Film trailer conventions[1]

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Film trailer conventions[1]

  1. 1. Film Trailer Conventions
  2. 2. Horror The typical conventions that we would expect from a horror trailer are chiaroscuro lighting, to create a dark and eerie atmosphere mirroring the emotions of the film, and a slow editing pace to build suspense, and in the end having a fast editing pace to scare the audience, enticing thrill seekers and encouraging the watch the film if they enjoyed the small scare in the trailer. We would not typically see the killer/demon/ghosts true identity or face depending on type of villain, as this adds to enigma and does not give away possible plot twists or scares in the horror. We also would expect to mainly see the main location of the film through out the clip, as a typical convention of horrors is one or a few locations.
  3. 3. The Conjuring The advert for the film The Conjuring did have chiaroscuro lighting as this informed the audience that a vast majority of the film would be dark and eerie, conforming to our expectations of a horror trailer. However, the start of the trailer had quite low key high contrast lighting, which may actually help scare the audience and this lighting will feel relaxed then suddenly it’s dark. Also, there was black and white short clips shown, providing a history to the location, and suggesting to the viewer that this film will have links to the past. We then cut to chiaroscuro lighting, which serves two purposes, one to create a dark atmosphere, and two because most of the “horrific incidents” occurred at night, showing continuity. Also, the further into the trailer, the darker it gets, building even more tension within the audience.
  4. 4. The Conjuring The Conjuring trailer also conforms to our expectation of slow editing to fast editing, as at first the clips from the film are slow, then as we start to see that it is a horror stay slow, as this helps build tension and fear in the audience, then at the end fast pace to scare them and to get people excited about the film. However at the start, the clips in black and white are also fast paced, however this is also to help build tension and the clips are very short and so only make the viewers wary about what they are about to see and is the first sign that the trailer is for a horror.
  5. 5. The Conjuring We do not see the face of the demon/killer/villain, however we do see the hands and arms of time, one coming out of a closet and clapping, as the trailer builds tension, and again at the end hands appear out of the darkness next to a main characters face, clap, and then the candle she is holding instantly goes out. This is the scare shown in the trailer that is used to entice the audience, if they are scared by this and enjoy horrors, it will make them more likely want to go and see the film. However there is still enigma as we don’t see the face of the villain, providing another reason for someone to want to see the film, to see who the villain is. Also, the fact that we see arms and hands proves that the villain is human or close to human, providing fear as even hours after viewing the trailer, audience members may be thinking about it when they are in the dark and imagine seeing arms come out of the closet and believe this is possible, keeping the film in their mind and reminding them that they want to go an see it.
  6. 6. The Conjuring
  7. 7. Romance In romance films, we would typically expect to see a slow editing pace through out, with maybe a slightly quicker editing pace of the happy points in the film. Romance films themselves are usually have quite slow paced editing so this will attract a certain audience to go and see this film. If someone enjoys fast paced action films, they will probably not want to see the romance film as the editing pace of the trailer allows them to guess that the film will also be slow paced. The lighting is usually low key high contrast as this strongly connotes happiness and makes the audience members feel positive, which romance films often do. Also, if audience members remember having positive feelings towards the trailer, they are more likely to go and see the film itself. We would also expect to see and clearly know who the two main characters are. We also would expect to hear soundtrack from the film, usually an upbeat song about love, which helps tell the audience exactly what emotion they should be feeling and again helps sell the film. Also a voice over or title plates would commonly be used as this again tells the audience what they should be feeling and also provide them with some context to the film.
  8. 8. (500) Days of Summer The editing pace for the trailer to (500) Days of Summer is quite slow paced, giving the impression of an easy going film to watch. However the montage of clips are not in chronological order, instead mainly showing mainly happy clips except when the voice over says words such as “of fury” in which it would show a clip where a character is angry. However this helps, as if the audience thought the film was happy and slow through out, they would be less likely to want to go and see it as it would give the impression of being boring and having no real story line.
  9. 9. (500) Days of Summer As expected, the lighting for (500) Days of Summer was low key high contrast, making the footage seem bright with connotations of happiness and therefore giving the impression that the film is a happy one and making the audience feel happy when watching it. This allows the audience to know if it’s the kind of film that they want to watch, if they like happy films then they know that this will be for them, which means the trailer is doing it’s job of selecting and audience and then making them want to go and watch the film. Only a few clips are slightly darker, however still seem quite warm, showing that there are twists to the film, but also giving optimism that there is a happy ending from the warmth that is still there, and so they may want to see the film to see if there is in fact a happy ending and if it is the one they expected.
  10. 10. (500) Days of Summer The trailer does show us the two main characters throughout the trailer, which is what we predicted, and in fact, the only two characters the film introduces us two are the hero and princess, suggests that a vast majority of the film is solely about them, and also allowing us to know that this is the main couple in the film, and it is their story we will be following. We do also have a voice over man, repeatidly saying “500 days of...” and words such as “intimacy” “fury” “tenderness”. Most of the words are positive and the clips match them, suggesting most of the film is positive. It also constantly reminds the audience of the title, and helps it to stick in the audiences mind. The opening sentence is “this is not a love story, it is a story about love” letting the audience know it is a romance, however may not be the conventional one or one they expect, adding intrigue and a want to discover what happens in the film. Also title plates saying “(500) Days of Summer” repeatedly show, again reminding of the title.
  11. 11. (500) Days of Summer
  12. 12. Action For an action film, we would expect chiaroscuro lighting, as this creates a dark atmosphere, and usually something dark has to be happening for action to occur. We also would expect fast paced editing to keep up with the high adrenaline of action films. It also creates tension and suspense, however not the same type of tension as a horror. Also we would see many different locations in the clips suggesting the film has quite a complex or interesting story line. We also again would expect voice over or title plates to add context.
  13. 13. Fight Club Throughout the entire trailer, chiaroscuro lighting is used. This lets the audience definitely know that this film is going to be dark throughout, and that it is for a specific kind of viewer who enjoys dark intense films. It also gives the film a gritty feel, and suggests that it is not for the faint hearted. It also suggests that the location is quite a dark, run down place.
  14. 14. Fight Club The first few seconds of the trailer for fight club are quite slow paced. This is to grab the audiences attention and pay attention to what the characters are saying. “I want you to hit me as hard as you can” are the first words heard. This is not a commonly heard sentence, so will keep hold of the audiences attention. It also immediately lets us know the film is about fighting. Then, when we hear the voice over of the main character say “Wait. Let me start earlier” to the audience, we then have fast pace editing. This matches the fast action of a fight and generally of action films, allowing the audience to know the genre of the film.
  15. 15. Fight Club Throughout the trailer, many many different locations are seen, in fact the same location is rarely seen in two separate sets of footage, letting the audience know that the film will probably have a complex story line if there are many different locations to keep up with. Also the first title plate we see is “from the director of Se7en” which is also an action film, letting the audience know the genre and also, if they enjoyed Se7en, it makes them believe they will also probably enjoy this film, and so they will go and see it. We also hear a voice over throughout from the main character, mainly direct to the audience. This will give the audience a feel of being told to go and see the film, by the character, not the actor, which will again persuade them to see the film. This is what we would expect of an action film.
  16. 16. Fight Club
  17. 17. Sci-Fi We would typically expect a sci-fi trailer to show the same location – space. This immediately lets the audience know that the genre is sci-fi. We would also expect to see a lot of CGI as it is difficult to film in space. Sci-Fi films usually have a major disruption, so we would expect the editing to at first be slow to show location, and then speed up at the disruption. Also we would expect mainly chiaroscuro lighting for the disruption, and also because there is not much light in space unless we see a world built up by aliens like earth.
  18. 18. Gravity The whole location in the trailer for gravity is in space above earth with a satellite. This lets the audience know that most of the film will be set in outer space and that it is definitely a sci-fi. We also see a lot of CGI as it would be physically impossible to let two actors float around in space. This also suggests a lot of money has been spent on the film, as with most marquee sci-fi films, and so audience members may be impressed with this and more inclined to see it.
  19. 19. Gravity Like we predicted, the first few seconds of the trailer for Gravity are slow and even quite relaxing, as we are seeing the location of space and possibly slightly in the future or the present day. It also means the audience will not be prepared of the disruption, adding shock when suddenly an astronaught gets lose and the editing pace speeds up instantly. The tempo of the light music in the background also speeds up making audience members shocked and anxious to know what happens next, which yet again makes them more likely to buy a ticket to the film. From then on most of the editing pace is quite fast to keep panic in the audience.
  20. 20. Gravity Throughout the Gravity trailer, chiaroscuro lighting is used, as it is set in outer space where there isn’t much light naturally, keeping with the continuity. However, in the first few seconds of the trailer, the footage mainly has earth in the background, giving a relaxing feel to the audience, and shows beauty. After the disruption however, we mainly see the blackness of space in the background, and sometimes with stars in the far distance giving a feeling of being lost. If we do see earth, it is a POV shot of a spinning person, showing disruption.
  21. 21. Gravity
  22. 22. Drama The clue’s in the title, dramas are quite dramatic, and so we would expect chiaroscuro lighting to emphasise this in a trailer for a drama. However, usually there are some happy moments to allow a disruption or “drama” to occur, so we would expect to see some low key high contrast shots. We also think that the editing will be fast paced, and usually dramas require the full audience attention for understanding, so it is letting them know that if they can’t keep up with the fast pace of the trailer, then the drama probably isn't right for them. Again, like an action film, we would expect to see quite a few locations to show and extensive plot.
  23. 23. A Beautiful Mind In A Beautiful Mind, we start off with quite naturalistic lighting, suggesting that at this point, all is well, however, once we start to learn more about the story and the editing pace quickens, we see chiaroscuro lighting, and a lot of night shots, suggesting that the plot thickens into something dark. Throughout the rest of the trailer we then mainly see chiaroscuro lighting with the exception of a few shots of happiness. This is what we expected of the trailer for a drama.
  24. 24. A Beautiful Mind Like the lighting, we start of with slow paced editing, suggesting that this is before the disruption when the main character is living a normal life and we learn the context of him. Then, once we hit the disruption, the editing pace becomes much quicker, showing that the plot becomes more intense and more interesting. This will attract an audience who like their films complex and intelligent, and the fast pace editing shows that they will have to concentrate to keep up.
  25. 25. A Beautiful Mind We see quite a few locations for the trailer for a Beautiful Mind, again suggesting a complex and dramatic plot. It also provides context, we see a place of study, presumibly a university, suggesting intelligence in the main character, and we also see a place that looks like an FBI secret base, giving a glimpse to the drama as we can presume this is where it occurs. We also see home settings and starry nights, suggesting there is a romantic side to the film, however the drama element could also spiral or be added to by this.
  26. 26. A Beautiful Mind
  27. 27. Comedy In the trailer for a comedy, we would expect most of the clips to show jokes. This is to immediately let the audience know the genre. The editing pace may be quite slow to give an impression of relaxation and an easy going film. We would expect low key high contrast lighting as this strongly connotes happiness, the main emotion people want to feel when watching a comedy. We also may expect title plates or voice over to give the audience context of what is going on in the story or a bit about who the characters are, in the hope the audience will like or relate to them.
  28. 28. We’re The Millers A majority of the clips in the trailer for We’re the Millers are of jokes in the film. This is to convince the audience that if they enjoyed and found the trailer funny, they will have the same experience with the full film. There are also some shots that provide context, showing us that the plot is drug smuggling, however a majority of them are comedic. This is a selling point as people who found the trailer funny are more likely to buy tickets for the full film with expectations of that being funny too. It also allows us to instantly know the genre.
  29. 29. We’re The Millers The editing pace is slow throughout as expected. This allows the audience to fully listen and take in the jokes and so understand them. This helps with the selling point of if they find the jokes funny they’re more likely to see the film. It also gives an easy laid back feel to the film, and that the audience can sit back and relax when watching this film. Throughout the entire trailer there was low key high contrast lighting, strongly connoting happiness and making the audience feel happier watching the trailer, again suggesting that the audience will have a good time watching the film and therefore more likely to want to watch the film.
  30. 30. We’re The Millers

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