Dallas 2012 Trailer Analysis


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Dallas 2012 Trailer Analysis

  1. 1. Dallas 2012 Analysis<br />
  2. 2. Introduction to dallas:<br />THEN…<br />Dallas is set in the state of Texas, USA. the programme follows the trials and tribulations of the wealthy Ewing family, made rich from oil.<br />The trailer opens with a loud drum/whoosh and the modern image of the Dallas City skyline. We recognise that time has moved on since the original seasons because of the highways and the numerous modern skyscrapers.<br />During this image, we hear the voice of a man saying, “All those fights, over Ewing Oil…” we now know that the man talking is Bobby Ewing, brother of JR Ewing. The audience knows from past seasons, that the two brothers did not see eye-to-eye.<br />NOW…<br />
  3. 3. The image then cuts to where we assume the voice is coming from. A man is sat in a chair and another man is walking towards it. We notice that the man sitting down has a lack of hair on his head so we know that he is old. <br />The camera then cuts closer to the old man sitting in the chair, we cannot see his face so this builds curiosity in the audience.<br />The man walking towards the chair says, “We laid waste to everything in our path, JR,” this tells us that the old man in the chair is JR Ewing, and the man walking is Bobby. However, we have still not been shown the faces of these brothers. The images we do see of JR give us the impression that he is in a care home because he is covered in a blanket and wearing pyjamas.<br />
  4. 4. The image then cuts to the face of an older Bobby Ewing – Patrick Duffy. He says, “For what?” and in the corner of the mise-en-scene we see an out-of-focus image of JR.<br />The answer to Bobby’s question is answered in the next clip: Money.<br />The audience are familiar with the past storylines and know that the family became rich after drilling for oil on their land. The title card ‘Money’ has a background image of a river and cattle – this reminds the audience of what the Ewing’s profession was before the oil was found, they were farmers.<br />The trailer then cuts to a CU of Chris Ewing, adopted son of Bobby and Pam Ewing. We only know he is Chris because he acknowledges the person he is talking to as John Ross, who we know is the biological son of JR and Sue Ellen Ewing.<br />
  5. 5. The scene then cuts to an OTS shot of John Ross jnr. Who says, “Couldn’t disagree more,” when Chris states, “Oil’s in the past, John Ross.” this gives the audience the impression that John Ross is a ‘carbon copy’ of what his father was like in past seasons – cared more about the money than family.<br />Another answer to Bobby’s question is given in the next title card: Power. This time with a background image from up above the galloping cattle. This image reminds the audience of past season opening credits – the city is being observed from the perspective of a person in a helicopter, looking down over their ‘kingdom’.<br />We now see the other side of John Ross when he confronts Chris saying, “You’ll never be a Ewing Christopher!” the audience already knows from past seasons that Chris was adopted, and John Ross is pulling at the heartstrings because he is just like his father, wants all the power he can muster. <br />
  6. 6. The scene then cuts to an OTS reaction shot of Chris. This is significant in the story because the two cousins are arguing over the same issues their fathers before them had – Ewing Oil.<br />In many ways, Chris is like Bobby: the ‘nice guy’ who wants to keep Southfork Ranch going rather then bother with the oil supply. Where as John Ross wants the money and power.<br />The next title card says: Rivalry. This, the audience assumes is what the two brothers and their sons are going through; Bobby and Chris want to put all their time into the upkeep of their ranch, where JR and John Ross want to put all their time into the oil business. The two families believe they are right and the other wrong and it will be a constant battle of egos until something drastic happens.<br />The scene then cuts to an interior shot of Chris and who we assume is his girlfriend Rebecca Sutter. He says, “ This is about me and John Ross,” so we assume that John Ross has done something to anger him.<br />
  7. 7. The scene then cuts to an OTS reaction shot of the girlfriend looking forlorn and distressed. We know that she is not an immediate part of the story and is not yet part of the family either.<br />The scene then cuts to black, with a loud boom. <br />We are then slowly introduced back to the scene between Bobby and JR in the care home. Bobby says, “I don’t want them to be like us…” which voices his concern about how alike their sons lives are turning out to be like their own – constant fighting. <br />For the first time in the whole trailer, the audience get to see the full profile of JR Ewing, and how much he has grown since the end of the 14th season.<br />
  8. 8. The trailer then goes into fast mode, they try and cram 7 or more significant moments into the space of just 1/ 2 seconds. The first image in the montage we see is of Chris in a pure white room. We can see a desk lamp on a table so we assume that it is some one’s office – but not necessarily his because he is not dressed in office attire.<br />The next image is a topless John Ross with a woman we assume is his girlfriend – Elena Ramos, standing behind him. The audience can tell that they are in his apartment, it is lavish and has a view of the city behind him which means his apartment is high up.<br />The third image is of two men exchanging money. The audience can tell that they are men because their hands are rough looking and have broader wrists. We can’t see who is exchanging the money which makes the audience suspicious and curious.<br />
  9. 9. The next image is of Rebecca looking down on Chris. We know from Bobby’s past that he was meant to marry a woman but changed his mind last minute so he could marry another. Because John Ross is so like his father, we do not want Chris to copy Bobby with his girlfriend.<br />The next image is an OTS shot of a man and a woman greeting Bobby. They are all dressed in suits and dresses, and the decorations around them hint to the audience that the scene is set at a wedding. We are not familiar with these characters but because they are shown in this vital moment we know they must be significant to the story.<br />The next image we see is of Chris looking lost and confused, as though he is searching for someone because they may well be in danger. He is dressed in a suit, the same as the last image so the audience assumes that he too is at the wedding, but who’s wedding is it?<br />
  10. 10. The next image is of John Ross exiting a house looking slightly shifty and wary. We know he is not at the wedding because of the clothes he is wearing. At the end of the shot he is reaching out in front of him to get into a car.<br />The next image is of Bobby riding a horse. This is a stereotypical image of a ‘Dallas Cowboy’ because he is also wearing a cowboy hat. We assume he is looking onwards towards his house because that is the next image.<br />This series of images were accompanied by a sequence of fast drum beats – for each beat there was a new image.<br />The scene then cuts to a familiar sequence; a slow zoom/pan leading up to the main house of the Southfork Ranch. During this sequence we hear the voiceover of Chris saying, “My whole life, I’ve been trying to get the Ewing name back on top.” this tells the audience that even though we see Bobby and Chris as the ‘good guys’ they are still obsessed with the power of their name.<br />
  11. 11. From the image of the house, the channel icon ‘TNT’ shows up along with the website address for the show so the audience can get more information.<br />The scene then cuts to a BCU of Chris talking to Bobby. They are both dressed in suits and ties which shows off their wealth. The scene is set in what looks like Bobby’s office; there is wood panelling on the walls and Bobby is sitting in a big, tan leather chair, so we know they are talking business.<br />We then see the reaction shot of Bobby, we see that he is wearing a suit and bow tie so we begin to wonder whether this conversation is taking place during the wedding that we have seen previously.<br />The next scene is of John Ross and Elena. John Ross is looking over to the right, we assume that he is looking at someone, possibly Chris because of the emotions portrayed on his face. John Ross looks angry and Elena is looking worriedly at him.<br />
  12. 12. In the next scene, the audience hears John Ross saying, “I’ll always be JR’s son to them,” voicing his concern about not being able to make a name for himself because of his father. He argues that he is only in line to take over Ewing Oil because the fact that he is the sole heir to it, not because he has earned it. <br />The next image is of Chris kissing Rebecca, she is dressed in a white dress and is all made up. The audience now realises that the wedding from the images before is his wedding to Rebecca.<br />Instead of one of the characters speaking a voiceover, the audience hears a different voice saying, “Next summer… TNT invites you back…” they are speaking this during another montage of images, including this image where the audience assumes it is either Chris’s stag night or another celebratory event because the scene is set in a bar and they are all holding up alcohol in one form or another.<br />
  13. 13. The scene then cuts to an aerial shot of Dallas city. This is a familiar sequence because in the past seasons, the opening credits have been mostly of aerial shots of Dallas. This city is now more modernised and business has taken over which can be seen as a metaphor for the Ewing family: they have been corrupted by power and greed.<br />The scene cuts to a BCU of Elena talking down to John Ross saying, “There’s no point going to war…” this makes the audience assume that she doesn’t want John Ross to be like his father, she doesn’t want him to put all his time and effort into the family oil business.<br />The scene then cuts back to the slow zoom of the ranch house. The narrator then says, “…to the one place, that has it all…” this is referring to the many dramatic and tedious storylines from previous seasons.<br />
  14. 14. The scene then cuts to Rebecca and Chris kissing each other – an addition to the many storylines, whilst there are old ones that can be rekindled, new ones are occurring all the time.<br />It then marks the entry of Sue Ellen, former Miss Texas and JR’s ex-/wife, getting out of a flashy car and wearing a deep red dress. This shows wealth but could also be interpreted as possible danger for the family.<br />She meets with John Ross and says, “Think of me as your ally.” this tells the audience that she is classed as the ‘bad guy’ now along with JR and John Ross. Maybe she wants revenge on one of the other characters and is manipulating John Ross to do it.<br />This scene is being played out whilst the familiar theme tune of the old seasons of Dallas is playing in the background. This allows the audience that are familiar with the old seasons to relate to and reminisce about those episodes. New audience members may recognise the theme tune and its significance but will not know what has happened until now.<br />
  15. 15. The trailer then cuts back to where we saw John Ross confronting Chris about not being a real Ewing. This time, Bobby is confronting John Ross saying, “No drilling on my ranch.” This shows anger towards John Ross that hadn’t been seen before from Bobby. In the first few seconds of the trailer, Bobby is seen to be the calm and collected one, but now he is letting his anger show. <br />Elena is standing very close to John Ross as though she is holding him back from Bobby and Chris, and Bobby is standing between the two boys as though he is stopping a fight and keeping them apart – another hint that the business side of their lives has taken over. They are fighting against each other rather than with each other.<br />The scene then cuts back to the care home where JR is sat in his chair with the same blanket and pyjamas on. We can see the side of John Ross’ face so we can tell that he has come to his father to ask for help and advice about the company. JR says, “Bobby was always a fool…”. Which tells the audience that JR is not the helpless old man he is perceived because he is in a care home. The old family feud is still there.<br />
  16. 16. The whole way through these scenes, there is a relatable soundtrack playing behind it. It gives the impression that even though the times have moved on the characters are still classed as ‘cowboys’.<br />The scene then cuts to a MS of a woman pointing a gun at something and then pulling the trigger. We don’t know who the woman is or who or what she is pointing at but we know that she is not one top be messed with.<br />The scene then cuts to a mirror reflection of Rebecca getting fitted for her wedding dress. This is significant because it marks the start of a new era – Bobby has now married Ann, and started anew and now so has his son.<br />The next image is of John Ross and two men in hard hats. We assume that these men work for John Ross through the oil company. They are drilling for oil and they are looking away from their jobs because someone who is not meant to be there has arrived to make a fuss. During this montage of images, the narrator starts to say, “Television’s landmark drama returns…” which ensures that the audience know the series was big in its day.<br />
  17. 17. The infamous Dallas theme tune is still replaying behind all the action, allowing the audience to relive the stories from the previous seasons.<br />Again the mood turns sour when Bobby exclaims, “I am sick to death with this family, devouring itself over money!”. It shows Bobby shouting at John Ross and Chris, making himself seem like the ‘good guy’ again because he doesn’t want the money. The scene then cuts to Chris confronting John Ross, it seems at his own wedding because of the dress attire and the flower garlands in the back of the mise-en-scene.<br />For the first time in the trailer we see JR out of his chair by the window and in regular clothes. This makes the audience wonder whether he was in a care home at all. We see him go back to the all-powerful CEO of Ewing Oil we remember as he confronts his son about not giving the oil company to him, explaining that, “It is mine.”<br />
  18. 18. We see a short clip of a reaction shot from John Ross, where we notice that he is not showing many emotions. This, we relate to JR because he doesn’t portray many emotions either.<br />The trailer ends with a brand new title card – brand new series, brand new design. This is the first time in a while the audience may have seen this sign, so the creators have made it appear shiny and new as thought they are wanting the audience to know that the series is not like the originals, it is brand new.<br />During this title card, the Dallas theme tune increases in volume to emphasise the meaning behind it.<br />The last image the audience sees is of a man riding a horse – we assume this man is Bobby because we saw him before riding a horse. ‘dallastnt.com’ is pasted across the screen as a reminder for the audience to gather more information about the series from it.<br />