable twist ending movies like Se7en, creates a wholly unique and stylized world that can leave audiences shaken. Fight Club presents a heavily layered narrative that masquerades as a standard thriller before taking a very earned twist into the psychological with an ending that has now become a part of modern pop culture.Explain or . . . NotImage via The Usual Suspects (Focus Features).Finally, as is the case with Kevin Spacey’s famous character in Christopher McQuarrie’s crime thriller The Usual Suspects, filmmakers have an interesting option to consider at the end of their twist ending narratives. They can take The Usual Suspects route and have their diabolical character explain the twist for audiences to examine step-by-step, or they can simply leave it open-ended like the extreme example of Christopher Nolan’s Inception. The choice is yours as a filmmaker, but only if you take all the necessary steps to bring your audience in and earn your surprise and powerful twist at the end.Cover image via The Sixth Sense (Walt Disney Studios).For more filmmaking theory, techniques, tips and tricks, check out some of these articles.Manipulating the Audience’s Emotions With ColorFilm Theory: How to Master the Memorable Ending ShotHook Your Audience With the First ShotHow the Buddy Comedy Continues to Enamor AudiencesFilm Theory: Why Don’t We Notice All Those Editing Cuts?last_img read more

Bihar MLA booked under UAPA after AK-47 seizure

first_imgControversial Bihar independent MLA and strongman Anant Singh has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) after the seizure of a AK-47 rifle and grenade from his ancestral house, police said on Saturday.Patna (Rural) Superintendent of Police Kantesh Kumar Mishra said that the use of weapon in “some big incidents” could not be ruled out. The case is being probed and police will act as per the evidence that comes up during the investigation, he said to questions whether the MLA will be arrested. The police had raided Mr. Singh’s house, who is a multiple term MLA from Mokama, following a tip-off, he said. The Parliament has recently passed an amendment to UAPA to give powers to the Centre to designate an individual as a terrorist and seize his properties.Barh sub-divisional police officer Lipi Singh said “We are moving ahead as per law and senior’s instructions. We are completing paper work and will submit before the court all the evidences along with an FIR to pray for issuance of warrant against him (MLA).” Singh, nicknamed ‘Chhote Sarkaar’ has a long criminal record and was recently summoned to the police headquarters in Patna for giving his voice sample in connection with a bid on the life of a Mokama-based contractor.The MLA had reacted angrily to the raid at his ancestral house and alleged that a conspiracy has been hatched against him at the behest of JD(U) MP Lalan Singh.“Weapons not belonging to me are being shown as having been recovered from my house. The house has also been badly vandalised during the raid,” he said. The police have debunked the allegations levelled by the MLA and said the raid was carried out in the presence of a magistrate in accordance with the law, as well as the caretaker of the house. Moreover, videography has been done of the entire exercise.last_img read more