1. The sequence is from the 2008 teen comedy Wild Child.Analyse the sequence commenting on:· visual codes· audio codes· genreThe trailer for Wild Child demonstrates many of the generic conventions an audience would expect from atypical teen comedy.The trailer is structured in such a way that it indulges an audience with much of the narrative of the film,which is a typical ‘fish out of water’ story. The main character, Poppy, is taken from her comfortable andpampered Malibu existence and dropped into a boarding school in rural England which is both nationallyand metaphorically well outside of her comfort zone. It is obvious that this conflict of character and settingwill be the basis of much of the film’s humour.Poppy’s character is typical of the spoilt rich girl, the glimpses of the narrative demonstrate her extravagantlifestyle. Visual signifiers such as her sports car, designer shopping and hand bags and oversized movie starsunglasses are reinforced by audio codes - such as the opening sound effect of the cellular phone, whichconnotes her hectic lifestyle and lines of dialogue when she arrives in England: “How am I going to call mytherapist?” which signifies the amount of people Poppy has to tend to her every whim.The iconography of the comedic elements is represented visually by various codes such as the slapstickhumour of mud being flung into her face which Poppy immediately deals with by removing the mud andreapplying her make-up which is always on hand. The sequence is edited in fast motion to emphasise thecomic set piece but also to reinforce her characteristic vanity.As with any teen comedy we see the protagonist work through a character arc. This is exaggeratedthrough the visual code of her hair changing as well as the narrative revealing Poppy’s changing attitudethrough dialogue: “Isn’t it ironic that my ticket out of here might just be the reason I want to stay?”, andalso the non-diegetic voice over: “...a story about leaving home and finding yourself.” Both of which areclear connotations of Poppy’s transformation from spoilt brat to introspective young woman, andsymbolises the theme of self discovery which the audience will recognise as conventional of many teencomedies.This journey of self discovery also contains many conventional characters which can be easily equated withPropp’s character types; Poppy as the Princess, the prefect as Villain, the headmistress as mentor andFreddy as the Hero character - however an alternate reading may suggest that as Poppy is central to thefilm that she is the Hero who must complete her quest and Freddy is the Princess character, wherebyPoppy must win the approval of the headmistress in the Princess’ Father role - according to Propp’sfunctions. The blosoming relationship between the two inevitably leading to the iconic ‘kiss’ which is yetanother expectation of the genre.Other iconography can be found in further analysis of the setting. The visual differences between Poppy’sMalibu life and the English boarding school juxtapose through the use of lighting. Malibu’s bright sundrenched parties representing Poppy’s wild carefree days contrast with the bleak low key lighting and dullearthy colours of the English countryside and weather, itself signifying Poppy’s calming and maturingcharacter. All the iconic elements of a stuffy boarding school are visible, the traditional looking uniform, theprison like dormitories and muddy games field all add to the feeling that Poppy has been imprisoned in hernew home.Yet more expectations of the teen comedy film are met from looking at the cast, Emma Roberts is a youngup and coming actress known for starring in teen films such as Nancy Drew and romantic comedies such as
Valentine’s Day. Not only is Roberts a draw to the box office for an audience but she is a guarantee to theaudience as to the type of film they are about to watch.The music throughout the trailer is loud, fast paced and energetic which entirely reflects the energetic andsomewhat chaotic opening of the trailer mirrored by Poppy’s ‘Wild Child’ character and then reflects theliberating effect she has on the other students as engage in cheer-leading and get caught up in heradventure. All of which introduces the theme that Poppy’s own journey will also change the lives of others.The ideologies behind many teen comedies are those present in the Wild Child trailer, those of adolescentself discovery, inner reflection and finding meaning in your life through tough challenges not throughmaterial goods. Some audiences may find the Wild Child trailer predictable and unimaginative in its strictadherence to certain narrative and generic conventions. On the other hand this would not necessarily bethe view of the target audience who would appreciate having their expectations met by the film and wouldenjoy every convention as it arrives in the course of the narrative.