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The shining
(1980)
trailer
analysis
This is a title screen or flashcard of the
production company who made the film. This
shows the viewer who made the film and that
it is an advertisement for a film or TV program.
This is an initial establishing shot, this shows the viewer the
location of the film and allows them to get an initial
understanding of the location and plot based on this shot.
E.g.. I can see from this shot that the film is set in an
isolated, snowy mountain area, the terrain would make it
harder for rescue teams to get to the location further
conveying its isolation, it’s a large building and possibly a
tourist destination due to the amount of cars outside and
the snowy location.
At the beginning of the trailer we are shown a series of shots which are not shown in
chronological order to the narrative (not linear) These shots are a few second each and
they tell a story, as the narrator/voiceover tells this story the shots used and seen on
screen also tell the story for example when the narrator says “during the winter.” we are
shown a shot of the snowy weather, also, when the narrator says “killed his family with an
axe.” we are shown footage of the man acting aggressively with an axe. The words spoken
by the narrator and the shots seen work together to communicate the ideas to the
audience. The words “had a mental breakdown.” also conveys to the audience the genre of
this film is psychological. We are also shown a shot where the man says “that wont happen
to me.” and everyone laughs, whereas, as we have just seen, it will happen to him as we
have just been shown footage of him with an axe. This is almost as if the trailer /film is
mocking itself or trying to make it extremely obvious to the viewer what the plot is. This
could also be an attempt at self reflexivity or self realisation.
The trailer then seems to go back to the beginning of
the story again, as we are shown the normal family
driving to the location in the car. This acts as a second
establishing shot and allows the audience to
familiarize themselves with the characters. Dramatic
music with a strong jumpy beat also starts at this
point building up suspense and conveying the genre
to the viewer.
We are then shown a zoomed in shot of the main
character who clearly looks unstable. The camera
then moves in with sudden, jumpy cuts as the
narrator says the word “isolation” this allows the
viewer to associate this word with this character
and reveals to them that this character is going to
do something bad because of isolation.
After a fade cut, The boy character is then seen saying “is
there something bad here.” which suggests that this is also a
character with a big part in the plot. It also makes it
extremely obvious and tells the audience directly that there
is something bad happening (in case they were too stupid to
work it out) There is a black actor here which suggests that
ethnicity is represented here, the black man is also in a suit
which suggests he is rich or upper class which goes against
previous stereotypes of black people.
The boy has longish hair and big eyes which makes him seem
angelic. He is also on a tricycle which suggests that he is very
young. This is the idea of the “young and innocent” stereotype.
Because he is scared this reaches out to the target audience who
can relate and emphasise with this character as they may have
young children. This makes the viewer more involved and
engaged with the trailer/film. There is a sudden flash and the
sound effects intensify after this shot suggesting that something
bad is going to happen and further building suspense.
The narrator then says something about the characters
having to deal with this evil character in the “harshest
possible way” suggesting that the other characters will
have to fight and kill the bad character. We are shown
images of the other characters with weapons at this point
which further implies this idea. The female character
looks quite masculine here which could suggest she has to
man up and fight and show her masculine side.
These flashcards communicate to the viewer some
information about the film. They also allow the writer to
gain credit or raise awareness of his work. The screens
also break up the shots. The music gets even more
sinister sounding and dramatic here, the volume also
slightly rises, suggesting the suspense is nearly over and
that the trailer is going to get more dramatic.
We are then shown a series of short shots of the family embracing each other which shows that they love each other.
However the man wants to kill them which shows the audience the contrast between his two sides of personality and
shows the viewer that there is wo sides to this character. The dialogue can also be heard “killed you and Danny.” which
suggests to the viewers that he is going to kill these characters in the film. Quite a lot of the plot has now been revealed.
Unless, the idea of revealing all of this is to make you think you know the plot but actually the opposite could happen if
the film consists of twists. The embracing also suggests to the audience how fragile and innocent the characters are.
These flashcards communicate to the viewer some
information about the film. They also allow the director
to gain credit or raise awareness of his work. The screens
also break up the shots.
This shot suggests that there is something
crazy/psychological or supernatural going on.
The dialogue “ you did this to him.” also suggests to
the reader that the main male character has done
something horrible to the boy character.
The characters voices are getting dramatic and
hysterical now along with the music intensifying.
These flashcards communicate to the viewer some
information about the film. This card tells them the
release date for the film.
We are then shown two shots of blood gushing in a hallway
and the word murder written on the wall. This suggests to the
audience that there are going to be/have been murders in
the film and this is a key part of the plot. The way murder has
been written also suggests that a child or ghost has written it
as it looks chaotic and unorganized. It is also in the colour red
symbolising blood and the genre of horror. The camera also
quickly zooms in on the word which suggests that we should
focus on it.
These shots show a lot of the horror scenes of this film in which the characters are scared or causing harm. They are fast
paced which adds to the suspense and conveys the genre. The words “here's Johnny” is said in an unhinged way which
unnerves the audience. These shots feature a lot of weapons suggesting that there are lots of injury's or situations where
people need to defend themselves. The music also intensifies and gets louder and the instrument sounds similar to a
screechy scream. This sound is conventional in horror films. The characters are also shown with there mouths open
screaming in this sequence suggesting that the noise is representing there screams.
These flashcards communicate to the viewer some
information about the film. This card tells the viewer
what the film is called. It is shown at the end of the
trailer so that the viewer remembers the name and
doesn't forget it whilst being engrossed in watching the
trailer. At this point the music suddenly stops and we
hear a bell like chime, this resembles that of a funeral
bell or alarm bell. It also signifies to the viewer that the
trailer has nearly ended as the suspense drops down.
We are then shown a final shot where this character is
laughing as if he is mentally unstable. This conveys to the
audience that he is the antagonist and is sinister and
unhinged. As he is looking straight at the viewer this
suggests the idea of self reflexivity and allows the
audience to connect with the character. This shot of him
laughing also contrasts with the earlier shot of him
laughing. The laughs are completely different, this shows
his transformation/deterioration throughout the film.
Clover’s Theory:
The Final Girl,
The Final Girl Theory is a concept within thriller
and horror films, that specifically refers to the
last woman or girl alive to confront the killer,
who then is left to tell the story. A common plot
line in many horror films, particularly prior to
the 1990s, is where a series of victims get killed
off one by one leaving which builds up the
climax in which the last person standing from
the group, a female, either defeats the killed or
gets away. They also tend to have a relationship
with the killer somehow.
Wendy in the shining follows the stereotype of
the final girl as she starts of innocent and
maternal and then she starts to protect herself
with a weapon, giving a sense of sudden
masculinity.
His laughs turn into the woman’s screams as the shot
suddenly changes. There is also a loud bang which acts
as the “final scare” for the viewers as it makes them
jump as they were not expecting it as they thought the
trailer was ending. This shot is also an example of the
theory of the final girl.
Style: New technology was used “the steady cam” to capture shots, psychological,
gore, paranormal,
Music: dramatic, jumpy, gets louder as the plot intensifies,
Plot (that we can identify from only the trailer):
Family go to stay in a haunted hotel where a previous caretaker has murdered his
family with an axe, this family then fall apart with the father becoming possessed
or mad and therefore reliving that story by killing his own family with an axe.
Editing:
Jump cuts, fades, series of quick shots, flashes between shots and flash cards/title
screens.
Graphics: Very simple Ariel font, black background, white text. Designed so they
inform but do not distract from the footage itself.
Actors/actresses: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers,
Joe Turkel, Philip Stone, Barry Nelson, Barry Denman. (and others)
Briefnotessummary:
How is the narrative portrayed? (linear, flash backs,
cross cuts etc.) How can I use these in my trailer?
The narrative is linear however it shows some shots in the
wrong order such as the sequence at the beginning, it also
shows some of the same shots at the end but a lot quicker. I
could use this in my own trailer to create suspense and to reveal
the plot in a different way. The trailer features flashbacks and
crosscuts as it shows each family member, there reactions to
the same situation etc at certain times during the trailer.
Young – middle
aged-
Main characters are
middle aged
therefore audience
can relate to them.
Family's with young
children (however
film not suitable for
the children)
(viewer can relate
to the family
dilemmas presented
in the film)
Likes reading or likes
Stephen King (film is
based on a book)
Connotations of being
well educated or
intelligent
White British/american
(white characters/actors
throughout)
Who Is the target audience and how
does the trailer appeal to them?
Like going on holiday,
camping or staying in
hotels, have interests
in travelling (strong
theme in the film)
People who enjoy
psychological horrors
with a supernatural
twist
Who does this trailer represent?
(social groups, age, ethnicity,
gender, stereotypes etc.)
Middle aged
families with
young children
Variety of different
age groups (there are
old and young
characters)
Middle/working
class conveyed
Stereotypical
“damsel in
distress”
female
character,
Innocent child
character who
is unaware of
what is going
on
Man is perceived to be the
antagonist (stereotypical)
Black actor is featured, representing
ethnicity and portraying black
people in an unconventional way (he
was wearing a suit suggesting he
was upper class)
How can elements of this trailer influence my
own?
Themes: I could use the idea of a sane person being possessed by something
and then as a result turning against everyone and killing them with a
weapon.
Characters: A male antagonist, an innocent “last girl” character.
Mise-en-scene: empty corridors and rooms for chase scenes, stair sets etc.
Shots: point of view shots, direct shots where the character is looking at the
camera, high and low angle shots.
Sound: dramatic music getting louder as trailer intensifies, loud, clear
dialogue explaining what is going on, banging or chiming sound effects.

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The shining

  • 2. This is a title screen or flashcard of the production company who made the film. This shows the viewer who made the film and that it is an advertisement for a film or TV program. This is an initial establishing shot, this shows the viewer the location of the film and allows them to get an initial understanding of the location and plot based on this shot. E.g.. I can see from this shot that the film is set in an isolated, snowy mountain area, the terrain would make it harder for rescue teams to get to the location further conveying its isolation, it’s a large building and possibly a tourist destination due to the amount of cars outside and the snowy location.
  • 3. At the beginning of the trailer we are shown a series of shots which are not shown in chronological order to the narrative (not linear) These shots are a few second each and they tell a story, as the narrator/voiceover tells this story the shots used and seen on screen also tell the story for example when the narrator says “during the winter.” we are shown a shot of the snowy weather, also, when the narrator says “killed his family with an axe.” we are shown footage of the man acting aggressively with an axe. The words spoken by the narrator and the shots seen work together to communicate the ideas to the audience. The words “had a mental breakdown.” also conveys to the audience the genre of this film is psychological. We are also shown a shot where the man says “that wont happen to me.” and everyone laughs, whereas, as we have just seen, it will happen to him as we have just been shown footage of him with an axe. This is almost as if the trailer /film is mocking itself or trying to make it extremely obvious to the viewer what the plot is. This could also be an attempt at self reflexivity or self realisation.
  • 4. The trailer then seems to go back to the beginning of the story again, as we are shown the normal family driving to the location in the car. This acts as a second establishing shot and allows the audience to familiarize themselves with the characters. Dramatic music with a strong jumpy beat also starts at this point building up suspense and conveying the genre to the viewer. We are then shown a zoomed in shot of the main character who clearly looks unstable. The camera then moves in with sudden, jumpy cuts as the narrator says the word “isolation” this allows the viewer to associate this word with this character and reveals to them that this character is going to do something bad because of isolation.
  • 5. After a fade cut, The boy character is then seen saying “is there something bad here.” which suggests that this is also a character with a big part in the plot. It also makes it extremely obvious and tells the audience directly that there is something bad happening (in case they were too stupid to work it out) There is a black actor here which suggests that ethnicity is represented here, the black man is also in a suit which suggests he is rich or upper class which goes against previous stereotypes of black people. The boy has longish hair and big eyes which makes him seem angelic. He is also on a tricycle which suggests that he is very young. This is the idea of the “young and innocent” stereotype. Because he is scared this reaches out to the target audience who can relate and emphasise with this character as they may have young children. This makes the viewer more involved and engaged with the trailer/film. There is a sudden flash and the sound effects intensify after this shot suggesting that something bad is going to happen and further building suspense.
  • 6. The narrator then says something about the characters having to deal with this evil character in the “harshest possible way” suggesting that the other characters will have to fight and kill the bad character. We are shown images of the other characters with weapons at this point which further implies this idea. The female character looks quite masculine here which could suggest she has to man up and fight and show her masculine side. These flashcards communicate to the viewer some information about the film. They also allow the writer to gain credit or raise awareness of his work. The screens also break up the shots. The music gets even more sinister sounding and dramatic here, the volume also slightly rises, suggesting the suspense is nearly over and that the trailer is going to get more dramatic.
  • 7. We are then shown a series of short shots of the family embracing each other which shows that they love each other. However the man wants to kill them which shows the audience the contrast between his two sides of personality and shows the viewer that there is wo sides to this character. The dialogue can also be heard “killed you and Danny.” which suggests to the viewers that he is going to kill these characters in the film. Quite a lot of the plot has now been revealed. Unless, the idea of revealing all of this is to make you think you know the plot but actually the opposite could happen if the film consists of twists. The embracing also suggests to the audience how fragile and innocent the characters are.
  • 8. These flashcards communicate to the viewer some information about the film. They also allow the director to gain credit or raise awareness of his work. The screens also break up the shots. This shot suggests that there is something crazy/psychological or supernatural going on. The dialogue “ you did this to him.” also suggests to the reader that the main male character has done something horrible to the boy character. The characters voices are getting dramatic and hysterical now along with the music intensifying.
  • 9. These flashcards communicate to the viewer some information about the film. This card tells them the release date for the film. We are then shown two shots of blood gushing in a hallway and the word murder written on the wall. This suggests to the audience that there are going to be/have been murders in the film and this is a key part of the plot. The way murder has been written also suggests that a child or ghost has written it as it looks chaotic and unorganized. It is also in the colour red symbolising blood and the genre of horror. The camera also quickly zooms in on the word which suggests that we should focus on it.
  • 10. These shots show a lot of the horror scenes of this film in which the characters are scared or causing harm. They are fast paced which adds to the suspense and conveys the genre. The words “here's Johnny” is said in an unhinged way which unnerves the audience. These shots feature a lot of weapons suggesting that there are lots of injury's or situations where people need to defend themselves. The music also intensifies and gets louder and the instrument sounds similar to a screechy scream. This sound is conventional in horror films. The characters are also shown with there mouths open screaming in this sequence suggesting that the noise is representing there screams.
  • 11. These flashcards communicate to the viewer some information about the film. This card tells the viewer what the film is called. It is shown at the end of the trailer so that the viewer remembers the name and doesn't forget it whilst being engrossed in watching the trailer. At this point the music suddenly stops and we hear a bell like chime, this resembles that of a funeral bell or alarm bell. It also signifies to the viewer that the trailer has nearly ended as the suspense drops down. We are then shown a final shot where this character is laughing as if he is mentally unstable. This conveys to the audience that he is the antagonist and is sinister and unhinged. As he is looking straight at the viewer this suggests the idea of self reflexivity and allows the audience to connect with the character. This shot of him laughing also contrasts with the earlier shot of him laughing. The laughs are completely different, this shows his transformation/deterioration throughout the film.
  • 12. Clover’s Theory: The Final Girl, The Final Girl Theory is a concept within thriller and horror films, that specifically refers to the last woman or girl alive to confront the killer, who then is left to tell the story. A common plot line in many horror films, particularly prior to the 1990s, is where a series of victims get killed off one by one leaving which builds up the climax in which the last person standing from the group, a female, either defeats the killed or gets away. They also tend to have a relationship with the killer somehow. Wendy in the shining follows the stereotype of the final girl as she starts of innocent and maternal and then she starts to protect herself with a weapon, giving a sense of sudden masculinity. His laughs turn into the woman’s screams as the shot suddenly changes. There is also a loud bang which acts as the “final scare” for the viewers as it makes them jump as they were not expecting it as they thought the trailer was ending. This shot is also an example of the theory of the final girl.
  • 13. Style: New technology was used “the steady cam” to capture shots, psychological, gore, paranormal, Music: dramatic, jumpy, gets louder as the plot intensifies, Plot (that we can identify from only the trailer): Family go to stay in a haunted hotel where a previous caretaker has murdered his family with an axe, this family then fall apart with the father becoming possessed or mad and therefore reliving that story by killing his own family with an axe. Editing: Jump cuts, fades, series of quick shots, flashes between shots and flash cards/title screens. Graphics: Very simple Ariel font, black background, white text. Designed so they inform but do not distract from the footage itself. Actors/actresses: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Joe Turkel, Philip Stone, Barry Nelson, Barry Denman. (and others) Briefnotessummary:
  • 14. How is the narrative portrayed? (linear, flash backs, cross cuts etc.) How can I use these in my trailer? The narrative is linear however it shows some shots in the wrong order such as the sequence at the beginning, it also shows some of the same shots at the end but a lot quicker. I could use this in my own trailer to create suspense and to reveal the plot in a different way. The trailer features flashbacks and crosscuts as it shows each family member, there reactions to the same situation etc at certain times during the trailer.
  • 15. Young – middle aged- Main characters are middle aged therefore audience can relate to them. Family's with young children (however film not suitable for the children) (viewer can relate to the family dilemmas presented in the film) Likes reading or likes Stephen King (film is based on a book) Connotations of being well educated or intelligent White British/american (white characters/actors throughout) Who Is the target audience and how does the trailer appeal to them? Like going on holiday, camping or staying in hotels, have interests in travelling (strong theme in the film) People who enjoy psychological horrors with a supernatural twist
  • 16. Who does this trailer represent? (social groups, age, ethnicity, gender, stereotypes etc.) Middle aged families with young children Variety of different age groups (there are old and young characters) Middle/working class conveyed Stereotypical “damsel in distress” female character, Innocent child character who is unaware of what is going on Man is perceived to be the antagonist (stereotypical) Black actor is featured, representing ethnicity and portraying black people in an unconventional way (he was wearing a suit suggesting he was upper class)
  • 17. How can elements of this trailer influence my own? Themes: I could use the idea of a sane person being possessed by something and then as a result turning against everyone and killing them with a weapon. Characters: A male antagonist, an innocent “last girl” character. Mise-en-scene: empty corridors and rooms for chase scenes, stair sets etc. Shots: point of view shots, direct shots where the character is looking at the camera, high and low angle shots. Sound: dramatic music getting louder as trailer intensifies, loud, clear dialogue explaining what is going on, banging or chiming sound effects.