A lot of research and analysis was required in order to achieve a good finished trailer; it enabled me to look into the conventions used within the horror genre and especially within trailers themselves. From this I could see which conventions worked successfully and which ones didn’t. I was able to get inspiration from the various conventions that are used, and interpret them in my own trailer where appropriate. Some conventions included:
Camerawork – high and low angle shots can create a sense of fear. Low angles can create a sense of fear, where high angles can express a sort of insignificance.
POV shots can also create a sense of fear as the camera is not stable and sometimes not as clear. Also feels like you are the character; getting the view from his eyes, creates tension.
‘ Cloverfield’ uses POV shots consistently throughout the film to create a sense of fear.
Sound – sudden noises at scary parts of the trailer are common among horror trailers; can create fear.
- A lot of horror trailers also use quiet, sometimes classical music to create tension within the audience; this music is contrasting the trailers and creates fear and anxiousness.
- ‘28 Days’ and ‘28 Weeks Later’ use this convention in their trailer, and ‘The Strangers’ uses this convention a little.
Editing – sudden cuts to shots (possibly violent or fearsome shots, or climax of a scene) is used quite consistently throughout horror trailers. Little lighting in shots or showing shots in darkness is also a frequent convention.
‘ The Last Exorcism’ uses the sudden cuts throughout the trailer and creates quite a striking bit of media text.
Length – as my research has previously shown, the length of horror teaser trailers are between a minute and a minute and a half long.
This is a POV shot used in the film trailer for ‘Cloverfield’. This is used consistently throughout the film to create a sense of fear and insecurity. This is a shot used in the trailer for the film ‘The Last Exorcism’ it uses darkness in this shot to convey fear and create anxiousness within the audience
The majority of horror film trailers I have watched and analysed consist of using text or titles throughout the trailer. (Trailers include The Strangers, The Others, Cloverfield and 28 Days Later). I think this splits the shots and the sequence of the trailer so it feels less of a story and a mini-film in a way, and more of an actual teaser for the film. I found this idea related to my trailer well; without any text between shots in my trailer it feels like more of a story and the connection seems to fade away with the audience. When I added text that faded in and out or flashed onto the screen it keeps the audience focused on the trailer and what the text consists of. This can catch the audiences eye, and also makes the trailer more interesting rather than it being continuous and one long sequence of shots. This is why I decided to follow similar conventions of trailers listed earlier to help benefit my trailer.
This is from the trailer of ‘The Strangers’. The text fades in and out on a plain black screen, which is a convention used in a lot of film trailers. This is from my film trailer which I created. It is clear that it is similar to that convention used in ‘The Strangers’ as I tried to use the same style of convention. I think it has worked well in the trailer and made it seem more professional.
Audio and sound in my trailer had challenged usual conventions of sound normally used in horror trailers. Typical conventions consist of; upbeat, jumpy music to create tension; loud, sudden noises to scare the audience and diagetic sounds from certain parts of the trailer to create fear and create a connection with the audience. Examples of this would be the 28 Days Later Trailer and the Hills Have Eyes trailer, which both use most of these conventions to create quite a striking trailer. I decided against using any diagetic sounds from the shots used in my trailer, so it would focus on non-diagetic sounds used. This was a decision made early on; I believed that I would have had no significant sounds from my shots to use in my trailer so I decided to leave it to non-diagetic sounds to pull of a good effect. I think this challenge in convention was in the end a poor decision as diagetic sounds would have created a greater connection with the audience and would have made the trailer more interesting.
The music I finally ended up using in my trailer was the song ‘Leave Out All The Rest’ by Linkin Park. This in a way challenged typical conventions of a horror trailer by the type of music used, as this song is quite a smooth song. However trailers such as The Strangers and 28 Weeks Later trailers have used similar music throughout their trailers so it could be considered that my trailer used this convention of using slower, quieter music.
My research into teaser trailers have shown me the usual length for a teaser trailer is between a minute and a half. Evidence of this within the genre I have stuck with would be:
28 Days Later: http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =liLFqy_m198
Hills Have Eyes 2: http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =BAXthTlOwW0
The Strangers: http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =6HMd59MaBWI
The final length of the trailer I used was 1:06 minutes long; therefore proving I did not challenge the usual length of trailers. I had planned to make my trailer length similar to other trailers so I could fit a standard amount of shots in and it followed the conventions of other horror trailers; as I didn’t need it to challenge other trailers.
The trailer consisted of:
Rating title at the start
Part of the song ‘Leave Out All The Rest’ by Linkin Park
This I think merged into a good length trailer which I thought wasn’t too long or too short, so following the conventions of other horror trailer was ideal for the progress of my trailer.
This is the timeline showing the length of my trailer and what it consisted of.
My research into the conventions of editing and camerawork used in horror trailers reflected quite clearly in my trailer; I tried to involve some common conventions that are used to make my product seem professional and appealing. Some shots included:
Fade in-Fade out effects
Black and white shots
Sudden cuts to shots that could cause fear
However I did not involve some conventions that were commonly used or didn’t use them to full effect which may have made my trailer not as scary as it should have been. This is what I could have included:
Shots in darkness or reducing the lighting in some shots
Close-up shots of the villain or low angle shots of him to imply fear and dominance
Pictures showing a fade-out shot used in my trailer