August 21, 2020

What's Christopher Nolan's Secret Weapon for Building Intensity?


Nolan likes to put his characters in tight situations. How does he build around that?


Christopher Nolan is arguably the most popular director working today. His movies are events—I mean, just look at how we are all freaking out about how to watch Tenet during a pandemic.



But why? What gets us so excited about Nolan and his work? Well, it might have something to do with one particular aspect of his filmmaking: his ability to add tension to every situation.



Tension breeds conflict and conflict is at the heart of every drama. So, let’s take a look at how Nolans does this and how you can emulate his actions in this video essay from Entertain the Elk.






What’s Christopher Nolan’s Secret Weapon for Building Intensity?


While adding conflict in storytelling can build intensity, Nolan likes to employ this on many layers. One editing technique he uses to keep the intensity building is cross-cutting. Cross-cutting is the idea of editing between two scenes that are going on simultaneously.



Sometimes, this uses the Kuleshov effect to direct the audience’s emotions.

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Source: NoFilmSchool