If Christopher Nolan’s status as a top Hollywood director needed verification, the release of The Dark Knight Rises muffled all objections. Realising the Batman more brilliantly than anyone who ever came before him, Nolan has put together perhaps the finest trio of films the superhero genre will ever see.
Although Nolan has only directed eight movies, they are easily identifiable; he has an unrivaled trademark style. To celebrate t, we’re giving you the opportunity to become a blockbuster director. Even if you’ve never been to film school, just follow these 5 easy tips when making your next independent film, and you’ll start raking in the millions.
#1: Follow the Chris Nolan formula for protagonists
All of Nolan’s protagonists have similar problems and afflictions. When writing your script, make sure to include these guidelines:
-the protagonist must be male
-the protagonist must lose a loved one (either before or during the course of the film), and as a result must seek vengeance
-the protagonist must suffer from a psychological disorder
-the protagonist must be let down or betrayed by their mentor
Easy, right? Check off these four requirements, and you’ve got yourself the next Bruce Wayne.
#2: Cast Christian Bale, Cillian Murphy, or Michael Caine
Nolan is loyal to his fellow UK entertainers. He has collaborated with Christian Bale in three movies (Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight), Cillian Murphy has appeared in three (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inception), and Michael Caine has the most, starring in four (Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, Inception). All three men have acted in Nolan’s biggest film to date, the seventh-biggest grossing movie of all time, The Dark Knight. If you want your film to be decently successful, hire one of these actors. If you want your film to break records, hire all three.
#3: Cast your actors in roles contrary to their usual onscreen persona
Al Pacino is the epitome of cool. He plays mobsters so crazy, their violent outbursts scare grown men. Of course, in typical fashion, Christopher Nolan cast Pacino as something totally opposite. In Insomnia, Pacino is a troubled cop, who is coping with a bout of insomnia because of a hidden guilt. A classic twisted Nolan film, but Pacino is lame compared to his other psychotic roles. Consider hiring Steve Coogan as the shy, introverted flatmate or Megan Fox as the wise grandmother.
#4: Film using non-linear storytelling techniques
When sitting in a theater about to watch a Nolan film, you have to prepare yourself for a bit of confusion. The director enjoys starting his films with a chunk of the ending, or crosscutting scenes of parallel action to reach a climax. If you haven’t seen Inception yet (Have you been living under a rock?), the movie begins with a scene from the ending, and then bursts into the action. The movie warrants multiple viewings because so much goes on in 148 minutes; the audience misses many of the clues.
#5: End the film with a juicy philosophical monologue, then display the title card before the credits roll
Even though you’ve been sitting in the theater for nearly two and a half hours (speaking of which, Nolan makes long films – yours should be long too), the climax ends and the movie draws to a close. In The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne has just dismissed the Joker, and Commissioner Gordon reflects on Batman’s reputation within Gotham. There are flashes of Gordon destroying the bat signal, Harvey Dent’s funeral, and Alfred destroying a paper to Bruce from Rachel. As each image whets the viewers’ appetite, getting juicier and juicier, the title card flashes and the credits roll. It may be anticlimactic, but it keeps the audience begging for a sequel.