Building the Climax
We have now reached the third and final act of our movie. This is where all the questions that were raised at the
beginning of the story are answered and any conflicts between the characters are resolved. The audience has
taken a journey through the eyes of the main character and wants to see how things turn out for them at the con-
clusion of the story. At the end of the first act, the main character was faced with a problem that spurred her into
action toward a goal or purpose. The third act reveals whether the main character achieves that goal and shows
how the main character has been impacted by the events of the story.
There are many different types of endings: happy, sad, bittersweet, or just plain ambiguous. Just because a char-
acter achieves her goal, doesn't mean she'll be happy about it at the end of the story. There are many stories
where characters achieve their purpose only to be corrupted along the way and end up worse off than when they
started. Some characters are changed for the better during their quest, even if they don't attain their goal. As you
can see, there can be many nuances to the conclusion of a story. Let's look at the ending for Pranks and see how
things turn out for Katie.
The Final Act
At the conclusion of Pranks, Katie achieves her goal and comes face to face with Jason, the young boy who has
been playing tricks on her all night. Katie's character arc also reaches its conclusion at the same time. In the first
act of the story, Katie was established as an independent girl who doesn't play nice with others, but by the time
she finally meets Jason, her attitude has changed and she is even willing to share her room with him. Katie has
learned to open up and accept others through the cat-and-mouse games she has inadvertently been compelled to
play with the Jason. Despite seeing the proof for herself, Jason disappears as soon as Joyce makes an appearance,
and Katie is still unable to convince her of his existence. The final piece of the mystery is revealed when Joyce
explains that Jason was her son and that he died many years ago, leading the viewer to conclude that Katie has
been playing with a ghost all along. The story ends with a final coda and bittersweet note, a single shot of Katie
waiting for Jason to reappear, uncertain whether her newfound friend will come back to play or not.
This last act is predominantly made up of Scene 17 and consists of two sections. The first section deals with
Katie's encounter with Jason, and the second consist of two dialogue exchanges between Katie and Joyce (one at
the stairs and another at the photo display). Scene 18 makes up the coda of Katie waiting for Jason to reappear.
Evaluating the footage
Double-click the Craft of the Cut disc image to mount it and launch Final Cut Pro. Select the Building the Climax
Collection inside the Pranks Media Event to display the clips that you'll be working with in the Event Browser.