Our group produced a trailer within the Crime/Thriller genre. We used conventional
aspects which enabled it to look effective and challenge the forms of real media
products. From conducting much research into the genre I discovered many themes
that became prominent within film magazines, film trailers and film posters.
Conventions of Genre
Conflict between the antagonist's
Violence and fighting
Weapons e.g. guns/knives
Themes about murder/revenge
Conventions of Form
Trailers last usually 2-3 minutes
Names of the actors
Short footage of scenes in the film
By following the majority of these conventions we intended to create an
effective crime/thriller film trailer. We used these as guides to incorporate
them into our characters appearances/actions and make it appeal to our
audience. By creating a storyline involving 4 female's who get involved with
drugs, alcohol and fights I will explain how we successfully made it
Conventions of Form
Our trailer fitted the conventions of form by doing the following..
We included the names of the actresses throughout the trailer to remind the audience who is featured in it.
We found this to be a significant conventions as it enticed the audience who were fans of the
actors/actresses into watching the film. Although the actors we used we not famous we still included them
to make our trailer professional and stereotypical.
We also found that another convention was that the length of the trailer is usually 2 minutes long, with the
incorporated shot lengths we made our trailer 1.49 which was nearly the conventional length.
Another conventions in which we used within our trailer was the use of voice overs. We used these to
include the right information that would allow the audience to understand the concept of the storyline but
without giving too much away. We chose to use whispering also, and repeated this throughout to add
suspense and to entice our audience. This was used in the trailer to Spring Break which was very similar to
our storyline. We thought this was effective and so chose to do the same with our trailer.
Although out characters were not stereotypical for
the crime thriller genre (strong/masculine males),
we used teenagers. This added the realism of crime
as stereotypically in crime/thrillers such as Spring
Breakers and The Runnaways young, female
characters are used. Since our final product showed
some similarities to these films we thought this
could convey the wild and chaotic lifestyles that are
shown in the story lines. Thus adding to the thriller
genre that we tried to adapt to which made it seem
more crazy and exciting. The main antagonist 'Luna'
was represented using negative connotations
similar to villains in modern crime thriller today. With
the use of dark leather clothing and heavy eye
make up, she stood out among other character's
within the trailer to indicate her role clearly. The
other character's who are seen as antagonist's at
the beginning of the trailer wear light coloured
clothing to indicate a innocent persona. Once under
the influence of 'Luna' the audience can understand
their character change via the use of dark clothing.
The use of the feminine characters helped make it
effective as, stereotypically, the situations they were
involved in seemed more outrageous and
Camera workExamples of camera work which we used to ensure our trailer met our audience’s needs and conventions of the genre were…
Wide Shots - A number of these shots were used in out trailer. For example the shot of the car headlights turning on and the shot of the three
characters on bikes and running. This gives the audience a clear view of the scene and allows them to understand the situation. It's
conventional as it sets the scene and gives an clear view of the location and situation. For example the shot of the three girls running away
looks like they are in a dodgy and run down establishment so the audience can identify this which relates to the crime element. It also connotes
that since they are the antagonist's they are running away from 'Luna' the villain and her evil schemes.
High Angle Shot - A high angle shot is used in our trailer when three characters are laying on the bed. This is conventional as it introduces the
characters and in this scene it shows them to be innocent and inferior. It shows the equilibrium of the story as the characters have not come into
contact with ‘Luna’ after which they turn wild and fearless. We wanted to create the identity of average regular teenagers to then contrast with
the lifestyle that they begin to lead later on in the trailer. Similar to Spring Breaker’s where the characters are shown in college at the start of the
trailer and then within the party lifestyle later on. You can also see that in these high angle shots the lighting is high key which connotes the
innocent representations of them.
Close Up Shots – We used many close up shots within our trailer which we found to be conventional in other crime/thriller trailers. We found
this to be effective as it constantly reminded the audience of the characters involved. It also enhances their emotions within scenes, especially
when they are ‘on drugs’ and ‘drunk’ which adds to the rebellious and wild aspect of the trailer. We also used close up shots of scenes where
the character is flicking through the money which conveys how much money they have adding the element of crime since they most likely made
it illegally. Other trailers similar to ours such as Spring Breakers and Taken, use close ups of there character's too which we identified to be a
conventional camera shot and so used this through out our trailer to remind the audience of the characters.
We tried to make our trailer seem very upbeat and energetic to mirror the patterns of other crime thriller trailers
such as Spring Breakers, 21 Jump Street and Taken. By including short and fast clips it enabled us to pursue
the tension required to make it effective.
Fast Paced Editing - We used this type of editing throughout our trailer to ensure that we added the element of
excitement and to keep the audience’s focus upon the trailer to keep them interested in our product. By trimming
certain scenes that we filmed and putting them in non chronological order it was deemed more effective as it broke up
the trailer. This is conventional as crime thriller films often use this to add the thrilling aspects to the audience. Many of
our shots were 1s or 2s which we found to be similar to films such as Spring Breakers and Project X. Since our
characters are younger, we used these length shots to convey the party lifestyle and drama to the trailer to entice our
Fade To Black - We used this technique within the start scenes of our trailer. We introduced the protagonist's within
the film which was Me, Hannah and Kate and then we began to use fade to black in between shots to give the hint to
the audience of the introduction to the antagonist 'Luna' we incorporated 0.1s shots of Elli to build up tension and
contrast with the happy and innocent portrayal of the other characters. We then used the fade to black after the Luna
had been fully introduced with the shot of her with a lighter whispering 'Wild' to create a dramatic pause and then used
text with the words 'This summer' to add the dark element within our crime thriller trailer.
Slow Motion – We used this on a number of our shots including the shot of Kate running away towards the gate and
then her clinging onto it. We used this as she was predominantly shown as the weaker character in contrast with the
antagonist and her running was a symbol of her running away from the lifestyle that Luna is making her lead. We
wanted to emphasis this and by slowing down the shot it created a different atmosphere when in contrast with the
other fast paced shots. Another example of when we used slow motion was when Elli 's character Luna was shown
partying and then 'Ellinna Horton' was shown. This created the illusion of the character on drugs and distorted the
audience's perception to get the idea of the alcohol and drugs involved with the characters. Trailers such as Spring
Breakers used slow motion for party scenes too, when conducing our research we found this to look effective and so
experimented with shots ourselves. The outcome was successful as it looked creative in contrast with the other shots
and worked well incorporated into our trailer.
The sound involved help to create the thriller impact that could make our trailer successful. Some
examples of this are…
Background Music (Non-Diegetic) - We used non copy write music for the back ground of our
trailer. It started off slow and then the pace began to increase. This fitted the scenes that we
included as the shots that were filled with more violence and raised more tension were shown as
the song became faster. When all the scenes were fitted into the song, this created an effective
Voice overs (Non-Diegetic Dialogue) - With the use of voice overs we made sure the sound
within our trailer was conventional. Trailers such as Spring Breaker's used the repetition of
whispering 'Spring Break' throughout their trailer creating and promoting the film as the audience
watch the trailer. We chose to use this technique with the word 'wild' and used it to play throughout
to create a mysterious and continuous tone. Other voice over's which help introduce the
character's were used. 'I think my cousin Luna is coming to stay' indicate the initial storyline without
giving too much away. It hints to the audience who the characters are so its easier to understand.#
Sound effects - We used the sound of a gunshot at the end of the trailer to create suspense.
Since we did not want to give too much away about what happens in the film we used to to indicate
the crime that may take place which made it conventional. We did not show any prop of a gun
within our trailer so with the sound effect it seems more interesting and creates anticipation to the
We incorporated various props into our trailer that we identified to be
conventional in other trailers, these enabled us to create realism of the
crime/thriller. Props such as the cash helped create a crime connotation within
the trailer since scenes within show drug dealing and so it adds the illegal
aspect to it. The drugs/alcohol within the trailer express the anti social and wild
behaviour that the characters get involved in, relating back to the title of the film
'W!LD' the audience is reminded that with the excessive illegal substances the
characters are rebellious. We used the prop of the car to help create a more
energetic feel, since most of the scenes do not include any vehicle's in, we
wanted to include one to ensure it was conventional. It also showed the
audience the extent of the character's behaviour since they drug deal in it. A
show was shown of the headlights turning on in the dark which looked effective
and eery within our trailer, helping it to seem conventional with the other shots.
Ancillary Product - Magazine
I ensured my main image for my magazine was conventional by using a
mid shot/close up. I found from conducting detailed research into film
magazine covers that this shot allows the audience to gain a clear focus
upon the character which enticed the audience. I chose to use this image
since she is the antagonist within my trailer and so people will recognise
her from this and be intrigued into reading the magazine. By centring the
image on the front of the cover, its eye catching and stands out to the
audience making it conventional as you can see from the comparison to a
real life magazine. With the use of this close up, features such as her
bold red lips are in focus as well as her dark eye make it, this clearly
signifies her as an intriguing character and people within are target
market will understand her villain role within the trailer.
The layout on my magazine fits the conventions of a film magazine as it
is the 'route of the eye' layout. It looks neat and ordered and so it is
easy to navigate. The main cover story is located on the bottom half of
the cover in the centre. Since the main story of the magazine is about
the film 'W!LD' it immediately seems enticing and bold due to its
position. This is conventional as it clearly illustrates the main story and
is clear to the audience. The layout means that the title of the magazine
is the first thing they see, the image the second and the cover story the
last so it remains memorable to the audience so they will be sure to
read about it. I made the layout of my magazine similar to the film
magazine ‘Empire.’ I wanted to keep a conventional and professional
look to the cover. I tried to achieve this I thought that the main cover
story looked striking and enticing in this position for ‘SHERLOCK
HOLMES’ and so mimicked this to try to ensure that it was appealing.
Ancillary Product - Magazine
FONTS AND COLOURS
From exploring the conventions of film magazines I discovered that to
create an enticing cover, the fonts and masthead look best in sans-serif.
This way they brand identity of the magazine remains modern and simple
which appeals to the audience as it stands out among the background.
The cover lines are also in a sans serif font to continue with the modern
look, they stand out and seem bold which is eye catching. I chose to red,
white, black and pink for the colour scheme. The use of back, white and
red look professional and work well together. The use of pink creates a
feminine and girly look. Since this issue is the 'Wild' edition the audience
are reminded of this and are enticed by the use of pink. The pink's and
white's also are used on the film poster and in the trailer to 'W!ld' making
the theme more continuous as the audience can relate all the products
together. The use of white connotes innocence which is represented
through the three protagonist females within our trailer which clashes
against the red’s and blacks which could represent the antagonist of
Luna and the danger that is involved within our storyline.
For the masthead I chose to call my magazine ‘FIlMNOW’ s it seems
quirky and interesting. I wanted to create a similar magazine style to
magazines like ‘Empire’ as this was a successful and well known film
magazine which advertised many different genres of film. I thought that
using a modern and simple sans serif would look enticing against the
background and would fit in with the mode of address of the magazine
which was exciting and bold. My masthead is conventional as it is in a
large font which immediately strikes the audience as it looks visually
Ancillary Product - Poster
FONTS AND COLOUR
The use of the colour scheme is matched with the colours used on the
fonts in my trailer and poster. The pink connotes the feminine element
and represents the females within the image and the white connotes
innocence which is conventional as it portrays the young and girly
persona's. The low key lighting allows the fonts to stand out from the
image, it also create the dark crime/thriller atmosphere that is
conventional for the genre. The pink’s and whites look innocent
against the dark background and represent the protagonists and youth
of the characters within the trailer. The colours are prominently used
throughout all the products and so create a relatable link to make them
more memorable to the audience.
The sans serif fonts fit in with the modern and bold mode of address.
Along with the fonts used in the trailer and in the magazine they fonts
are simple to look enticing and contrast against the background.
Conventionally the fonts used in the posters are in sans serif fonts as
they looks striking and aesthetically pleasing. Stereotypically the title
of the film Is the largest text on the poster, by using a bold sans serif
font it looks very enticing and eye catching. With the sans serif fonts a
simplistic look is made, making the whole layout look more neat and
Ancillary Product – Poster
For the image on my poster I shot my characters at a long/wide shot.
I thought that this would be an effective shot type as it clearly
demonstrates the location and setting of the scene. This shows
isolation and danger amongst the character, illustrating the ‘crime’
aspect as conventionally in crime/thriller films include lots of night
time shots. I wanted to use this shot as it clearly showed the three
characters effectively, the audience could identify the characters
from the trailer and there for link it with the poster and magazine.
Conventionally many posters use long shots and so I chose to use
this to keep a professional look about my product.
For the layout of my poser I chose to put the name of my film the
boldest and largest part of the poster. By locating it in the centre
lower half of the poster it looks striking and bold. I wanted this to
become prominent on the poster as it needed to be remembered by
my target audience. Conventionally the actors names are placed at
the top of the poster, I included these in this position as the
audience can easily identify who is starring in the film and gain an
interest. Similar to the poster for Spring Breakers I included the
blocking bill text at the bottom which is conventional as it is located
here for people to see who has been involved in the making of the
film. The date of the film being released is at the bottom of my
poster, this way it’s the last thing that the audience see and so they
will remember the release date to then go and see the film.