RESEARCH &ANALYSIS . Analysing trailers . What are trailers?. Definition: a short teaser produced to advertise a new film (Defined by the Media Studies a AS Dictionary by David Probert )
The first Golden Trailer Awards ceremony was held on September 21, 1999 in New York City. Due to the fact trailers are awarded, it just shows how significant trailers are in the media.
First of all the trailer is presented in black and white, however now a days trailers are presented in colours – the improvement in digital technology has allowed for better looking trailers making it more attractive for the consumers.
Not only that, modern audiences will say that this does not even seem like a trailer. This just shows how we have become more of an active audience – modern audiences are aware of the conventions of a trailer today so we will not perceive this as an actual trailer, therefore making us reluctant to go and see the film. Filming industries need to be aware of the audiences thoughts when producing a trailer – they need to always make sure trailers include modern conventions! For example we would be more interested in a coloured trailer rather than a black and white one.
Again, back in 1997 people were not able to take advantage of a better and professional video camera we have no, for this reason the quality of the trailer is poor. However, the voiceover used in the background is not striking enough, he seems out of place and not engaging at all. Modern consumers will not be eager to watch Star Wars.
Now take a look at this one
A lot more engaging as you can see. The voiceover is more striking and appealing than the other one. Unlike the first one, at the beginning we are introduced to the name of the film industry: 20th Fox Century which allows us to view the trailer in a more professional manner. The ratings as well were also shown: rated as ‘parental guidance’ which was not included on the previous one, this therefore shows us that in our modern society now include regulations within the filming industry which did not exist years ago – media platforms in general have now become more restricted. Did you notice anything else? There is a coloured man. Before the 1950’s coloured people were exploited in the media but now they receive appropriate recognition, which has been shown in this trailer. The previous trailers did not even black people, which shows how inferior they used to be in the past.
As well as that, we are able to engage more with the characters as a lot more of the narration is coming from them rather than the voice over . All these are modern themes we expect to see in a trailer.
As you may have acknowledge the quality of the film has changed overtime.Digital proliferation has allowed us to produce better quality in HD, so viewers have a better view of the trailer.
As you can see, the technology that the filming conglomerates used are very advanced and expensive compared to independent institutions. For example in the production of the movie ‘The Avengers’, they used more advance and better camera Arriflex 435, compared to Lionsgate, who used Arriflex 235. This just shows how technology can have an impact on the way the trailer looks. Obviously the better the technology, the better your trailer looks, therefore the more audience you attract. This has been proven due to the popularity of The Avengers which had biggest opening weekend in North America and the fastest film to gross $1 billion. It grossed $1.51 billion worldwide, and became the third-highest-grossing film.
Before trailers/movies are shown, the BBFC checks them and ensure that the rated age range matches the procedures set out
these stories are intended to be funny, they also touch darker areas of storytelling, such as death and fear; they make fun out of serious events.comedy
intends to mimic another genre to humorous effect. Parodies can be intended to mock and criticize as well as to pay homage.
This type of comedy features physical humour such as pratfalls, silly and exaggerated body language, and unlikely scenarios.
mix love stories together with comedic events.
Conventions of a comedy trailer:
Editing sounds to add humour
Generic setting: bright places, towns, cities, well populated areas
Characters are idiots and very stupid
This can be viewed as a Slapstick comedy
Non-diegetic sound: as the audience because we are not yet viewed with the characters so can assume the background singing at the beginning is non-diegetic but it then moves into a diegetic sound when are viewed with the character singing the song. The sound transition at this point also acts as a sound bridge as we hear the same music from one scene to another. Moreover, the singing at the beginning contradicts the genre of the music. The tone of the song is quite depressing and sad, which doesn’t link into the comedy genre. As a result to this, the sound bridge at the beginning acts as an enigma code, leaving the readers confused as to why a depressing sound tone will be in a comedy trailer. Further on in the trailer the music starts to get faster and more up beat, which compliments the conventions of a comedy trailer as fast and striking music can connote fun and banter which is a feature of comedy.
Mis en scene: What makes laugh? We usually find unexpected and unusual situations funny. Therefore seeing a giraffe in back of the car might make the audience laugh. Also some audience may have found the man singing at the beginning funny as we do not expect a man to be singing with such a high voice. Did the topless man in the scene make you laugh?
You may not be laughing at the fact that he is topless. Directors and producers are smart! They purposely decided to display this character top less so his unattractive body can make the audience laugh. His actions in the trailer also allows for banter. – such as the accident he causes at the end and the fact that he buys a giraffe. Alan could be representing the ‘natural fool’ in the play
Lighting: high lightening used to highlight the genre of the film. However there are some low key lightening in some areas – rather than fear, it is used to create suspense making the film more engaging and interesting
Diegetic sound: dialogue is a typical form of diegetic sound we will hear in any trailer. The diegetic sound we hear in Hangover are chosen carefully so they make us laugh: ‘My name is Alan and I bought a giraffe?’ Again, unexpected, unusual and funny!
Establishing shot: this is usually used at the beginning of a film and trailers, just to introduce us to the film. The audience maybe wondering why do we have an establishing shot of a funeral when this is meant to be a comedy? Again this acts as an enigma in the trailer. Also there is a lot of establishing shots of the town/city itself. Maybe this is shown to highlight the joyful mood of ‘Las Vegas’ again linking back to the genre of the trailer. Notice that this establishing shot uses low key lightening- this is not to create fear (although it usually does like in horror films), it could have been used to highlight the ‘fantastic city’ in Las Vegas
Low angle: high angle is usually used to display vulnerability and fear but as the audience since we are ware that this is a comedy trailer, we will instantly find this funny. The fact that he is about to fall off a building is used as humour.
Over the shoulder shot/Reverse shot: allows us to view the actions of the two characters. Through this over-the shoulder shot we also view the woman’s facial expressions. The facial expressions, along with the fact that the male character places a sweet in her mouth that has been on hers will make some of the audience laugh. The aim of comedy is to encourage the audience to laugh so therefore it will include a lot of funny actions
High angle: of an aeroplane. Could be connote holiday. Since holiday is all about phone – this could have been used to point of the genre of the film. Comedy is all about fun!
Medium close-up: used to introduce us to the characters in the film. The character is wearing glasses and a shirt which is stereotypical representation of a ‘geek’ , therefore making him a funny character. The fact that he is wearing a pink shirt is even more humorous as we do not expect a man to wear a pink shirt
Close-up: this may have been used so we are able to view the costume the character is wearing over their head. The animated costume is used to make the audience laugh. This makes the wear he chases Alan even more funny!
These are stories where the dead return to life and haunt the living, such as Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Sometimes the ghosts are trying to teach the living a lesson.HORROR
These stories paint a future where humankind is up against a threat like zombies or vampires and must survive against the odds.
These are stories where the dead return to life and haunt the living.
tell of deranged killers who are out to punish regular people.
Conventions of horror film:
Dark/ gloomy setting
Sound: a lot of diegetic sounds were presented in this trailer including: the sound of the clock ticking, the door squeaking slowly and footsteps. All these type of sound were used to create tension. The clock ticking and footsteps especially creates a lot of suspense. The clock ticking then acts as a sound bridge, moving onto non-diegetic sound. The sound of the clock ticking is included in many different scenes to highlight the uncertainty in the trailer. All these features compliment the conventions of a horror trailer.
More diegetic sound: at the beginning we hear the characters laughing which contradicts the non-diegetic sound of the ominous music we hear in the background. This adds more tension, because as the audience we know that a frightening event is yet to take place. Moreover, we then start to hear negative sounds such as a: baby crying, a characters shouting, the dialogue: ‘its not the house that is haunted, its your son’ . All these destructive sounds adheres to the conventions of a horror film.
Lighting: most of the time low key lighting is used. The trailer portrays dark scenes most of the time, which connotes fear, and as a result to this it also leaves the audience frightened.
Mis en scene: rather than bright colours, the characters in the trailer are wearing dark colours. Again, editors do this deliberately – they need to ensure that even the characters outfit compliments the horror genre. What else do we see? Shadows instead of the actual characters. This makes the audience curious and maybe nervous.
Close-up: a close up of a broken ladder highlights a destructive atmosphere. At this point, we viewed with a little boy who tries climbing up the ladder, it breaks and the boys falls down – as the readers we will be curious, we do not want the little boy to fall over.
Wide shot: we are viewed with the boy falling over, which increases our anxiety levels, leaving us even more curious. This negative events that take place highlights the destructive atmosphere. Film makers, include these negative events as they are conventions of a horror trailer.
Close-up: of the clock emphasises the non-diegetic sound we hear of the clock ticking in the background
High angle: At this point we hear a loud anonymous voice coming from above. The fact that this voice is anonymous adds to the fear of the trailer. Moving on, this is taking from a high angle which portrays the character as vulnerable and also emphasising the characters terror. A lot of other high angle shots were portrayed throughout the trailer to point out how weaknesses of the characters and the power of this anonymous voice
This is a low angle shot from the audiences point of view, leaving the audience vulnerable. This low angle show allows us to be in the audiences position – terrified! It highlights the power of this ‘ghostly voice’ , leaving the characters to feel weak and defenceless
Wide shot: This is a very effective shot as it allows us to view the little boy in bed as well as a random arm by the side. This is really freaky and gives us the impression that the little boy is going to get hurt.
Two shot: a two shot allows us to view the facial expressions of both characters at the same time. As you can see they both look unhappy, which adds to the negativity of the whole trailer
Extreme close up of someone struggling to get through the door. This gives us the impression the character is trapped and being desperate to get out. The idea of being ‘trapped’ to the genre of the film. When you are trapped you usually feel scared and distressed.
Extreme close up: At this point we are able to view that her eyes are moving really fast which builds up the tension we face in the trailer.The eyes can connote sensitivity, since the characters are in such a destructive atmosphere we can assume that extreme close up of the eye is being portrayed to highlight the vulnerability of the characters.
Eye line match: we are viewed with the object the character is looking at. This shot emphasises the importance of this object. This objects detects the baby’s noise and the fact that this object is being highlighted gives us the impression that the baby is in trouble
Black out: used during the trailer making the audience assume that the trailer is finished but then another scene is portrayed which enhances the audience anxiety levels.
Panning: this is used to highlight the significance of the house. The main setting of the trailer is based on this haunted house. The house looks isolated – pointing out one of the conventions of a genre of the trailer
At this point the camera very slowly tilts up from the woman’s hands to her face. This was deliberately done in slow motion to build up the suspense of the trailer
Again we assume that the film is finished until the camera zooms in with a close up of this ghostly image, which leaves the readers shocked. The make up that is used, gives the character a more frightening appearance.
During the end of the trailer, the edits and shots start to move faster which then enhances the destruction and tension of the trailer leaving the readers stressed and disorientated
Another reason is based on Gender socialisation:
More men like to see scary movies because men are socialised to be brave and love threatening events, therefore receive a social gratification of not letting scary films bother them
In one study males liked a horror movie more when they saw it with a female who was scared, and females liked the movie more when they saw it with a male who wasn’t scared.
The cuddle effect: Men often like scary films as date movies because women are more likely to seek physical closeness when they’re scared, and men can show off their strength and bravery
Over the shoulder shot: used to present the dialogue, from this shot we are viewed with elements from the mise en scene – we see a wedding take place. The man is dressed in a suit and the woman’s veil. What we see in the scene compliments the genre of the trailer, leaving the audience pleased which is what we expect in a romantic genre. The wedding that takes place may make the audiences narcissistic towards the characters.
Wide shot: we can view the character’s pink dress and she is holding flowers which connotes love and happiness, highlighting the genre of the film. The fact that she is wearing a pink dress also the stereotypical view of woman being the more gentle and loving gender High key lighting is used to emphasis the light hearted feeling you receive when you are in love. The background includes a beautiful building to point out the lovely affections and feeling of love
Two shot: both characters are kissing, enhancing the theme of love. The fact that she is wearing a red jacket highlights this
High angle: of both characters in bed, points out the sexual and emotional connotations of a romance film
Sound: Diegetic sound: ‘I vow to live within the warmth of your heart’. Non diegetic sound: slow and passionate music playing in the background which influences the mood of the audience. Allowing them to feel emotional and also sympathy for the characters. These are all typical conventions of a romantic genre.