Friday Fundas: Foreshadowing


In this week’s Friday fundas we would see a popular technique used in screenwriting called foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is a technique screen writers use in the screenplay that gives a hint or clue to the audience as to how the plot would unfold.  This is a very useful technique in preparing the audience for the upcoming events in the plot and when they occur it is convincing. In a good screenplay you always find a foreshadowing event placed in the first act or the beginning of the second act of the script (see 3 act structure for more information on three act structure).

Let us look at some examples of foreshadowing in popular movies

Avatar - Jake Sully runs out free
Avatar – Jake Sully runs out free

In the movie Avatar Jake Sully is shown running out of the base first time he is connected to the Avatar. Later in the movie he becomes part of the Na’vis and fights against the humans. You find this convincing as he is not connected to the mission and would do what he believes in.

Baasha Medical College scene
Baasha Medical College scene

In the Tamil blockbuster Baasha, there is a scene where Manickam played by Rajnikanth is negotiating for a medical seat for his sister. He tells his name is Manickam but he has another name… and after so muted dialogues you see the dean of the college very frightened of him. This is a very good pre-cursor for his past life which would be revealed in the second half. Imagine if this was not there and all of a sudden he becomes a don in second half it would not have been so convincing.

3 Idiots Pen Scene
3 Idiots – pen used in space

In the movie 3 Idiots there is a scene where in Virus is displaying a pen that can be used in the space and it has been given to him by his professor.  Rancho stuns him with a question as to why pencil was not used in space. Towards the end of the movie we see him giving this pen to Rancho and also explaining him the logical reason of why pencil was not used in space. This simple scene conveys how Rancho has become the best student ever for Virus. It is so effective due to the foreshadowing sequence in the beginning of the script.

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