Detailed analysis


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Detailed analysis

  1. 1. The use of a wide shot portrays the unity of the four girls and shows how happy they are. The fact that the camera is positioned in front of the bikes, as if they were driving towards it, suggests that they are coming towards the story. In order words they are driving into the action/trouble. Here, a tracking shot/wide shot is used to show the characters in a speed boat. A wide shot is effective here because it shows the audience the characters’ surroundings and enables them to feel part of the action, it also emphasises the horizon and the sky line of the shot. The tracking shot is used not only to let the audience feel like they are part of the scene, but also to represent the freedom the characters now have. Since the shot is taken from behind, we can see a much broader view of the landscape and where the characters are heading. This contrasts to the previous wide shot used, since it represents the girls ‘heading into the danger’ they are about to face, as a pose to escaping it.
  2. 2. There is a technique used to describe the eye contact made with an actor and the camera, this is called ‘breaking the fourth wall’. This gives the effect that the characters are looking at us, as an audience, and therefore breaking through the screen (fourth wall) by communicating with the audience. Here are some examples: This is taken from a subliminal shot, however the audience can still catch onto what the shots contain. The aggression on the actors face could make the audience feel tense, like they were in danger, since it looks the this aggressive character is pointing the gun at them. This aerial shot appears at the end of the trailer, where the audience can clearly see what the shot contains. Around them, we can see money, suggesting criminal activity resulting in wealth, as well as limited clothing, which connotes promiscuity and sexual references.
  3. 3. This filter would’ve been placed onto the clip during post production. It is effective because the blurred focus, enhanced colours and grainy image creates quite a warped perspective, which is something commonly associated with drug use. This suggests the characters have taken drugs but also makes the audience feel like they have too, making them feel involved in the film and able to relate to the characters.
  4. 4. CROSS CUTTING Throughout the trailer, various clips involve the technique of fast paced cross cutting. Here is one example. The first image shows a still from a clip of a man spitting out blood while he is getting beat up (by the male protagonist), and the second image, a clip shown immediately after the first, shows the female protagonist spitting out water, messing around. This also shows the contrast between the male and the female characters, since the male influenced the females to become associated with drugs, this cross cutting can suggest the contrast between the two genders. It suggests the male portrays the most aggression in the film, which is conventional, whereas the females still hold some forms of innocence, and are able to have fun.
  5. 5. Another contrasting fast paced cross cutting clip shows one of the female protagonists at a church, this connotes very positive symbols such as obedience, innocence, youth, and kind-heartedness. However, the second clip is shown straight after, and shows she has met the male protagonist and has been introduced to violence. The clip shows her distressed and being manipulated by the male. This shows the contrast between the two different times and how the female has changed. This also suggests to the audience that something has happened to her which is still unclear, but generates curiosity as to what has upset her.
  6. 6. These shots are used together to compare the contrast between the protagonists and the rest of the characters. The normal characters, shown in high key lighting, which connotes positivity, are partying on the beach, these are the ones who fit the conventions of a typical teenage girl. They are at Spring Break which is where the main characters were meant to be. However, the contrasting clip shows the main characters in low key lighting, holding prop guns, shooting at someone. This shows the journey the main characters have taken since they were partying on the beach, and how they have progressed from the stereotypical teenager, to being completely unconventional.
  7. 7. FAST PACED EDITING/FLASH CUTTING Here I have shown the 24 individual shots used in 15 seconds of the trailer. This is to emphasise how fast paced editing is used in order to fit a vast number of shots in a small amount of time. This is conventional for a trailer since the short clips only hint to the audience about certain events, which generates curiosity. Using longer shots would bore the audience and also give too much information away, meaning they would be less likely to watch the film and find out what happens. These clips are not in chronological order from the film which is also conventional. The use of the titles enables the fast pace of the trailer to be broken up, so the audience can still take in some information, most of the clips were less than a second long, however the text was around 1.5 seconds which makes the pace more comfortable, yet still straight to the point.
  8. 8. SUBLIMINAL CUT Subliminal cuts are used to portray a message or subtle hint to the audience without them being fully aware of it, usually because the clip happens so fast it is barely noticeable. This subliminal cut, shown to the left, is placed in the first third of the trailer, before the suggestion of the girls being arrested and getting into hard violence. The cut is 1 second long, however contains 12 different shots, this works out as a shot shown less than every 0.1 seconds. The shots show the main male character shooting at the camera, (also breaking the fourth wall which connects the character to the audience as if in real life) posing with an extremely aggressive facial expression. This hints to the audience that there will be aggression, violence, crime (possibly murders) involved with the film, without completely giving it away. This is a conventional element for a trailer to have.
  9. 9. COSTUMES The costumes shown throughout the trailer maintain a very consistent and unique style of fashion. This still shows the first preview of the clothes the characters are wearing: Each one of them appears to be wearing hot pants/shorts, which reveals their legs. This is combined with their very casual t-shirts and hoodies which shows they are very carefree and laid back about their appearance, and not making much effort, which is conventional for a teenage girl. The lack of clothing offers a slight sexual portrayal of the girls, and would be used to entice the male audience into watching the film, since it would be mostly females interested in it. This relates to the theory called ‘Male Gaze’ proposed by Laura Mulvey,
  10. 10. Here the girls are shown wearing nothing but their bikinis, this represents their confidence and carelessness, and also reflects on the warm setting in which the film takes place. The bikinis are very colourful which also portrays their extreme personalities. In the second and third photograph, the girls are shown sporting their bright bikinis both leaning on a police car and standing in a court room. They are surrounded by contrasting characters and a contrasting setting, which do not fit the main themes of the story (e.g partying, going crazy, being a thug). The contrast between the careless youths, and the adults/setting which are representing the law, show the differentiation between the girls and the rest of society.
  11. 11. However it's not just the main characters that wear this costume, almost every one featured in the trailer is wearing some form of swim wear like a bikini, and is revealing a lot of their bodies. This suggests to the film that will contain a lot of nudity which is sexually appealing, this can be related to Laura Mulvey's theory of 'male gaze'. This also represents how every one will be portrayed as a 'party animal'
  12. 12. Both male and female characters in the trailer wear sunglasses which shows they are in a sunny setting, reflecting on the title of the film 'spring break', which is a nationally celebrated time of the year in summer. Summer itself is a universally celebrated season, known by the target audience to be a time for partying, drinking, and forgetting their inhibitions. This strongly suggests the types of activities and themes that will appear in the trailer, making it appealing to the audience.
  13. 13. At the beginning of the trailer when the girls rob the store, they are shown in self-made plain black balaclavas, clearly made just to disguise themselves. This reflects their extreme behaviour and suggests some violence will be included in the film, which would be appealing to the target audience. However, as the trailer progresses, we see the girls wearing pink, custom-made balaclavas, which suggests they are still involved in criminal activity, but since their balaclavas are more suited to them and clearly custom made, it suggests they are enjoying the lifestyle more, have progressed with criminal activity, and have more luxuries because of it. The pink also portrays their girly and quirky personalities combined with their bad-ass attitude, which would be very attractive for a teenage girl in the target audience to look up to.
  14. 14. Each of the main characters are not completely covered in make up, their make up is done so that they still look quite natural and is kept to a bare minimal. This may be to show how the girls still need to look attractive to their target audience, so that young females can look up to them and they can uphold their attractive reputation. It also suggests that they do not care as much for their appearance in this film since they still look relatively natural, possibly wearing only foundation, to make their skin look more flawless, and a little eye make up, this reflects their careless personalities.
  15. 15. The main male character in the film is portrayed to be extremely 'gangster'. This is portrayed through this braided hair, tattoos, and scruffy looking facial hair. This very distinct tattoo of a dollar sign suggests that the character likes money, this portrays the stereotype of a gangster which reflects on some of his actions throughout the film. This is shown in the trailer since it hints at the persona of this character and adds mystery as to what he could be doing with the girls. He is also shown with metal teeth, which is a luxury typically only sported by people with a lot of money, and is stereotypically related to 'gangsters'.
  16. 16. SETTINGS At the beginning of the trailer, a wide shot establishes the scene where three of the four protagonists are shown sitting in a classroom. This immediately shows the audience the collective identity of the characters: students. The pink screens also hint that they are female. These match the identity of the target audience which makes it relatable and appealing. Here the girls are shown in another wide shot, the low key lighting connotes negativity and suggests they're about to do something bad, this factor, combined with the fact it is raining shows they are also careless about the whether which is unconventional for a typical teenage girl.
  17. 17. These shots make it clear the girls are in some kind of educational environment, such as college. The fact it is so empty portrays some negative connotations, and poses questions to the audience such as; ‘Where is every one else?’, ‘Why are they alone?’ and ‘Where are they?’ The fact a wide shot is used also emphasises how empty the place is as it shows more of the space, compared to a mid shot or a close up which would not be as effective.
  18. 18. This wide shot of the truck driving down an empty road shows the girls are in a quiet setting, with not many people about, again, suggesting they have been left behind or are missing out on something. The low key lighting has negative connotations to it and suggests the girls/location is miserable or that something bad is about to happen. This use of high key lighting which is later shown when the girls successfully manage to get to Spring Break, connotes the positivity of moving away from their home setting for a while, the bright skies, sunshine and busy road contrasts against the dark, empty street the girls were driving down on their own.
  19. 19. While they are at Spring Break, the setting represents a warm, holiday environment with beaches and swimming pools available. It is set in summer since it is a universally celebrated season and many typical teenagers (the target audience) see it as a season to have fun, party and get drunk, much like what is being represented in the trailer.
  20. 20. Here two of the girls are shown in quite a domestic setting. There action show they are throwing money around and in the foreground of the image there are knives hanging on the wall. The setting looks quite luxurious which suggests to the audience that the girls have come across a dangerous situation involving violence and illegal money, which reflects on the story line well. A different setting is used here to show one of the antagonists. The low key lighting combined with the luminous colours in the background suggests he is in a nightclub or bar. This shows there is alcohol/partying involved and would appeal to the target audience.
  21. 21. PROPS Alcohol is a key theme in Spring Breakers, but is not particularly conventional in action films. However, the use of the alcohol enables the audience to determine the types of characters which will be in the film and what interests they have. It shows the characters are young and carefree, hints at the types of scenarios which will occur in the story line and also puts the film into context. This will also entice the audience since they are similar to the characters and have the same interests, therefore they are easily relatable which will make the film more appealing to the target audience.
  22. 22. Money is one of the most conventional factors in any action/crime/thriller film. It represents power, and suggests to the audience that the money is more than likely to have been stolen or earned in an illegal way, hinting at what the film could include.
  23. 23. Throughout the trailer there are many clips which show the use of weapons, in particular guns. There are a wide variety of different guns shown, which suggests the owner of them has a criminal history. It is conventional for any action/crime/thriller to contain weapons, however guns are usually related to films with a theme relating to ‘gangsters’. This gives the audience an impression of what to expect in the film. For example; fighting, shooting, murders, etc.
  24. 24. Here the male character is shown holding a microphone performing at a Spring Break party, this suggests he is very popular and has made something of him self involving a music career. This also generates curiosity with the target audience as he is conventionally attractive to the teenage girls. Throughout the trailer the character is seen with a selection of props which all connote things such as violence, danger, wealth and crime. In the first still he is seen holding a cigar, which are commonly associated with male characters in action films, in particular the more dominant ones. This reflects on his manipulation over the protagonists. Cigars are also known to be very expensive, which relates to how wealth and dominance are both conventional elements for the male antagonist to convey in action/crime/thriller films. This also applies to the second still, the fact he is driving a convertible car shows he has money to afford such luxuries, and the fact he is driving the car and the female is in the passenger seat represents how he is in control.
  25. 25. Other props he is seen with throughout the trailer are guns. Guns are an extremely conventional prop used in the majority of action/crime/thriller films since they portray danger, violence and the ‘thug’ stereotype. By using shots of this character with the gun in the trailer, it tells the audience there will be chance to see some dangerous fighting or threats taking place, which will generate curiosity and excitement amongst the target audience.
  26. 26. COLOUR Low key lighting is used when they’re at home to connote a negative feel. This suggests that they are perhaps somewhere they don’t want to be. However, when they are on the coach on the way to spring break, the colours are very bright and there is high key lighting used, this connotes positivity and suggests they are in a happier situation.
  27. 27. These specific shots stand out from the trailer, particularly because of the low key lighting combined with the fluorescent light. Compared to the beginning of the trailer and during the flashbacks of before the girls came to spring break and met the male character, low key lighting is used to connote negative thoughts and emotions, as well as when they are breaking the law and causing trouble. The high key lighting is used during their happiest moments when they are partying at Spring Break. However, these shots are when the girls have experienced a lot of criminal activity and have learned a lot from the male character that they meet. Now the low key lighting, still connoting the crime and negativity, is combined with the high key lighting (which is shown through the luminous colours), representing their youth and party spirit. In conclusion, the use of high key and low key colours represent positivity and negativity and combining the two together is effective is suggesting how the girls might change.
  28. 28. The luminous colours and low key lighting combination appears in a range of different shots. These shots show two male characters (rivals in the film), who appear to be in a club setting. This suggests that there is a lot of alcohol involved in the film. The low key lighting could also signify sketchy behaviour, such as secret drug dealing or an on going feud between the two characters. This is also representative of the characters having dark and possibly evil personalities, since they are portrayed through low key lighting.
  29. 29. The fluorescent colours is an on-going theme throughout the trailer, and in fact general advertising products relating to the film. This text is broken up into individual sections and placed between every dozen clips. This is a conventional element of a trailer as it keeps the audience hooked and interested in what the sentence will say. In this case, each section is shown in a different colour. These colours are suggestive of a variety of things all relating to ‘partying’, for example; glow sticks, neon paint, UV lights, disco balls etc, which also relate back to youth, carelessness, and acting wild. They are also feminine colours which again reflects on the female dominated story line. Even the industry logo’s are portrayed to fit the theme.
  30. 30. ACTING Much of the acting in the trailer reflects very sexual-orientated, promiscuous themes. This is shown in a variety of different ways. For example; to the left is a still of two of the characters seductively blowing smoke into each others mouths. This not only connotes an extremely intimate relationship, but also the use of drugs, reflecting their extremely wild personalities.. The most suggestively erotic clip contains the male with two females. They are acting with extreme sexual intent, this is also a conventional theme for the action genre, and shows how the females are dominated by the male.
  31. 31. A large part of the acting in the trailer involves ‘partying’. There are many clips which show a large number of characters, including the four main girls, under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Despite the actors playing a role of certain characters, the behaviour is actually stereotypical for a teenager, and would appeal to the target audience to a great extent, because they can relate to the different experiences and feel more connected to the characters.
  32. 32. When first watching this trailer, my initial thoughts were that the film was not entirely conventional for an action/crime/thriller. This was due to the fact the main characters consisted of four, seemingly vulnerable, yet wild, teenage girls. Whereas a conventional character for a film of this genre would possibly be a middle aged, relatively experienced man, stereotypically appealing to a female audience both visually and through their strong minded personalities. However, when I analysed the trailer further, I was able to easily recognise different features that are highly conventional throughout any film of this genre. I have selected the most common conventions to explain…
  33. 33. DRUGS There are many shots of drug use throughout the trailer, at the very beginning the girls are shown in their (assumed) college accommodation taking hits from a bong together and taking cocaine. This represents their girls personalities and emphasise the contrast between them and the dull, academic environment they are living in. It is also shown during the parties at Spring Break, and is represented through post production editing on certain clips.
  34. 34. Drug use is continuous throughout the trailer, and moves to a larger scale after the introduction of the male characters. This offers another convention in that males are more dominant in the action genre, with the fact there drug use is more extreme, shows they are more experienced in that area.
  35. 35. ALCOHOL Alcohol is often used in action films, but more conventionally through drinks such as whisky and brandy, more commonly associated with older men. However, in Spring Breakers, the alcohol usage is more revolved around the partying, behaving wild and reflecting a teenager. This means that the alcohol use is both conventional and unconventional.
  36. 36. WEAPONS Almost every action film contains weapons; they are one of the most conventional elements of any genre. In Spring Breakers, there are a range of different clips which show the use of weapons, in particular guns. There are a variety of different guns which are used to carry out different crimes, such as raiding a wedding, robbing a shop, but also just using them as an accessory. The fact there is such a wide variety shows that the male characters are experienced with these sorts of weapons. However, the female characters tend to treat the guns
  37. 37. However, the female characters tend to treat the guns more like accessories to make themselves look good, and seem like they are gangsters. This is apparent since they are rarely seen causing any harm to any one during the times they are seen committing crimes, instead, they are often seen holding the gun while they talk, or using it to seem intimidating and threatening. Not only is there guns, but a knife is also shown being held by one of the female characters. She is just holding it while observing it, suggesting she doesn’t intend to use it, she is just holding it to feel powerful and intimidating.
  38. 38. CRIMINAL ACTIVITY/BREAKING THE LAW At the beginning of the trailer, before the girls have met the male character, there are clips to suggest the use of drugs, which is illegal, yet not particularly considered major criminal activity in an action film. However, the first time we see the girls acting in a way that could be considered criminal, is when they pose as robbers wearing balaclavas, holding (fake) guns and hammers, and stealing money from a shop owner. They then laugh about the situation and act extremely proud of themselves. This is conventional because it involves action and excitement, is seen in almost every action film, and also suggests the girls have no remorse for robbing the shop, which is the way any criminal would act after successfully stealing money.
  39. 39. The girls’ behaviour becomes progressively worse when they escape to Spring Break, this could suggest there new found freedom has enabled them to behave in a way they have never had the chance to, and so they are embracing it, or perhaps they have always been like this, but know they can get away with it now. They are arrested, the reason being is not made clear in the trailer but it is suggestive that it is due to the use of drugs, however they are then bailed out of jail by the main male character, which is when their crimes become extensively worse. The trailer shows the girls raiding a wedding, and holding members at gun point, wrecking the cake and decorations, and showing no remorse, like a natural criminal.
  40. 40. CARS Cars are a very common theme in the genre. In fact there are some action movies that are entirely based on them, for example; The Wraith, Fast and Furious, and The Transporter. Cars are more commonly seen in actions films based around gangsters, drugs, pimps, money etc, rather than films purely revolving around crime. This is to represent the materialistic and moneymotivated personalities of the characters found in these types of films.
  41. 41. This particular shot interests me because it is the only time in the trailer, and film for that matter, that you see this red car. And only for a brief moment, too. The fact that the two main female characters are driving can suggest a lot of things. For example; the colour red connotes danger – this could mean the girls are driving to, or from, a dangerous situation. However the colour also connotes love and lust, which is also a conventions. This suggests that there could’ve been a dangerous incident involving the male character, who lusts over both of the females and vice versa. The fact that this is the only time we see this clip, and the car, could also be used to portray the dominance of the females. This suggests that the roles have switched, because conventionally the male is dominant, and makes the audience wonder why the male would’ve suddenly become weak, and the females able to drive off his car.
  42. 42. MONEY Money is an extremely conventional theme for an action film. The trailer suggests that it is also earned in a conventional way too – through illegal drug dealing and other criminal activity. The characters are often seen surrounding themselves with the money; holding it with delight and indulging themselves with it. The happiness that they get from the money suggests that it’s something they want more of, which offers the idea that there may be a task or mission in the film that must be achieved in order to earn some more money.
  43. 43. GANGS It is suggested from the trailer that there are two groups of ‘gangsters’ in the film. One containing the mail male character, and the other a less recognised man. This is not the main theme of the film which is why it is unclear about the relationship between the two groups from just the trailer. However, the fact that the rivalry between the two gangs exists, is conventional for any film of this genre.
  44. 44. ROMANCE/SEXUAL CONNOTATIONS As a stereotypical teenager, there are many different thoughts regarding sexual references which is reflected in the trailer. In particular at Spring Break, there are clips of some of the less dominant characters revealing their bodies and making sexual remarks. It is suggestive that the crude gestures are mainly due to the influence of alcohol and drugs. This would be a relatable subject for the most of the target audience, since they would have experienced similar situations. This is conventional because the use of the female body is exploited in many action films, these subjects are never the dominant characters, just used as extras to entice extra audiences.
  45. 45. There is also an element of a softer romance between the male and the female characters, which does not come across as crude as the previous clips. The fact the more romantic side of it revolves around the main characters suggests an on going relationship between the characters which builds up. The audience would notice this increasing chemistry throughout the trailer and would make them want to watch the film to discover what the relationship entails. This differs from using purely sexual images, since romance generates curiosity, and hooks the audience. whereas sex just catches their attention.
  46. 46. The romance between the three main characters is effectively placed throughout the trailer. The intimate relationships not only exist between two characters, but all three at the same time, including the two girls. This is not conventional, since it is unlikely that an action film would pursue such a romantic/sexual relationship and make it such an important theme in the film (or the trailer suggests so), since the genre usually focuses on missions or crimes that need to be solved for the greater good.
  47. 47. This shows how a trailer is made with the consideration of an extremely intense range of background information to take into account. For example, choosing the right camera angle to portray a certain shot correctly, or placing a character in the most appropriate clothing that represents their personalities, the colours, settings, lighting, props, acting, and many more. While at the same time considering what conventions of the action/crime/thriller genre to conform to, and which ones to break, in order for it to be the most effective trailer.