Initial Film Trailer Investigation
What is a film trailer?
• A film trailer, or a preview, is an advertisement for a
new film to be featured within cinemas in the
• The term ‘trailer’ originated after they were firstly
shown at the end of a feature film in the cinema, but
people discovered that consumers left the cinema
before the very end of the credits, and so therefore
never stayed to view the trailers, but the name for it
has always stuck.
• With the development of technology, film trailers are
also commonly seen on videos and DVDs, plus on
mobile devices, apps and on the internet, particularly
• Unlike music videos, there aren’t different
classifications for types of movie trailers. Instead
they can be categorized into different genres, of
which each one has their own stereotypical
conventions which makes them easier to be
• Genre types include:
ACTION, ADVENTURE, COMEDY, CRIME &
GANGSTER, HISTORICAL, HORROR, MUSICAL, ROMA
NTIC, SCIENCE FICTION, TEENAGE, WAR, WESTERN.
Each film genre has it’s own conventions, and it
is important for producers to ensure these
conventions make the final cut within the film
trailer, as it is important to inform viewers of
what to expect … but without giving too much
Example Genre 1: Action
What to expect in an action film trailer?
• Fast paced music – quite dramatic
• Lots of quick cuts in the editing to fasten the pace.
• Usually involves a male (super)hero and a female
damsel in distress. Often a sidekick too.
• Lots of special effects – fire, explosions, fighting etc.
Man Of Steel Trailer Analysis
• Credits and Intertitles: The first intertitle to appear in the trailer are the words ‘Next
Summer’. This signals to us that the trailer was released a long time before the film was
brought to cinemas, meaning that producers thought this film was going to be highly
anticipated. As there is no specific clue as to when it’s actual release date will be, the use of
these simple words is likely to get the audience more excited as they will be continuously
looking out for more information on the film’s release. Zack Snyder has his own credits page
in the trailer – although he hasn’t directed many films, they have all been box office hits and
award winners which is why placing his name in the trailer should hopefully get film fanatics
excited. The same can be applied for Christopher Nolan who is famous for producing the
revamped Batman movies, so those who know of those films will automatically have some
recognition with this film. The use of the infamous Superman logo after the final credits
showing the title of the film will instantly boost recognition and hype for the film.
• Dialogue: The featured dialogue between characters is cleverly chosen…
Man of Steel – Action/Superhero
About the trailer:
Example Genre 2: Romance/ Rom Com
What to expect in a romance film?
• Central male and female characters are usually in separate difficult
relationships; looking for true love.
• Beautiful and tranquil settings.
• Soft, sweet music.
• Bright lighting.
• Male characters are all handsome, quite muscular, with nice clothes, typical
‘prince charming’ character.
• Female characters will stereotypically be blonde, but in more recent
years, the blondes are normally portrayed as the ‘dumb blonde villains’.
• Central female character will be pretty, intelligent and likely to have been
single or in bad relationships for the whole of her life.
• The ‘dumb blonde villain’ is not necessarily a ‘villain’, but normally an
enemy of the central female character, looking to get between her and the
central male character.
Example Genre 3: Horror
What to expect in a horror film?
• Lots of dark colours; both in the lighting, setting and editing
• The plot usually revolves around the key theme or death, monsters
• Eerie music, screaming and quick-paced violins are all
conventional sound effects.
• Settings will usually include abandoned mansions and
houses, dark forests or graveyards.
• Children are often key characters in horror films as they are
automatically deemed vulnerable.
• Horror films are also usually adapted from traditional horror
tales, which makes the films all the more realistic and believable.