We chose to create a horror trailer, leaning towards the paranormal sub-genre
through the use of the main character coming back from the dead to haunt her
former best friend. I performed a lot of research into all types of horror trailers;
looking at the use of the text, diagetic sound effects, the soundtrack and camera
shots to create tension whilst capturing the audience‟s attention.
The horror trailers all seemed to follow the same format; having the trailer start of
softly with warm lighting, to create a sense of happiness, with slow takes and then
quickening shots after the horror begins, with the lighting becoming darker to form
a scary atmosphere.
The paranormal horror trailers gave me a further sense of how to lay out the trailer;
many of them used a gentle yet eerie soundtrack that changed from being slow and
light to slightly more forceful when the horror is at a climax, but it always returns to
the slow, gentle soundtrack towards the end of the trailer leaving an eerie thought as
to whether the ending of the film will be one of resolution. Therefore, in our trailer I
put a gentle, piano score at the beginning and the end of the trailer – using the same
one, to show the link and add continuity to the trailer. Whilst, placing a drone type
score with more of a drumming sound over the heightened, dramatic moments.
Furthermore, paranormal trailers had simple events that could easily go unnoticed in the
trailer unless drawn attention to, so to help do so they normally used an effect of some
sort to make the impact of the eerie event more dramatic to the audience. I then used
this idea by placing effects on certain parts of our trailer to add more of a sense of
horror; in the end take, when the dead best friend is seen in the room, I created an
earthquake effect on the camera to make it look shaky – as if from the other actress‟
reaction. I also used a negative effect in the middle of a take during the trailer which saw
the dead best friend show up behind the other actress in a mirror. The negative effect
stood on the take for a second or so before changing back to normal view; allowing the
shot of the dead best friend to become more dramatic and effective to the audience.
After researching the presentation of most horror posters I found that those of the
paranormal sub-genre followed more of a simple format, compared to other film
posters, allowing the text and images placed on them to stand out to the audience.
Therefore, my poster had a simple layout with the one image being placed in the
middle of the poster to allow the text to surround it – not taking away from it. The
background had a simple light grey tone that followed the basic colour scheme
whilst allowing the black and dark red text to stand out against it. I kept the colour
scheme quite basic with dark tones to create a dark theme that would link into the
basis of the film, also by including a dark red colour I allowed connotations of blood
to be drawn from it.
The title ‘Best Friends’ stood towards the bottom of the page but in a dark
black to stand out against the grey background, whilst not taking away from
the rest of the poster that would be seen before it; I formed the text in a font
that made it look quite sinister and blood-like to hint at the idea of bloodshed
within the film which allowed the text to stand out further against the plain,
normal font used for the rest of the text on the poster. However, I placed the
text in the centre but not allowing it to take up the whole width; to make it
look more endearing.
I put a tagline „Friends forever?‟ underneath the title, towards the right
hand side in a white small text – so as to not take away from the title
but still stand out against the background. I put the question mark in
red to draw more attention to the question, whilst using the dark red as
a symbol of blood (foreshadowing the outcome of the film).
On the page I included a few coverlines, with the
one „from the producers of „sinister‟ and „demon‟‟
at the top of the page, on the right hand side, to
not take away from the poster but allow the
reader to not the film has some credibility – I
thought a white font would further help create
I then placed four stars in a dark red and “Empire” in white underneath; giving a critical
analysis of the film to further entice the audience
to the films quality.
I put another coverline of a critic with the word
„terrifying‟ in a slightly bigger and further spaced
out font, in a dark red, to show this is the main
comment of the quote.
At the bottom of the poster I included a few lines of text
with names and production companies on to show the
official nature of the poster, as this is used on all posters.
I also put a date of release towards the bottom of the poster
to give the reader information on how to see the film. I put
the date in a dark red to separate it from the text around it.
My magazine cover didn‟t follow as much of a dark theme as my
other two media products as I had to initially base it on a friendly,
light theme that would attract readers. However, the main image stood
in the middle of the page of the dead best friend; to attract attention to
the film. This image was given a dark tone, whilst I modified the
actress to look sinister; highlighting the idea it‟s a horror film.
The title „Best Friends‟ was placed at the bottom of the cover to allow
the image to stand out in front of it, but was still given a bigger font
than any other coverlines to allow it attention. I placed the other
details of the coverline „exclusive interview with cast‟ in a triangular
shape put in dark red, in the right hand bottom corner of the page to
create the effect as if it‟s a turned up corner of the actual page. I put
the text in this in white to stand out against the red and separate it
from the rest of the text on the cover.
Furthermore, I used a basic narrow font for the title „Best Friends‟ but
used the bevel and emboss effect to make a silver and black streaked
filling of the text; allowing it to not coincide with the basic colour
theme of the cover and stand out.
I placed all of the coverlines on the right hand side
of the cover in a column, to allow the image to
stand alone in the centre of the page. I used film
titles that were evenly spaced; giving the reader a
vague idea of what will be included within the
magazine. I used a white font to contrast the black
background it stands against.
Furthermore, the last coverline is different to the
others as it says „The A-Z of comedy‟; I put this in a
completely different, typewriter font to separate it
and further made its separation obvious by using a
grey background behind it.
For the masthead I created a film strip shape to place each letter in of the
title „TAKE‟ to relate the magazine to films in an obvious manner. I then
placed a sticker underneath the masthead, on the left hand side, allowing
it to cross over slightly; creating the effect it‟s been placed separately on
My first two coverlines on the right hand side also follow the idea of the
film strip, which separates them, creating a theme throughout and
relating the magazine together. I also placed these in a narrow, capital
font with the main words in red to further stand out.
We created our trailer by adapting our research to help create an
enticing trailer for our target audience; the first way we tried to do so,
was creating a plot that would appeal to our audience and conveying it
in a sense that would be thrilling and dramatic enough to receive
attention. By having our trailer change between slow and quick speeds
and softening the soundtrack to contrast with having it become
harsher at other parts we allowed the horror to slowly seep into the
storyline and leave suspense with the audience.
The most effective method I added to our trailer was the effects on certain shots to draw
further attention; the earthquake effect on the shot of the dead best friend helps to disorientate
the audience, furthering the suspense that is built through the trailer. Alongside this effect, I
put an effect of „echo‟ on the scream that‟s heard over the shot – this allows the diegetic sound
effect to last longer than the shot and heightens the eerie effect of the trailer, with this being
the only piece of dialogue used in the trailer it also shows a further insight into the story and
captures the audience‟s attention. We decided to not use diegetic speech within our trailer as it
would sound out of place against the soundtrack and would take away from the suspense that
progresses through the trailer. The only dialogue given is the scream which creates double the
effect it would normally as it furthers the eerie tone portrayed throughout whilst allowing a
sense of speech in the trailer – further connection the trailer to the audience and reality.
Our initial trailer is a lot less developed and mature than the final trailer as it used very basic
transitions of fades and a few cross dissolves. Also, I didn‟t use any effects from Final Cut
Pro on the first trailer so the tension caused within it was only due to the actions and events
of the takes. Furthermore, my first trailer had a very simple soundtrack that was created on
Garageband that looped over and over to fill the trailer. In addition to this, the text for the
first trailer was created on iMovie with a simple black background for the white, bold text to
stand out against; the text was also a simple, classic font so it was easily read. The black
background of the text didn‟t link very well into the trailer as there was no movement to
show the progression of the trailer whereas in the final trailer the text background has a
slow, simple movement that shows the continuing of the trailer.
My initial poster was created on Photoshop and followed a simple format which I
also essentially maintained for the final product; with the image of the best friend
necklace being used on both. The image on my first poster uses a messy outline
but helps it to stand out against the white to black background that stands behind
it. Yet, the image for the final draft had a clean cut and a thorough grey filling to
make it seem plainer and bolder – which furthered contrasted the background.
The text boxes are slightly bigger on my first draft; this was to take up further
space and fill the poster which I decided against on the final draft as it only helped
to take away from the important pieces of text and the image on the poster.
The title „Best Friends‟ used a basic font on the initial poster so it was bold against the
rest of the poster. I placed „Best‟ in a dark red whilst „Friends‟ was coloured black;
allowing the two to go against each other and add variety to the colour scheme of the
poster. I also made the font for „Best‟ in a slightly italic, curly font; to show a sarcastic,
doubting tone to the realistic view of their friendship – to hint at the storyline for the
trailer. I also placed „forever?‟ of the tagline „Friends Forever?‟ in an italic, dark red font
to relate to the title whilst furthering the sense of doubt in the character‟s friendship.
Whereas, on my final draft I made the title in a completely different font to the rest of
the text on the poster to allow it to stand out; creating a font that looked as if it‟s written
Whereas, in my final poster I used a more dramatic font for the title in order to make it
stand out. The font demonstrates the idea of it being written in blood or carved, but
placed it in black to make it seem more dramatic and dark.
The tagline was placed in white, to contrast against the
dark grey background, with just the question mark placed
in dark red to draw attention to the question and foreshadow
The initial magazine cover followed the same colour scheme of black, white and dark
red but the image was hardly edited and didn‟t make the actress look very scary. I kept
the idea of the „Take‟ film strip but made my own film strip for the final poster instead of
finding a stencil of it.
Furthermore, I still used the same coverlines on both covers but used a better font for the
second to make them look more professional and moved the sticker to the left hand side
and let it cross onto the masthead slightly; making the effect better to believe. Instead of
plain dark red lines separating the first two coverlines I used film strips; to add continuity
to the cover. I also got rid of the red diamonds as I thought they took up too much space.
I then added „The A-Z of Comedy‟ to the coverlines; making the magazine seem fuller.
On my first magazine I used a basic font for
the title „best friends‟ which I put in white to
contrast against the white background. The
font was too simple to stand out amongst the
other coverlines, and made no dramatic
impact. Also, the other text „exclusive
interview‟ was placed in a dark red next to the
title; to show it‟s relevance but not allowing it
to be the most important information.
On my final magazine the title had a narrow,
slim font that gave the text a silver and black
streaked texture – this differed from the rest of
the colour scheme, showing it‟s importance. I
then put the rest of the text „exclusive
interview with cast‟ in a dark red filled triangle
on the right hand side corner, as if it‟s a turned
up page. This separated the text and makes it
more interesting for the reader to look at.
After we created our trailer we then demonstrated its uses to our
target audience and the initial research we had done in finding
what they believed contributed to a good horror trailer.
Through our research we found that our most
likely target audience was around the ages of
15-17 so we made our characters of the same
age group to allow them to seem relatable.
In our initial research we used a group of our
target audience to test what type of trailer was
most liked; between the Blair Witch Project,
filmed on a hand recorder, and The Great Gatsby
which was fast paced and exciting. Our research
concluded that The Great Gatsby was eye-catching
and preferred. Therefore, we tried to make our
trailer as exciting and suspenseful as possible.
Comparing this research from our target audience to the finished
project of our trailer we found conducted further feedback from
our audience and their thoughts towards whether our trailer was
effective or not.
After showing the trailer we asked whether or not the trailer was
scary enough to be deemed as a horror.
7 out of 10 of our audience agreed
that the trailer was scary, with 1
person disagreeing that it wasn‟t and
a further 2 said it could‟ve been
scarier. This feedback was mostly
positive and showed the trailer as
being effective in its horror element.
The 7 described the ending as a
cliff-hanger that left the audience
wondering what would happen to the
Furthermore, we asked whether or not the soundtrack was
effective in helping to set the mood of the trailer; changing
from a sad tone to a suspenseful one. The audience
feedback described the soundtrack as improving as it got
further into the trailer and a suspenseful score was used.
The ending soundtrack; of the soft piano created an eerie
tone to the trailer as was deemed as the most effective; the
audience said that its reoccurrence within the trailer helped
make it so as it connected the two and showed a constant
theme of insecurity which unsettled and scared the
We then asked whether the effects used within the trailer; the
negative effect, the earthquake effect and echoed scream helped
make the trailer more enticing.
The audience described the earthquake effect and echoed scream at
the end of the trailer as the most effective part of the trailer as the
scream left an eerie tone and was dramatic to the audience of what
happened to the characters. The earthquake effect helped create this
and disturbed the audience to the safety of the character.
The negative effect was described, by the audience, as highlighting
to the fact the best friend was stood behind the character in the
mirror and helped them understand the drama of the shot. Therefore,
this effect was necessary in helping create the horror within the
trailer as it showed the haunting element of the plot.
The poster was described as being quite bold and made the point of
the film stand out through the image. The use of one image allowed
the poster to be bolder and drew attention to it; making the text
conform around it. The image of the heart locket was called
different and our target audience said it was thought provoking and
made them want to know it‟s involvement to the film – but the
image easily related to the title.
They also described the tagline „friends forever?‟ as intriguing and
said it stood out as one of the main pieces of text as it
made you question what would happen in the film.
Furthermore, when asked about whether or not the
coverlines of the critics were useful, our audience
said they were and made their attitude to going to
see it better as they made them trust the films
The magazine cover was described as being
very effective as it caught the readers eye
easily – especially the bits in red.
The audience said the magazine showed very
clearly it was a film magazine by the use of
the film strip and described it as being
interesting and fascinating.
Furthermore, the title „best friend‟ and its text
„exclusive interview..‟ were said to be very
interesting and the most eye catching part as
the triangle created a different effect to the
cover. The audience said the same effect was given by the „sticker‟
at the top of the page; as it seemed like it was stuck on.
Also, commenting on the image they said it did seem a bit plain to
only have one image but the one given was very effective and scary;
the audience were intrigued to read about it.
SlideShare – This website
helped me upload presentations
of my research and planning to
wordpress where all my work
is accessed in a clear, ordered
Prezi – Another presentational
website that helped present my
work of research and planning
in an ordered manner, allowing
it to be informative.
YouTube – My interview
videos and trailer drafts were
able to become available to be
viewed on my wordpress with
the help of this website as they
configured them into a product
that could be shared.
Facebook – This social
networking site allowed me
and my two other group
members to interact and share
ideas for our trailer through its
Voki – I used Voki as another way of
presenting my ideas and planning
without having it written down in a
plain way. This website allowed me to
use a video and voice format to have
my text presented in dialogue through a
little character which I created.
Chart Generator – I used a website to
help create charts that I could use to
demonstrate my research into what my
target audience would like my trailer,
poster and film magazine to be like. These
charts helped portray the results in a clear
manner which then contributed to me
being able to make decisions on how to
create my products.
Adobe Photoshop – I used
this program to help construct
my poster and magazine
cover. I was able to modify
the images of the actress to
make them look better suited
to the horror genre and our
Adobe Illustrator – allowed
me to create the „best friends‟
title used for my poster which
I then placed in Photoshop; it
helped produce the title in the
way I wanted with the effects
and sharpness of the text.
iMovie- I used the program to produce
the trailer, by putting all the takes that I
had created in other programs and the
soundtrack all together in the right order
as it let me easily modify shots and
move pieces of the trailer around to
better fit in whilst allowing me to place
transitions in between them.
Adobe After Effect – I used this to
produce the background for the title
that‟s used on the trailer; the
background was simple in its colours
and movement but allowed the text to
stand out against it and didn‟t
undermine it. I changed the initial
background by changing the colours to a
light grey and white whilst slowing the
movement of the colours down.
Final Cut Pro – this program allowed
me to create the special effects I used
within the trailer; the earthquake effect
on the bedroom scene, the echo on the
scream in the last take and the negative
effect on the mirror shot. These effects
helped add tension to the trailer and
further portrayed the horror element
Garageband – After I had found the
sample of music I wanted to use, using
websites for sound downloads, I would
cut the track to only have the section I
wanted to use within the trailer. For the
drone that‟s used at the horror climax of
the trailer I altered the bass levels to
make it heavier and more impactful.
Also, this program allowed me to create
a fade for the gentle music so the
ending was abrupt.