Evaluation of My film trailer
and ancillary products
By Kimberley Deller
In which was does your media product use, develop or challenge forms
and conventions of real media products?
• Mostly used mid-shots as we found out from our research were conventional for the
romantic comedy genre of trailers. This allows the audience to see the
emotions/expressions of the characters to help them to relate to them as well as
showing them their costumes – which can also help them to identify with them and
allow them to understand more as to what they are like. This relates to Michel
Foucault‟s theory of idealised norms as Samantha who fits in with the typical „gender
roles‟ is rewarded for being at the top of the social hierarchy, whereas Erica who
relies more on her intelligence than her looks (which isn‟t a typical role for a female
character) is punished for being at the bottom of the social scale. This helps the
audience to understand why Erica wants to change and be more like Samantha so
• As was also in some of the romantic comedy trailers analysed, we used panning to
help identify with some of the locations; for example as they walk passed Erica‟s
house as she is watching. This helps the audience to both associate with Erica (it is
from her point of view) and identify with the scene.
• • We used a voice-over in our trailer as we found in many existing trailers a
voice-over is put in place to give the basic outline of the over all story. This
allows the audience to understand the whole thing a lot more making it more
interesting. Therefore finally making enough interest to see the film as a
whole product. This makes use of Rick Altman’s genre theory as it helps the
audience to understand the story and therefore its genre and in also
influences the way they interpret what is shown.
• The Mise-en-scene of our trailer consisted of a secondary school setting.
We used classrooms, a dining hall and corridors within the building. This is
similar to existing Romantic Comedy trailer such as ‘Freaky Friday’ as this is
setting in a school also. The costumes we used were school uniform which
complied with our location choice and would appeal to chosen target
audience as they can relate to the types of characters shown. We chose to
use casual clothing in the scenes of Erica’s home (the geek) as this would
represent what teenagers at the time would wear. Erica’s overall costume
shows her in a smart uniform (e.g. tie done up and glasses) or in a check shirt
and other items which don’t match. This refers to her character as a geek.
This can be compared with our choice of costume for Samantha (the popular
girl) as she is dressed oppositely in fashionable clothes and a scruffier
uniform to show her status within school clearly. The costume can be
compared to existing film ‘Wild Child’ as this is set in England also. As is said
by Levi-Strauss’ idea of Narrative theory of binary oppositions as the contrast
between the two characters’ costumes and their personalities is so vast – and
also represents their opposition in their social standing (one is at the top and
popular whereas Erica is at the bottom).
• The use of costume also follows Laura Mulvey’s theory of the representation of
women, coupled with the camerawork (the tilt up Samantha’s body when she is
first introduced) as it makes use of objectification. This relates to the way the
‘Plastics’ are filmed in Mean Girls as they walk along provides voyeuristic
pleasure for an assumed male audience; ‘Male Gaze’.
• The narrative behind our trailer also relates to the target audience and the
research we conducted as all those we analysed show the main characters
experiencing some sort of change. In a Cinderella Story, the main female
character changes from a tomboy to a girlie girl and in Mean Girls, the main
female character goes from the new girl to a popular girl. Although our change
is more physically obvious, the end of the trailer shows how they change after
they switch back. This would be something which particularly relates to our
target audience of female teens who can identify with the problems our two
main characters face.
• The music used is generally up-beat which makes the trailer fast moving and
exciting. However, the music we used also helps the audience to relate to what
emotions the characters are experiencing; for example when Erica is upset that
no one has turned up to her birthday party slow music is used – this music
then increasing in tempo when she makes the wish to mark the start of the
change. For the fight scene we used a more rocky-style music to relate to the
aggression the characters feel. To create a link from the end of the fight scene
and the end of the trailer (the insert of the holding hands) we used the same
soundtrack to make the trailer be more connected.
• By putting the scene of Tom (Geek) and Samantha after the film title
we are also following convention as the trailers we analysed all
contained a funny clip at the end of them. This is because it makes it
more memorable and appeals to the target audience as romantic
comedies essentially need funny light-hearted elements.
• The length of the trailer is typically longer than the conventional
romantic comedy film trailer. However, not by too much, this is as
we didn‟t want the trailer to exceed the conventional two and half
minutes as it would be too long for the audience to take in. Despite
this, our trailer is slightly longer as it gave us more chance to put
across the storyline and would make the audience understand the
storyline more clearly – and therefore increase its appeal.
• The editing used was overall conventional as it was typically fast
paced which would keep the audience interested through its upbeat
style. We also used shot-reverse-shot for conversations which is
conventional as it makes it clear to the audience who is talking and
show reactions/expressions; which helps them to relate to the
characters. In addition, at the end we used an insert to highlight the
connection between the two characters who are so different in
personality and would emphasis its comedic value.
• We used titles across the screen to help tell the story which would help
audiences to understand what it is about. The colours used were red as this
relates to the romantic side of the genre; connoting love and passion, we
used a white font purely to make the text clear to read.
• Sound was used to draw attention to some elements of the trailer. For
example to emphasise the screams, the music was stopped to make it more
dramatic. This makes the change obvious and shows their shock. This is
evident in the She‟s the Man trailer where the sound also stops to emphasis
certain parts; as is the case when Viola is speaking to Duke and trying to
come across as more manly which is comical for the audience and therefore
makes it more appealing.
• As with the trailers we looked at we included the names of the main actors
in the background as this is something which may increase interest in the
film, if it is someone they recognise and like. They were positioned in places
which made them clear to read and clear as to who they were naming –
when there are mid shots of the two characters screaming.
• Another editing technique we used was slow-motion; which we also saw
used in the trailers we looked at in our research (She‟s the Man). This helps
the readers to identify with Erica as it emphasises the longing to be more
• The age of the actors also would appeal to the audience as they relate to
their characters and the age of our target audience.
How effective is the combination of your main product and
A pink and white theme links my products
and our main film together. I used pink and
white together in my products as i feel both
of them colours fit my genre well and it
would automatically give a clear idea to the
audience as what the genre was. Also using
the same colour scheme would make all my
products fit together a lot better and show
consistency. The pictures i used in both of
my products are the two girls in the school
uniform, we took the pictures of the girls in
their school uniform as it would give a
clearer idea of their age, and the social
setting between the two. It is a lot easier to
convey the message of one being a geek
and one being popular in their school
uniform. Also as our trailer is set in a school
i wanted this to come across in my poster
Both of my pictures on the magazine and
poster show the clear binary oppositions
between them too of them and this is also
shown throughout our trailer.
What have you learned from your audience feedback?
To get audience feedback for our trailer we made a questionnaire to ask whether our product did
as we intended it to, create interest, and get across the genre and narrative.
We asked 20 people, 10 boys and 10 girls. 10 of the people asked were in the age range of 13-15
and the other 10 people were in the age range of 16-19.
When asked if you would be able to tell what the genre was from the trailer 17 out of 20 people
said they would be able to. This shows that our narrative was clear enough to convey our story
and genre easily.
When asked was the music suitable 15 out 20 people agreed that it was. This shows that our
music fitted in with the genre and trailer reasonably well and that our audience could relate the
music to the story.
20 people felt that the voice over was suitable. This is probably because a voice over is a key
convention of a romantic comedy trailer. Therefore we added it and all of our audience felt it was
appropriate. All 20 people also felt that the trailer was conventional in its length.
Only one person disagreed that the costume we used in the trailer wasn‟t appropriate. Again all 20
people felt the location of the trailer was appropriate. We set most of our trailer in a school setting.
We did this as it‟s aimed at teenagers and they would be able to relate most to this setting.
When asked if they felt it was aimed at both males and females only 14
people agreed with this. The reason behind this is probably that the overall
genre of the film is stereotypically aimed at females rather than males.
Again all 20 of the people felt that the trailer was aimed at their age group.
This is good as it means if it was to go to cinema the whole film will appeal
to the group we wanted it to.
All of the 20 people we asked said our film‟s title was appropriate. We chose
to use this title as we followed the titles of other Romantic Comedies such
as „Freaky Friday‟. This is a catchy title and we wanted to make ours catchy
too so we chose „Soul Switch‟ which follows a similar storyline to „Freaky
Friday‟ and has an alliterated title. Therefore, due the audience‟s feedback,
we found that our chosen title worked well with our film and they could
obviously see why we chose „Soul Switch‟ as the name of our film.
All of the 20 people we asked said our credits and dates were necessary
and were placed correctly. This shows we have followed conventions from
existing trailers as the audience know where they should be placed, making
our trailer more professional and realistic.
18 out of the 20 people we asked said the actors names were put in the right place
and were necessary. This shows that the majority thought they were essential to a
trailer and needed to be used in order for an audience to know who‟s in the film
before they chose to watch it, as this might influence them more. It also shows we
clearly thought out where we were going to put the names so they would look best on
16 out of 20 of the people we asked said our storyline was conventional to existing
Romantic Comedy trailers. This means that the storyline would appeal to our age
group and that we researched the correct trailers in the first place to get our ideas.
This also shows that the audience would be able to tell which genre the trailer was for
straight away as the storyline was so clear.
19 out of the 20 people we asked said our storyline was easy to follow. This again
shows that it would appeal to our audience as they would be engaged in what was
going on to be able to understand it. Also, they would be able to tell which genre the
trailer was for clearly. It means our editing, sound, camerawork and mise-en-scene
were all suitable in order for our audience to be able to understand it.
14 out of the 20 people we asked said they thought they were shown just the right
amount about the story to our film. This shows we used just the right amount of
footage and followed the length of other Romantic Comedy trailers correctly in order
to not give too much away. This also shows that the audience we left wondering what
was going to happen in the film, a key feature to any existing and successful trailer. A
small amount of people said they thought they were either shown too much or too
little but this was a small minority and did not effect the overall view.
All of the people we asked said our edited red screens
were suitable and helped them gain a better
understanding of what was going on. We got this idea
from existing Romantic Comedy trailers and we
ourselves found this helped us understand. Together
with voice over, the audience clearly found our editing
successful and thought they were an essential part to a
We received no negative comments for this question
from our audience. An example, of one of the comments
we received (as shown in the example of a completed
questionnaire) was: “no, it was of professional quality
and clear to understand.” This proves our trailer to be
realistic and conventional overall and that it appealed to
our audience as we‟d hoped.
How did you use new media technologies in
the construction and research, planning and
Research + Planning
To look at existing media products;
trailers for the Romantic Comedy genre,
we used YouTube. Which was a fast way
to access the information we would need
to make our trailer relevant to the
conventions and therefore more
successful. This meant that we could
view each trailer quickly and be able to
make notes on areas that we would like
to follow - i.e. the conventions like the
use of fast-paced editing and mainly mid-
shots in the trailers.
To get an idea for the locations and
costumes as well as images for the
magazine and poster, we used a digital
camera to capture pictures of the two
main characters in costume and in the
right locations. This enabled us to also
think about where we would like to film
our actual trailer and therefore make
filming more time-efficient and the sets
Development of the Products
Perhaps the main use of media technology in the
actual production of our trailer was the use of a
Mac to edit our footage and a digital HD camera
to create it. The use of this camera made our
footage high quality and therefore made it seem
more realistic to the audience - and wouldn't
interfere with the storyline. The Mac was
something new to us as we hadn't used one
before but felt that we managed to pick up the
necessary techniques pretty fast and enable us
to cut the clips down to the appropriate size and
delete any unwanted elements. The iMovie
program also allowed us to add in additional
effects - such as the slow-motion as Erica blows
out the candles to emphasise her longing to
change and the text across the screen to help
outline the story. The use of the Mac also made
us be able to alter the order of the clips easily to
make the film more effective, for example we
altered the way the clips are shown when Erica
and Samantha walk in so that the shots of the
feet are side-by-side in order to emphasise the
contrast between the two characters clearly. The
Mac also made the use of the voice-over much
easier to capture as it had features which could
record it straight over the film in the places it
The program we used to create our posters and
magazines was Microsoft Publisher as it is best
suited to what we needed - as we could easily
adapt the layout/fonts/colours to make our
products more successful as we could easily
cater to the results of our questionnaire and the
conventions found out from our research.