[Week 9]

This video-essay of Jake Nugent (his Youtube channel is Now You See It) satisfied all my content, methodology and graphic expectations. From the very beginning of his video, Jack’s humor catches viewer’s curiosity and interest with an ending scene of one episode of Scooby-Doo the series – a famous animated “detective” TV series, where a group of kids (with an extremely bizarre dog) go travel, explore and find evidence for mysterious cases. At the first glance, I did not expect Scooby-Doo at all when I clicked on a video-essay which discusses plot twist in movies (I expected Primal Fear right away), so it is fair saying that he got my attention and interest. After his explanation, we can find out that Scooby-Doo is a relevant example for movies with logical but obvious, easy-to-guess plot twist, with those viewers will rarely feel satisfied in the end of the movie. He also hilariously explained why he decided to do this “spoiling” video-essay basing on a scientific article – which I believe, also helps him gain viewers’ attention and convince viewers who did not know the end of three movies (that he was going to spoil) to keep watching his video.

First of all, he criticizes the plot-twist in Now you see me of not following logical arguments, however satisfying. It is funny, but logical, that he used Scooby-Doo‘s logical-but-obvious plot-twists to compare with the one in Now you see me to state for his argument. The way he change scenes between two films make his comparison more relevant and trustworthy (the power of juxtaposition!). Second of all, he then used Prestige as the “norm” of plot-twist: the mid-way between Now you see me and Scooby-Doo: it has a shocking and entertaining, satisfying plot-twist, which also did not mess up the plot’s logic. Third of all, overall, he argues that plot twist needs to be “just enough to coming but not enough to expect it”, and he uses Primal Fear to prove his statement.

It appears that he used those four films as “examples” for his voice-over: the images’ mission is to explain his argument and to emphasize his statement. I believe that he did a great choice not using text-on-screen, which, with a big amount of information that he wants to deliver, would not be a smart strategy. Besides, the way he chose those four films is also interesting: both Now you see me and Prestige are films about magician – which makes his comparison clearer, more relevant and meaningful; Scooby-Doo is an well-known animation with “cheap” plot-twist (it’s a kid’s series, we cannot demand more than that) and Primal Fear is always a great example for films with the most shocking and satisfying plot-twists. Thumbs up!