How effective is the combination of your
main product and ancillary texts?
By Emma Taylor
Intended Outcome of our Production
• The intention for our coming of age supernatural thriller trailer for
‘Fallen Grace’ was to entertain and intrigue our target audience of young
people (15-25) in hope that they would engage in the themes displayed in
the trailer and want to see the finished feature film.
• The aim of producing the two ancillary tasks (the poster and website) we
hoped to interest our potential audience in our film by denoting the genre
of the film through the genre of the film in both of the ancillary tasks,
which are popular with our target market. We aimed to attract the same
target audience as other films which are similar to ours such as ‘The
Perks of being a Wallflower’ which we analysed.
• Our ancillary tasks included making both poster and website. We had to
ensure that they followed similar thriller like themes in the design to
provide continuity from the film to the ancillary tasks to make them
effective in promoting ‘Fallen Grace’ accurately. In order to prepare for
making our poster and website we did two separate photo shoots (one on
set with special effects make-up and another with a photography studio
set up for actor profile shots).
• Our website was hosted by a professional company (Top Floor Web
Hosting) which provided a professional website making templates
for us to design our site without having advertisements on our site,
and also provided us with a the UK domain name
• In the production of the ‘Fallen Grace’ website we had to keep in
mind the themes and genre of our trailer and design the website
accordingly. We used Claude Levi-Strauss’ theory of binary
oppositions to fuel the basis of our website design using a black and
white colour scheme to connote good and evil which is explicitly
expressed in our trailer.
Research into Web Design
• We looked into the web pages of films we had analysed to see key
conventions which were in keeping with our genres. We found that
cross media convergence was frequently employed to get the audience
engaged with the film, by placing links to social media onto their
websites such as Facebook and Twitter pages. The trailer for the film
was also situated on the home page of the website to make it more
likely for the audience to watch it, and hopefully be persuaded to see
Screen shot from ‘The Perks of being a Wallflower’ website
Screen shot from ‘The Hunger Games’ website
Aspects of the Website
• In modern society it is increasingly essential to provide
information on multiple media platforms and so we have made
our website accessible on phone devices, tablets, Wii, and on
• We also recognised the importance of social media in the
marketing for our film and so created Facebook and Twitter
pages to link the website to. This could widen our audience by
loyal fans ‘sharing’ posts and entering competitions to win
• The image on the picture was taken by Emma on set when filming the torture
scene with our main protagonist, Grace when she had special effects make-up
of blood dripping off her face and fingers in order to connote the thriller genre
in our production as it has dark and serious themes. We used dark colours such
as black for the main title to convey the darkness in the film which is also
mirrored in the film (black title plates) and in the website (black text). This
image is also used on the website, Facebook and Twitter pages in order to
create a visual identity for the film.
• Using Photoshop CS5 we increased the saturation, and underexposed the
image to create a sense of ‘mania’ to the poster, aiding the dark themes
utilised in ‘Fallen Grace’.
• References to the production companies, Facebook and Twitter pages are also
used in order to display continuity from all the tasks and also to aid the
promotion of the film.
Research into Poster Designs
Our poster had to imitate other conventions of other film posters from our
chosen genres in order gain interest from our target audience who enjoy similar
themed films whilst adhering to our chosen schemes from our trailer, website
and social media outlets.
We looked at posters from films similar to ours such as the thriller ‘Salt’ starring
Angelina Jolie and directed by Phillip Noyce. We replicated the use of the main
actress’ name at the top of the poster in order to promote the film, giving the
poster ‘edge’. We have done this to help promote the film due to the actors used
in the film.
Research into Poster Designs
As the main aim of posters is to be easy to read and to grab the audience’s attention
to market the ‘Fallen Grace’ effectively. In order to do this we contrasted the ‘icy’
harsh blue colour on the left of the poster with the darker detail on the right to try
and gain the attention of the public. The blood dripping from Grace’s head
instantaneously draws the audience in and establishes the thriller genre in ‘Fallen
Grace’. The institutional information at the bottom of the poster also uses the binary
oppositions as seen in the website to establish connections between all the tasks and
to make this information to be seen more clearly. This institutional information (of
production companies, the director, the DOP ect is found on most film posters to
give sufficient credit to the film makers.
We used other conventions commonly seen on film posters such as reviews
with star ratings from critically acclaimed film festivals such as ‘Raindance’
and ‘Cannes’ gives the film a good impression instantaneously as they can
see it’s a good standard. This is also shown on the ‘Fallen Grace’ website,
and helps promote the film as many people are more likely to see the film if
it has good reviews.
Audience Feedback from the
• Many people liked the poster design and thought it was very effective in
promoting ‘Fallen Grace’ as it looked professional and effectively conveyed the
themes in the trailer whilst conveying sufficient levels of enigmas (why is she
being tortured?) to keep the audience engaged.
Theorist: Vladimir Propp
Vladimir Propp’s media theory is that they are many different character types which appear in
media texts. This is expressed clearly in our trailer this links to our trailer in numerous ways. Our
trailer contains a villain, a hero and helpers who all have key and specific roles to play in order for
the narrative of a story to function. Steve Neal expresses that media texts should be ‘similar with
differences’ and we have tried to incorporate this idea by making the ‘hero’ a female instead of the
stereotypical male heroic part, which is increasingly being incorporated into films due to social
change and the understanding that women are equal to men. This can be seen in the ‘Hunger
Games’ trilogy where Katniss Everdine is the protagonist defeating the evils with her strength and
courage. The villain is also portrayed in the trailer as he kidnaps Grace establishing the basic and
crucial storyline to ‘Fallen Grace’; good vs evil. The helpers (Zara and Charlie) are shown being
distressed (throwing a chair across a classroom) and hints at both of them going on a mission to
find Grace by running through fields.
Theorist: Tzvetan Todorov
• Tzvetan Todorov’s narrative theory describes that every story consist of
an ‘equilibrium’, a ‘disruption’ and a ‘revised equilibrium’. Trailers form
their own narrative by only hinting at the story, creating enigmas and not
displaying the ‘revised equilibrium’ to not give away the plot line of the
film. In order to give the trailer closure but not to display the ending,
montage post-production techniques were used to give a basic summary
of the trailer which an atmospheric ‘swooping’ sound effect at the end of
Following our Plans
We planned the production of our trailer, website and poster design extensively in order to
get the results we wanted from each section and to make sure that each had continuity
features to give the film its own identity so it could be easily recognised through fonts,
characters, colourisation choices ect.
We made animatics, shot, prop, and equipment lists to ensure we knew how the film was
going to plan out along with catering for health and safety needs in our risk assessments
of our chosen locations. Whilst aspects of the production did change in each section of
production (filming extra shots whilst on set, and creating a montage at the end of the
trailer) we did make sure we stuck to the original plans as best we could. Some aspects of
making the trailer were made more difficult at times due to absences of team members
which made the production process take longer than planned but we dealt with these
situations accordingly (re-distributed the extra work load amongst ourselves) in order to
make the shoots run smoothly in order to get the footage and results we originally aimed
• Lighting - We aimed to create a chiaroscuro lighting effect for the ‘disruption’
(Todrov) scenes of our trailer which we achieved with studio lighting and
colour grading in order to create mystery and suspense in the trailer.
• Props - We used props such as ‘party cups’ in the house party scene, buying
food and drinks for the actors to act appropriately for a happy house party
seen which worked really well on camera in connoting enjoyment.
• Costume - We used costume in order to connote differences in characters
semiotically. For instance, Grace wore a white top when getting kidnapped in
order to connote her innocence and vulnerabilty, whilst Mr Eastwood, the
antagonist, wore dark clothing including a hoodie which is commonly
associated with criminality to represent their characters without explaining
each character in detail on screen.
• Set Design - We chose locations which suited the mood we wanted to create
for each scene including a car park for the kidnap scene to create an eerie,
stressful scene full of tension.
• Make-up - We used special effects make-up accordingly in order to increase
realism for our trailer, and to increase the audience’s empathy for Grace.
In conclusion we think that the combination of our trailer and our ancillary tasks are very
effective together in promoting ‘Fallen Grace’. They all accurately display aspects of
narrative, genre which are important in promoting a feature film. There are several themes
which follow throughout all the tasks to provide continuity such as institutional
information (the film makers) which is conventional of each task.
The combinations of tasks allow us to reach a wide audience both locally (through the
poster) and potentially globally (through the trailer being online and the website being
easily accessible through a variety of mediums including smart phones and tablets to a
We are very happy with the results of each task set and think they interconnect well
together to promote the feature film ‘Fallen Grace’.