In order to effectively see what kind of conventions are currently used in trailers, I will have to conduct research into real media trailers of a similar genre to my own. This research will allow me to understand the codes and conventions that normally feature in trailers and are important because if I correctly use or even challenge these conventions, the audience will be able to have a greater understanding of my trailer. One trailer that I have decided to analyse is the trailer of Fox Searchlight Pictures and Danny Boyles 2003 film 28 Days Later. A successful horror film, it follows in the footsteps of a group of survivors after an outbreak of a virus that spreads and causes a nationwide pandemic, turning humans into infected. In the trailer only one survivor remains, a concept I intend to use in my trailer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eunaclr- WgU The trailer analysed can be found at the above link. The website used to find the trailer was www.youtube.com.
Institution The trailer opens with the institution Fox Searchlight Pictures, a worldwide renowned institution that specializes in producing horror, independent and British films. It is a recognizable company and therefore the audience realize they will create high quality productions.
Sound The trailer opens with a siren, indicating a warning. Also crashes can be heard as well as screams of a primate suggesting disturbances. This provides an unwritten background story; the primate heard in the background is the possible origin of the virus that spreads throughout the trailer. All of these effects together create a sense of chaos. This is soon followed by a ghostly, echoing sound that creates a supernatural, spooky, unnatural feel. Further animal sounds/roars are heard, all within a short time period. Each sound is quite short; the transitions between sounds is quite rapid and matches the quick cuts that transition the clips in the trailer. At 0:40, police or emergency sirens can be heard relating to law and order being destabilized due to the growth of the severity of the pandemic. This is effectively used once more 0:45 and 0:50 as the on screen shots of an explosion connects well with the chaotic feel of the music. The only dialogue in the video comes from the central character. His dialogue, Hello echoes as he shouts 3 times. The echo reinforces the characters loneliness as it suggests the character is alone in the city. This diegetic sound is in tandem with wide shots that display his isolation in such a vast space. Contrasting to the rest of the trailer, a seemingly peaceful piece of non-diegetic sound is played at the tail end of the trailer.
Mise en scene A particular shot that I analysed thoroughly was the above shot taken at 00:58. The shot is a crane shot; taken at a high angle looking down at the action. The main character is seen isolated and in vibrant clothing, close to the centre of the shot. Props (A wheelchair, papers, cardboard boxes) are strewn around the location (A hospital). The state of the location reinforces the storyline of the film; the locale looks abandoned and is a look I can incorporate when deciding on my location. At 00:39 a shot of characters, presumed to be the infected zombies, are seen running with headlights in the background. It is quite a short clip and uses fast cutting either side to reinforce the intensity and pace of the running, suggesting it is a chase. A chase scene is a concept I wish to use in my trailer. A similar shot can be seen below, with the main character and survivor wandering aimlessly around London. It would be very ambitious of myself and my colleague to attempt a shot of this scale; it would require a large location and a number of props to be laid around the area to give an abandoned feel.
Camerawork A variety of shots are used throughout the trailer; long shots, medium close ups, close ups establishing shots and more. An example of an establishing shot can be seen above. The establishing shot aims to give the viewer an idea of the location the action is taking place in. A medium close up shot has been used to convey the emotion on the characters face. Also, lighting has been used to darken the rest of the room whilst almost spotlighting the character’s face; capturing the emotion. The camera zooms in at a fast pace in the bottom screenshot. The actor wears a horrified expression on her face. A red tint/red lighting has been used possibly to represent death or danger and links with the expression of horror.
Editing The editing in the trailer mainly consists of fast chop cuts that reveal a small clip before switching to another. I believe that this is a convention of my chosen genre; using short clips in tandem with chop cuts to increase tension and not to reveal too much to the viewer. Between 1:01 and 1:09, 7 shots are seen and rapidly interchange between one another. The sequence begins with the first clip, on which a fade transition has been used. Each clip has a different shot from a different angle to the previous and is taken in a different location giving a sense of progression of story. Intertitling is also used in the trailer Intertitling, as seen above, is created in the post-production phase of the development cycle and allows the editor to input text such as the name of the film or in this instance other films created by the director or producer.