In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Before we even started thinking about making our horror trailer we looked at existing trailers online so that we had a firm idea about the forms and conventions. I chose to analyse were 30 Days of Night and A Nightmare On Elm Street. My full analysis can be seen on an earlier post of my blog. The main conventions I found in the trailers were:
Generally start of at a regular pace and gets continuously faster as the action builds before ending with a shocking climax.
A soundtrack that compliments the action on screen.
Editing becomes more frequent so shots are shorter and sharper towards the end.
Vulnerable character (usually a young attractive female.)
Ways in which our trailer follows conventions:
We have much more disequilibrium than equilibrium to give the idea of disorientation and disorder.
Shots become shorter throughout the trailer to build up tension.
Shots are not in chronological order so it doesn't give too much away.
Edited the song we used for the soundtrack so it fitted with the pace of the trailer.
Ways in which we have challenged conventions:
Our vulnerable character in the trailer was male which goes against conventions as this is stereotypically a young female who cannot defend herself.
Have a dominant female character as the villain.
We thought it would be an interesting twist to reverse the character stereotype and it actually worked very well and makes our trailer a bit different.
As well as looking at trailers we also analysed horror posters and film magazines because in addition to our trailer we also had to create print work to promote our product. Horror poster conventions:
Red or dark text to highlight connotations danger.
Title in a large clear font that grabs attention. (Often the same font that appears in the trailer.)
Dominant photo of an iconic image from the film that makes the poster instantly recognisable.
Effects on both the photo and text to make it look eary
I decided to base my magazine on the well known film company Empire as I thought there covers were particularly effective.
Todorov’s Theory Todorov’s theory of narrative structure states that every story has five distinct stages. I do not believe that our work can follow Todorov’s theory because it is just a trailer and therefore we cannot give the whole narrative away without spoiling the film. However there are certain hints within the trailer that suggest the narrative structure could be followed if it was an entire film. Click here for Todorov Theory link
It places the focus on the consumer or audience instead of the message itself by asking "what do people do with media" rather than "what media does to people" (Katz 1959
It assumes that they take an active role in the media and make it part of their lives.
I believe this applies to our film firstly on the most basic level that it becomes part of their lives because they discuss the trailer and share opinion with friends. But on a more extreme level you could argue that they could relate to the trailer on a person level and associate it with their own lives.
For example, Chloe, the girl who loses her best friend and has to grieve for her, is most likely to be the character people could relate to if they also have lost someone close to them.
On a whole I believe that our trailer and my print work mostly complies with the conventions of real media products. However there are certain aspects such as the reverse of the stereotypical roles to have males as the vulnerable characters that challenge the conventions. I think that the combination of the two has made our horror trailer unique.