Detailed Trailer Research

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Detailed Trailer Research

  1. 1. Detailed Trailer Research Alice Sophie Turrell
  2. 2. Halloween
  3. 3. Halloween was released in 1978 by Compass International and Falcon International Productions. Halloween was the first and only successful film by Compass International, who then shut down in 1881. Compass International was renowned for releasing horror films, and when comparing the trailer for Hell Night (1980) to the trailer for Halloween, there were many stark similarities between them. For example, both trailers show the film to be set at night. Another strong similarity is that both film trailers show teenage characters, therefore attracting a teenage audience. Also, both trailers have the title coming up at regular intervals in the trailer. Identify the institution for each of these trailers and the institutional codes employed by the trailer
  4. 4. For this trailer, actors and crew are not mentioned meaning that people would not be attracted to this film by their mention. The production companies are also not going to necessarily be selling points as well due to how new they were are the time and even now are not very well known. This means that the trailer is reliant on the films content and storyline itself to promote and sell it. What I think grabs the attention and sells the story is when the Doctor is explaining what has happened and what he thinks will happen. This is a selling point as it hooks the audience and creates questions that they will want to find the answer too. Another selling point is the violence. This is evident in the trailer regularly but in quite quick scenes, with them cutting off just as the violence starts. This leaves the viewer wanting to see more. What is the key selling point of the trailer?
  5. 5. This trailer includes a lot of typical horror film conventions which instantly let you know what the trailer will be about and gives away the fact that it is a horror film. This is effectively done to draw in the audience and get them hooked, making them want to see the film at the cinema. • The music used throughout gives the trailer a dark feel, creating suspense. It also changes pace when something is about to happen, which increases the scare for the viewer. • The majority of the trailer shows what is happening at night or in a dark house. This plays on peoples fears of the dark and therefore lets them know the film is a horror. • The constant screaming, chases and fear in the characters eyes give the inclination that the film will features chases and strong horror elements. This creates high expectations of the film, with the audience expecting it to be jumpy and frightening. • You see in some parts of the trailer, Michael Myers (the antagonist) about to attack some one with a knife. This then cuts out. This tells the audience there will be a lot of violence, and then they will therefore expect a lot of blood. How does the trailer establish genre, mood and expectation of the film?
  6. 6. Overall this is a strong trailer, which effectively makes the viewer want to watch the movie through the use of cliff hangers, unanswered questions and action. Although this is a strong trailer, there are weak spots. Firstly, I think that too much of the story is given away. For example, the clips are quite long especially the end one that sees Michael push a character down stairs and then follows her out the house and across the street in terror being followed by him. This I feel is far too long and gives too much away. The trailer would work better with faster cuts to add more suspense, leave more cliff hangers and put more fear into the audience. Another element that I don’t think works as well is the fact that the title is repeated throughout the trailer on intertitles and by the narrator. This at the end and beginning of the trailer is good as it lets the audience know what they are watching and reminds them at the end. What I really did like about this trailer is that it shows some background to the story at the beginning. It was also presented really well, showing it through the mask of 6 year old Michael which gives a different perspective, and then changing to the normal view the audience has. This change of perspective I think is really effective and something I will consider for my trailer. Identify which elements work and which do not work for you?
  7. 7. Due to the characters shown in the trailer being teenagers/young adults, this makes the target audience appear to be around 18 – 25. This is because the audience can relate more to the characters and therefore will want to watch it more as it as they can relate to certain themes in the film, which will then result in them being more scared by the film as well. This audience are targeted by the use of the characters in the film. This is related to Blumler and Katz Uses and Gratifications theory (1974) in relation to the points about Entertainment and Personal Identity as the target audience will relate to the characters, and will get entertainment from the film. The target audience is also fans of horror films as well. This target audience is approached by the obvious show of the horror genre. This trailer targets them by making it very clear and obvious that Halloween is a horror film. This is evident through the use of typical horror film backing music, the dark lighting and colours, and the content of the clips featured in the trailer. Who appears to be the target audience for the film and how are they targeted?
  8. 8. This trailer clearly shows the film in a plot and action based format. This shows clearly what the film is about and creates a frightening atmosphere, and getting the audience hooked on the story and the action making them want to watch it. This format is shown through the use of a lot of clips from the film and fast cuts. This is a popular format not only for horror films, but of other genres as well such as thriller and action as the trailers shows the content of the film really well to gain the audiences attention. This is a very successful format and is widely used across different genres and by various production companies. Is there an identifiable format in this trailer? Does this apply for other trailers? Is it successful?
  9. 9. Trailers are constructed in this way featuring film clips, fast cuts and music to create suspense, to leave unresolved questions and plots for the audience. This will therefore get them excited, and with a horror, make them scared – hopefully getting a mental and physical reaction. This reaction, excitement and unanswered questions effectively make the viewer want to go to the cinema, and resolve the story line. Why are trailers constructed in this way?
  10. 10. Hostel
  11. 11. Hostel was released in 2005 by Screen Gems and Lions Gate Films. Both of these companies, specifically Lions Gate Films are known for releasing popular, widely known films such as; the Underworld films (Lions Gate) and the Saw films (Screen Gems). Both also released a lot of horror films falling under a range of different sub genres, and the majority were widely popular. When comparing the Trailer for Hostel to one for Saw, there are many similarities. For example, both trailers use regular intertitles with a plain black background. This helps to separate the clips from the movie and create tension and makes the audience want to find out more. Another similarity is the background music. They both use music matching the pace of the video to set the atmosphere. Both trailers also use similar scenes from the movies, all fast paced and show the victims either about to be tortured or trying to get away. This makes the viewer want to find out what happened and if they did actually escape. Identify the institution for this trailer and the institutional codes employed by the trailer
  12. 12. This trailer uses auteur criticism to attract an audience by including that it is directed and written by Eli Roth, and produced by Quentin Tarantino. It also includes previous titles by them, such as Kill Bill and Cabin Fever. This gives the audience a sense of what to expect from the film. It also appeals to fans of their movies who will watch anything made by them. This helps to draw in a wide audience. Another selling point from this film is the fact that it says “inspired by true events”. This can effectively put more fear into the audience and intrigue them, pushing them to watch the film. In terms of the content of the trailer, it contains fast paced, quick cuts from key points in the film while missing out crucial parts. This creates the cliff hangers and unanswered questions for audience which they naturally want to answer, therefore attracting them to the film. What are the key selling points of this trailer?
  13. 13. This trailers uses typical horror conventions to establish and create a mood and expectation that is clearly horror film. These elements together make a strong and successful trailer selling the film positively. • The trailer shows tools and weapons frequently, and even is some parts shows them about to be put into use. This tells the audience that the film will contain torture, and therefore they can expect it to be quite bloody and violent. • The dark colours and dim lighting used in the trailer creates a dirty, abandoned and creepy feel which indicates that the film is a horror. • The sound used in the trailer helps create suspense and excitement for the audience as the music speeds up and creates a pace for the trailer that reflects the movie. Other than the music, there are some screams which indicates the torture and violent themes. • The fast cuts used creates a fast, exciting pace for the film that hints to the fact that the film contains a lot of action and will have the audience gripped constantly. How does the trailer establish genre , mood and expectation of the film?
  14. 14. Overall, I think this is a really strong trailer that shows clearly what the genre is and hints to the story line and pace without giving too much away. Although I think this is a really strong trailer, which works well in attracting the audience there is one negative point to it. The trailer shows what the main part of the film is, and also a small section of the end, but does not show any of the beginning. If some of the beginning of the film was included such as before anyone got to be tortured, it would help establish the story more and therefore help the audience to understand a bit more without knowing too much. Something I really do like about the film is that it includes intertitles, which not only help to separate the fast paced clips, but also effectively tell more of a story and explain what is happening vaguely enough not to give anything away. The intertitles also appeal to the audience quite directly, as they repeat “you” and “your” throughout. This makes it seem more personal and like the film is targeting the viewer. Identify which elements work and which do not work for you?
  15. 15. The characters shown in this trailer are range in age. The victims seem to be around 21-25, whereas the antagonists seem to be older, around 35-40 years old. This means that the film is reaching out to a wide age range. The ages and personalities of the characters are important as it allows the audience to make more of a connection with them. This will help the audience to generally engage more fully with the film, which will then therefore scare them more. Although the use of characters could target a wide age range, the content of the film would stereotypically appeal to a younger audience of 18-25 due to the strong bloody, brutal themes. The evident use of tools and weapons in the trailer hints towards bloody themes in the film, which would then attract those who love bloody slasher films. Another horror sub genre this film is targeting is fans of horrors based on true events. They are very clearly targeted by the use of “inspired by true events”. The targeting of fans of two horror sub genres instead of just one will expand the audience and consequently gain more cinema viewing. Who appears to be the target audience for the film and how are they targeted?
  16. 16. There is two formats used strongly in this movie; plot and action based, and one based on auteur criticism. These two work well together to create a trailer that effectively draws in the audience and gets them hooked. The first and more potent format used is the plot and action based one. This sets the scene, indicates that the film is a horror and tells some of the story while creating cliff hangers which in turn makes a impact on the audience, generating the need for them to see what else happens at the cinema. The second format is not as big of a part in the trailer compared to the previous as it takes up less of the trailer, it will however make the trailer stick in the audiences mind. This mention of two notable directors/producers being a part of this film will make the audience want to see film as they know they produce high quality, gripping movies that are typically full of violence. The use of both of these formats together is widely used in trailers to create an even bigger impact than the use of just one format on its own, as it draws in more of an audience. This is format is used across all film genres, and can also mention actors/actresses names as well as the producer, writer and director. It is a very popular and successful format. Is there an identifiable format across this trailer? Does this apply for other trailers? Is it successful?
  17. 17. Trailers are constructed in this way, featuring fast paced music, quick cuts, dim lighting and dark colours to create powerful impressions on the audience to gain a reaction that makes them want to find out more and answer the unresolved stories in the trailer. The mention of popular/famous cast and crew members not only adds to the films attraction for those already interested, but appeals also to those who follow their work who would not normally see a film of that genre. For instance; a fan of Quentin Tarantino’s may be more interested in his violent action movies and not so much in horrors but would see it any way due to the fact he has been a part of making it. Why are trailers constructed in this way?
  18. 18. Wrong Turn
  19. 19. Wrong turn was released in 2003 by Summit Entertainment. Summit Entertainment is not particularly renown for releasing films that fall under the horror genre, but have released some including Sorority Row and The Darkest Hour. Although they have not released many horror films, they have released quite a few highly successful films such as Gone, the Perks of Being a Wallflower and the Twilight Saga. When comparing the trailer for Sorority Row to the one for Wrong Turn, there are hardly any similarities. This could be because they are slightly different in genre, with Sorority Row having more thriller themes, whereas Wrong Turn has more slasher themes. Another reason for different trailers could also be the fact Sorority Row takes place over what seems to be a year, with Wrong Turn happening over the course of a day roughly. A strong similarity is that both trailers show some of the story before the turn of events, for example; Sorority Row shows before the accident and Wrong Turn shows the events leading up to the attacks. This helps to give the audience some background information to the story. Another similarity is that they both use intertitles to create more suspense and excitement. Identify the institution for this trailer and the institutional codes employed by the trailer
  20. 20. This trailer does not mention any key actors or directors and producers, it also does not say that it is inspired by true events. This means that its sole selling points are in the trailers content and the films story. One of the selling points is the pace of the trailer which increases as the films pace does, for example, when all the hunting and torture goes on, the cuts get very fast to include various different pieces of action. This I think helps sell the film as it gives a taste of what the film will be like in terms of action content and pace. Another selling point is the intertitles. This is because they make the antagonists seem like myths and legends, which helps to intrigue the audience. The newspaper clips that go along with the intertitles also gives a slight realistic feel which makes the story appear more interesting. What are the key selling points of each trailer?
  21. 21. This trailer uses typical horror conventions to create a jumps, suspense and excitement in the audience that is expected from a horror trailer. • The music used creates ambience, that starts off all mysterious when the story starts and becomes more fast paced throughout creating tension, suspense and excitement. • The pace of the cuts helps establish the action and content of the film. They also help create excitement and makes the audience want to find out more. • What the clips show – such as the inbreds, and violence – helps to establish the horror genre of the film, which is key in gaining an audience. • When they come across the apparently abandoned house, the lighting and colours darken dramatically, which contrasts to the bright, colourful scenes previous, this lighting also reflects and compliments the building they have entered as well as letting the audience know that something bad is going to happen which creates suspense and excitement. How does each trailer establish genre , mood and expectation of the film?
  22. 22. There are a few elements that work well and do not work too well in this trailer. However, overall, the trailer is quite strong and presents the film correctly as a horror. The first weak point with this trailer for me is the lighting and colours. For the majority of the film, it is day time and therefore quite bright and colourful. Although this does not look good, it does not clearly establish the horror themes as well as darker, gloomier weather, colours and lighting is. Another weak point is how the trailer is quite slow to get to the action and gripping cuts that indicate the horror themes. I know that this is a long 2 minute trailer, meaning there is space for the story to develop in the trailer, but there is too much of the beginning and not enough of the action content. A good point of this trailer is the pace created by the cuts and music. As the story line gets more dramatic and bad things start to happen the cuts get quicker and music get faster. This is a typical horror convention that works really well with this due to the fact that you get to effectively see the beginning to the end of the story. Identify which elements work and which do not work for you?
  23. 23. As with the previous two films, Wrong Turn shows quite young characters in their early twenties. This then appeals to an audience of that age as they can empathise and relate to the characters, meaning they get more engrossed in the storyline and will therefore be more frightened by it. This will then create a wider audience for the film. Another audience for this film is fans of horrors. This is because the trailer distinctively shows horror themes such as the inbreds chasing the victims and parts of their murders. Although this trailer clearly shows that the film is a horror, it is not distinctly clear that the film is a gory slasher film, which could mean the trailer loses the film that specific audience due to the fact it is not so specific. What appears to be the target audience for the films? And how are they targeted?
  24. 24. This trailer clearly uses a plot and action format as it shows a outline of the films plot and story without giving too much away from start to finish. This gains the audiences attention as it tells them what the story is to gain their interest, but leaves enough cliffhangers to make the audience want to find out more, by going to the cinema to see the film. This format is used quite often, especially in theatrical trailers as they have the time to outline the story in slightly more detail, especially horror as it sets out some background information for the film and tells the audience how the victims got in their predicament. It is successful as it explains the story to the audience, which therefore get them hooked wanting to find out more. Is there an identifiable format in this trailer? Does this apply for other trailers? Is it successful?
  25. 25. Trailers are constructed in this way, featuring the plot outline, increasing pace, different lighting/colours and fast cuts to make the audience want to go see the film at the cinema. This want to go to see the film is created by the feelings – both emotional and physical – that are generated by the trailer, including excitement, adrenaline, fear and suspense. This reaction then wants to go to the cinema to go find out what actually happens in the film and to be scared even more than they were by the trailer. Why are trailers constructed in this way?

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