Question 1 (Film trailer) How does my magazine use, develop and challenge the conventions of real trailers?
Conventions of a film trailer• Title of the film is placed at then end of the trailer• Names of the main actors are placed on screen throughout the trailer• On screen text is a conventional element that gives important information about awards, directors or text about what’s happening on screen• Music is essential to a trailer; it suggests genre, style and even the plot of the film• Trailers include the main moments of a film, interesting shots that show what will happen in the film• Film rating (Motion picture association of America) is at the beginning• Ident is usually placed at the beginning to identify film company
Narrative theory1. Tzvetan TodorovTodorov suggested that stories begin with an equilibrium or status quo whereany potentially opposing forces are in balance. This is disrupted by some event,setting in chain a series of events. Problems are solved so that order can berestored to the world of the fiction.2. Vladimir ProppPropp looked at 100’s of folk tales and identified 8 character roles:- The villan- The hero- The donor- The helper- The princess- Her father- The dispathcher- The false hero
Narrative theory3. Claude Levi- StraussLooked at narrative theory in terms of binary oppositions. Binaryoppositions are sets of opposite values which reveal the structure ofmedia texts. For example, GOOD AND EVIL. Strauss was not interestedin the order in which events were arranged, he looked at deeperarrangements of themes. Eg. Past/present, earth/space
In relation to my trailer…• In my trailer I have not simply reflected one narrative theory. I have used aspects of various theories.TODOROV:• Todorov’s theory involving the status quo at the beginning is not achieved in my trailer. Straight away I begin with emotional music and show clips of the main character looking upset, she has already found out the bad news• Even though I didn’t stick to the theory from this aspect I believe that having the audience understand and be able to be sympathetic straight away meant they were able to connect to the character and create a relationship.• The status quo was not achieved in my trailer but I think Todorov’s theory that ‘an event set in chain a series of events’ is reflected through my trailer. The event of finding out she had cancer caused my main character to end up finding her best friend and creating a bucket list. – Therefore causing a chain of events.• The ending of my trailer was left open, unsure of the health of the main character, therefore ‘the problems’ were not ‘solved’ and ‘order’ was not ‘restored.’
CLAUDE LEVI- STRAUSS:• I think to some extent there were binary oppositions through my trailer. As I tried to create the idea that Holly, the main character felt the whole world was against her and was ‘EVIL’ while her new best friend that came along was the ‘GOOD’ in the world. It can be portrayed that cancer itself is also an ‘EVIL’ concept that needed to be overcome.• I think my trailer also focused on ‘deeper arrangements of themes’ instead of the ‘order in which events were arranged.’ There was order to my trailer but I felt it more important to focus on the presentation of the relationship and ‘deeper arrangement of themes.’
Conventions of a drama/social realism trailer and film• I have incorporated two different genres into my trailer, drama and social realism. I decided to include social realism as a genre because it would make it easier to film, compared to trying to film a ‘Hollywood’ style film trailer like ‘My sister’s keeper.’ Also having the mixed genre allowed me to explore the representation of class and status more thoroughly. Conventions of a drama trailer:• Intense social interaction• Exhibits real life situations with realistic characters• Portrays journeys of character development• Audience can relate to the characters Conventions of a social realism trailer:• Focuses on topical issues in the modern society• Use of unknown actors (Sarah Lloyd was a new ‘introduced’ character)• Usually set in council estates, not wealthy settings• Use young adults/teenagers
General film conventions in my trailer• I thoroughly researched other trailers while doing the storyboard for my trailer and while filming. I wanted to make sure my trailer followed some of the specific conventions.• My trailer had the title of film, ‘Absolution’ placed at the end of the trailer.• I also included general text on the screen throughout, explaining what was happening in the trailer and introducing new actresses.• I have an ident and film rating at the beginning of my trailer to make sure it looks professional.
Drama and social realism conventions in my trailer…Drama conventions portrayed:• I have intense conversations between my main two characters, Holly and Abby. They have an argument in the kitchen and upset conversations through the trailer.• Through the trailer Holly does actually take ‘a journey’ as her life improves with the help of Abby even though her illness gets worst.• I have Holly already knowing about her illness which allows the audience to ‘relate to the character.’Social realism conventions portrayed:• Sarah Lloyd is introduced as a new actress, which is one of the conventions of social realism• The two main characters are teenagers aged 17, another convention• The setting of the trailer is at a council estate, shown through a establishing shot
Similarites• Through my research I found myself copying several clips with the setting or positioning of the characters. They weren’t always exact copies but watching the trailer meant I was able to put my own twist on the clips. I wanted to have some of the text in my trailer on a moving background rather than just on a coloured background. I filmed from a bridge to evening traffic, similar to that in ‘A place beyond the pines.’ These clips are both from My sisters keeper and I have attempted to recreate similar ones. The clip above shows both the characters destroying a picture. I wanted the actual picture in my trailer to not be seen and leave questions for the audience. The scene I recreated on the left shows the vulnerability created because of the disease.
How has my trailer developed and challenged conventions?Developed convention:• My trailer has developed conventions through the voiceover. I decided to have the main character played by Samantha Brown doing a voiceover at the beginning with some deep quotes I thought up. I wanted it to be the main character rather than what alot of trailers have, which is the male american voiceover, especially in romantic comedy trailers. I wanted to develop the conventional voiceover.Challenged convention:• The fact my trailer begins after the character has found out about her illness is challenging the ‘narrative theory convention’ with the status quo at the beginning. I prefer having my trailer like this and I think it’s a move on from the conventional trailer, it allows the audience to straight away feel sympathetic towards the character.