Alice Sophie Turrell
What is a film trailer?
A film trailer is the most important part of the marketing for
films as it what shows the audience what to expect and
builds the anticipation for the movie. They are made to sell
the film and get attention, so often the best shots will be
used and the editing with match in with the genre. For
example, if it is a horror, the music will be eerie and the
shots will be short and jumpy showing some of the scariest
scenes and a lot of action.
They can be as broad or as closely relating to the storyline
as it needs to be to gain the attention of the audience.
When are they shown?
There are many different ways in which film trailers are shown and
promoted, and they always link into the genre of the film, popularity of the
actors and if is part of a trilogy for example.
The different ways are;
• Before a movie of a similar genre at the cinema e.g. Insidious 2 was
shown before the conjuring as they are both horror films.
• On a DVD before a film e.g. Man of Steel Trailer was shown before The
Dark Knight Rises are they are both films based on DC comics and both
produced by Christopher Nolan.
• On the TV on a certain channel, at a certain time, or in the adverts for
example a film aimed at teenagers or a comedy would be advertised in
the evenings on MTV.
• Some highly anticipated films premiere their trailers on popular movie
shows. For example, the final trailer for the Eclipse (Twilight Saga) was
introduced on the MTV Movie Awards 2010.
• Music matches the pace of the film and sets the mood e.g. love
song for a romance.
• Cutting and editing matches the pace of the film e.g. action
films have faster cuts and edits to create suspense.
• Dialogue from the film used to tell the story and make it seem
more personal e.g. in a war film they could have screaming or
shouting from the film.
• Text added to create more suspense and help tell the story e.g.
a horror film could mention “based on true events”.
• Structure often follows the structure of the film e.g. start to
Action – Man of Steel
Man of Steel was a highly anticipated action movie. This was due to its
massive Superman fan base, and high expectations of director
Christopher Nolan (auteur criticism).
The first trailer released for Man of Steel is quite emotional, opening
with emotive music, and then going on with sound clips from the movie
to highlight the emotional side and secretive side to the film; for
example how Clark Kent (Superman) dealt with growing up with
powers. The different scenes alternate between him as a child and then
as an adult still dealing with his powers. Then halfway through the
trademark Superman logo and outfit are introduced which then makes
the trailer pick up pace, both in music, shot types and how fast they cut
The shot types used are also important as they are mainly looking up at
at the characters, especially Clark to show their importance. This type of
shot is also used for the rest of the characters which are introduced in the
Although this video gives a lot of information about the characters and
the pace of the movie, it does not give too much away about the actual
story line. Withholding the storyline from the trailer or not revealing as
much in the first released trailer will create a greater buzz and
anticipation for the film.
All of the factors above that are used in the trailer make it clear to
indicate that the movie is an action film. The trailer also contains both
elements of the action and the emotion in the film, therefore attracting a
Drama – A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange is mainly drama, but cleverly includes elements of
Comedy, Thriller and Science Fiction.
The trailer matches the fast pace of the film showing really short clips of the
movie that almost look like they appear in flashes. These clips are separated by
different words describing the movie appearing on the screen for a few minutes
such as “thrilling” and “sardonic”. Also mixed in with these is the flashing
multi – coloured title of the film. This jumble of shots mixed up with the words
and vivid colours do not appear in a chronological order, but seemingly a
random one, mixing up the more creepy and gruesome shots in with the more
humorous ones. This matches the mixed up storyline that jumps between
comedy, sarcasm and crime.
The music played does not seem to match the pace, as Beethoven does not
match the fast and jumpy cuts. However, it is the main song used throughout
the entire film in both the more negative and positive scenes, so in that sense it
The lighting in the shots is very bright and vivid, making the colours look quite
saturated, which matches well to the flashing titles. This also with what the
main character is wearing in some clips gives the trailer a circus type of feel,
which is not what you would necessarily expect from a thriller style drama film.
Although the shots used do show pieces from near enough every scene in the
movie, it comes across as complicated and does not really reveal the storyline at
all. This I think was done intentionally to play on the viewers mind and make
them want to watch it and find out more.
Haunting in Connecticut
Haunting in Connecticut is a typical jumpy horror movie, which is clear and
evident from the trailer,
The trailer goes along with typical conventions of horror trailers, building
suspense and creating excitement and fear for the viewer.
Before you even see any film clips, one of the characters start narrating,
“why do bad things happen to good people?” which indicates that she is
central to the film and is talking after the events have taken place as she is
talking with hindsight. Then, clips start playing in a chronological order.
These are broken up by text, including “Based on a True Story”. When
saying this with horror movies, it creates a more realistic eerie feel, and also
helps the viewer to connect with the characters on a more emotional level.
The shots themselves are quite slow, and fade into each other at first creating
suspense. These are accompanied by eerie, quite classical music that is
typical with a slow horror trailer that builds momentum. This helps create a
darker, slightly uncomfortable feel. As the clip fades to dark at around 0.38,
there is a noticeable thud and the music picks up pace a bit, yet staying with
the old fashioned style. This gives a clear indication that the trailer is going to
start revealing some of the scarier and jumpier clips. As more and more is
given away about the story line, the pace in the editing becomes faster and
the music darkens.
The lighting throughout the clips is dark which is typical of horror trailer and
film, as brighter, more colourful shots would not give the same feel.
All in all, this trailer conforms to typical conventions of a horror trailer to
create suspense and put excitement and fear into the viewer, making them
want to watch the film when it comes out.