Evaluation of 3 media texts: Film trailers By Jake Thorne
Info on trailers: Trailers are normally structured around the most appealing aspects of a film without taking conventional narrative order into consideration – they do not follow any order, they are essentially random. E.g., you might see a funny moment taken from the ending of a comedy near the beginning of the trailer for that film, or a selection of clips chosen to attract the widest possible audience, such as a romantic clip in the trailer for an action film. Some trailers will aim to provide a basic narrative structure to guide us through the film’s storyline.
Trailer structure Opening: establishes setting and introduces characterBuild-up: relationships established; development of characters and their worldProblem: a dilemma or series of complications: characters faced with an obstacle (or several) to overcome. There may be more than one ‘problem’ in the narrativeEvents: a series of events as characters try to overcome obstacles and solve problems. Further complications may arise in the process.
The conventional narrative of a film will normally adopt a classic storytelling structure, for example:
Beginning: order is established; Middle: order is disrupted End: order is restored
Trainspotting The first trailer I have chosen to analyse is the trailer for the 1996 film ‘Trainspotting’ - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pAzkTlckiU. The trailer starts off with three young to middle aged men run across some railway tracks laugh manically which connotes craziness and uncertainty, it also makes the viewer think ‘what have these three fool gotten up to?’. Shortly after seeing the three men run away the camera switches to a close up of a man tied to a railway track who goes on to say don’t take drugs & don't get tied to a railway track by your mates, which show that the three men at the beginning were complete fools and very stupid and possibly on drugs, as what else would make a ‘friend’ tied you to some train tracks. As the trailer finishes you hear the train approaching and the man tied to the tracvks starts to talk louder and more erratically which portrays and cnnotes fear and uncertainty, which continues as the screen turn black and youi hear the train screech as it hit the break, which leaves the trailer as a cliff hanger as after seeing that the viewer will want to see the film to find out what happens to the man tied to the tracks. This trailer doesn't follow the structural convention of a trailer as the beginning the order is established by the three guys running away, then the order established – manic & crazy is heightened as you see the man tied to the tracks, then it leaves on even more uncertainty as your hear the train screech on the breaks.
Eclipse The second trailer I am going to analyse is the trailer for Twilight: Eclipse - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1D5goGz0SY. The trailer starts off with a big establishing shot of a valley and mountains covered in eerie fern trees with a use of string instruments which connotes fear and uncertainty and builds up the atmosphere as if something big is going to happen. Through the course of the trailer the three main characters are saying word of love and how they are going to fight for love as voice over's over the trailer and the string music which continues which together connotes an uncertain relationship between the main girl and two guys but also leads to a massive anti-climax as there is no big ending or fight show in the trailer which again is very clever marketing as it will make the viewer want to see the film as they will want to know what the climax was building up to.
How High The third trailer I have chosen to analyse is a trailer for the 2001 film ‘How High’ - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jurCCnB1tZ0. The trailer starts off with two young black men talking about taking exam to get into college , with funky music playing and some silly dialogue which connotes that this is going to be a silly but funny film. Then i cut to one of them in his house with a lot of cannabis plant, which shows that this is going to be a ‘Stoner Comedy’ throughout the rest of the trailer are clips and shot – mostly close ups of the two main characters time at college which from the clip shown seem to be a crazy and totally unbelievable time, but like earlier mention as you hay see romantic bit in a action film trailer, there is also a romantic clip showing one of the main characters and a girl which shows that although it is a comedy, they is still some romance in it which also make the film appeal to a larger audience.