Horror/Thriller Film TrailerFor my MS2 production I am going to be directing and producing aHorror/Thriller Film Trailer of a Zombie film called “Cadaverous”.It will be about a few people who have survived a zombie apocalypse, mytarget audience at the current time being male 15 and over.“Cadaverous” will be a modern film with the teenagers being able to relatewith the teenage audience, as with every Zombie film there will be suspensebuilding scenes and one or two funny moments.
George A. Romero George Andrew Romero (born February 4, 1940) is a Canadian-American film director, screenwriter and editor, best known for his gruesome and satirical horror films about a hypothetical zombie apocalypse. He is nicknamed "Godfather of all Zombies."
Films directed by George A. Romero1960s Night of the Living Dead (1968) Theres Always Vanilla (1971) · Season of the Witch (1972) · The Crazies (1973) · Martin (1977) · Dawn of1970s the Dead (1978)1980s Knightriders (1981) · Creepshow (1982) · Day of the Dead (1985) · Monkey Shines (1988)1990s Two Evil Eyes (1990) · The Dark Half (1993)2000s Bruiser (2000) · Land of the Dead (2005) · Diary of the Dead (2007) · Survival of the Dead (2009)
Research into a wide range of competitors/intertexts
Zombieland Zombieland is a 2009 American zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The film stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin as survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Together they take an extended road trip across Southwestern United States in an attempt to find a sanctuary free from zombies.
Visual Codes• Wide angle shot of earth, suggesting an alien planet watching over the earth and therefore connoting that something unusual is about to happen• Zoom’s in slowly onto part of earth and ends up at a wedding.• Man raises cup to indicate toast, woman wearing wedding dress runs into man, stereotypically the wedding day is the best day of a woman’s life and so because it looks like she hates it, it connotes that something is wrong.• Quick transitions to indicate panic• Car crashes into other car, overweight man running away for a much fitter man, children clawing at side of car with blood all over their faces and a man with a sign saying ‘THE END IS NEAR’ running away from the ‘Zombies’ in slow motion all connoting a sense of unbalance in the world.• Pan up tough man, looking quite relaxed.• Cut to younger, scrawnier man creeping slowly through an alley way looking un-nerved and crouching.• Girl looking past the camera with a worried expression• Cut to young girl playing with her hair with a devious expression• Cut’s back to tough man walking with an overly-sized gun, connoting he’s the head masculine figure and he’s powerful. Show’s many cut’s of him using tough weapons such as large clippers, chain-saws and pistols, which he is then shown killing the Zombies with.• Cut to old frail woman outside church pulling chain with a Zombie running up to her, as he gets to her, piano falls on him, classic comedy clip used to create a sense of unusual hilarity in the actual event where frail old women wouldn’t be as confident as her.• Matching the music, lot’s of cut’s to small, Appealing to a male audience with action shot’s.
Audio Codes• Eerie music along with a man speaking in a low voice connotes that something bad is going to happen.• Music changes when bride runs into groom, the music is upbeat and changes the mood so that you know the film is a comedy• Second change to music commonly found in adventure films suggesting they are about to go on an adventure• Third change to rock music which connotes that the implied audience of the film is male• There are also pauses which focus’ attention on the person speaking at the time for example when the music stops and the Eisenburg asks if everyone wants an imperial mint.
Narrative Codes• Props theory is applied here for when there is a switch in characters, for example the hero is not the main character and the princess are the people who are being chased after the zombies.• Equilibrium: The zombie apocalypse hadn’t happened• Disruption: Zombie apocalypse and everyone is dying• Recognition: Find out how to kill the zombies, finding equipment• Attempt to Repair: Fighting the zombies back• Reinstatement: there is none, however you could say that finding the ‘Twinkies’ was their reinstatment
Technical Codes• Edited an Earth to make the audience feel like this is an alien planet.• Zoom into earth at the beginning builds up tension in the audience to see where and what’s going on, connotes alien falling to earth.• Slow motion editing on certain parts to emphasise destruction.• Edited cuts are of commonly fades apart from the music changes for the first time, the cuts are quick to which connotes around the amount of action in the trailer.• No text on screen apart from when a guy running away from zombies is wearing a sign with writing on it.
Ratings/Box office RatingsReview aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reports 90% of critics gave the film positive write-ups based on 184 reviews, with a rating of 7.3/10, and a generally positive 88% approval rating from "top" critics based on 29 reviews.The film debuted at No. 1 at the box office in North America, with ticket sales of $24,733,155 on the opening weekend, matching its production budget. As of October 29, 2009, the film grossed $75,590,286 domestically and $102,133,700 worldwide. It was credited as having the second highest- grossing start on record for a zombie film behind the Dawn of the Dead remake and as "the first [American] horror comedy in recent memory to find significant theatrical success". The film grossed $60.8 million in 17 days, becoming the top-grossing zombie film in history; the record was previously held by the Dawn of the Dead remake.3
Diary of the Dead Diary of the Dead is the fifth film in Romeros highly acclaimed Dead series of zombie films. It is not a direct sequel to previous films in the series. Diary of the Dead follows a band of people making a horror film at the time of the first outbreak who decide to record the epidemic incident documentary-style and end up themselves being chased down by zombies.
Visual Codes• In this text the Zombies wear everyday clothes, either bright or dark and this connotes that they weren’t bad but when they died and came back to life they had make-up showing scars and blood which connotes that they have turned on the Living.• The Characters are wearing dark which would be used to hide them in the event but however connote that they are the bad people rather than the Zombies and that filming the events is wrong.
Action CodesBecause this is a film designed to look like thecharacters filmed it and they are being attacked,fighting is often used such as people trying to getZombies off themEven though in the Trailer no weapons are used (whichis more realistic) you can tell from when the cuts in thescenes are that there will be weapons used in theactual film
Audio CodesAlso in Audio they needed to create the effect of thecharacters filming the documentary, most of the soundthey use is diagetic, apart from the music.Sound effects such as the breaking camera make thefilm effective by giving it the effect of the camera beingbroken, the camera man being killed at this momentand usually when this happens they place the sound onit aswell.
Narrative Codes• The Hero = The project director Jason• The Villain/s = The ZombiesEquilibrium – When the characters get the chance of shooting thedocumentary when the dead aren’t coming to lifeDisruption – Maxwell stabs Ridley in the head with a sword, and Debra shootsJason.Recognition – Debra watches the video on Jasons camera and sees his lastmessage, about his happiness to be documenting the events, apparentlyfilmed right before his attack.Attempt to Repair - Debra decides to continue the videoReinstatement - A hunting party shooting zombies of people they previouslyleft tied to trees, leaving them to die and reanimate and using them asshooting targets. After seeing this, Debra wonders whether the human race isworth saving.
Technical Codes• Quick Transitions matching the “camera running out of battery” effect.• By actually using a documentary camera (sometimes by hand) they create the effect wanted of it actually being a film made by the characters.• Blurring Camera effects to create a tense atmosphere for the audience.
Ratings/ Box OfficeGeorge Romero won a 2008 Critics Award for Diary ofthe Dead. The film received mixed reviews, with a slightmajority being positive. Most reviewers acknowledgedthat Romero is still the master of the genre, and thatthe film was as enjoyable as Romeros previous entries,and that it also retained Romeros social commentary,including Americans new-found reliance on the mediafor information and community. The film currently hasa "fresh" rating of 61% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Survival of the Dead On an island off the coast of North America, local residents simultaneously fight a zombie epidemic while hoping for a cure to return their un-dead relatives back to their human state. The film was directed by the famous George A. Romero, known as ‘The God of Zombies’ for his countless excellent zombie films.
Visual Codes• The Zombies in this text, similar to any other Zombie movie, wear dark clothing to tell the audience that they are inevitably evil. Dark/Black connotes an evil character.• The modern world has been brought down by the Zombies and this is shown in the way the main characters ride horses instead of using cars, substituting modern ways of transport for pervious ways.• Guns and other weapons like the axe are used through out the film to entice the male audience in, men stereotypically being interesting in guns and action.
Action Codes• Lot’s of fighting and guns in the film represent the fact that this is a male focused audience.• The story line of the film (two sides, one that want to kill the zombies and the other that want to change them) shows the two different groups of people, one of them is the action of the film with the guns and the other is the more scientific approach which may be more appealing to the women genre.• Typically in Horror/Thriller Genre films is chasing scenes, there are lot’s in the film making it referential to the intended genre of the film.
Audio Codes• There is lot’s of emphasis on the weapons and killings of the characters in the film, which appeals to the male audience.• Extremely common in Horror/Thriller Genre films is a sound played to create tension, the increasingly high pitched scream sound which is used in a lot of the same genre films to “scare” the audience.
Narrative Codes• I do not think there is an intended hero in the film ZombieLand, because there are two main focus groups and there are lot’s of “heroic” characters, this then contradicts props theory.• However it is evident that the evil/bad guys of the film is the Zombies.• The Equilibrium of the film doesn’t exist because it is a sequel film from the night, dawn and the day of the dead.• The Disruption then being the Zombie attack.• The recognition would be when the two groups meet and try to share knowledge, one group tries to get the zombies to eat animals rather than humans.There is never a reinstatement in a Zombie film unless all the Zombies are killed, this however is a rare occasion as Zombie films commonly end with most of the characters surviving an apocalypse and ending with them content with being in the world with Zombies. This is because the film becomes more interesting for the audience when the characters are still faced with trouble.
Technical Codes• There are always edited scenes in a Zombie movie, such as in the beginning of the trailer for Survival of the Dead where a man cuts a zombies head off.• The non-diagetic sound is used to narrate what’s happened so far in the film, this is used at the beginning to represent a man telling his story, however he is doing other things on screen.• The main Diagetic sound used is the “Zombie noises” the same sound is used through out the film but is un-noticeable as it is used in different situations of the story.
Ratings/Box OfficeSurvival of the Dead was released to twenty theatres on May 28, 2010 and had an opening weekend gross of $43,757, averaging $2,188 per theatre.As of August 1, 2010, the film has taken $101,740 and $41,451 internationally, bringing the total gross to $143,191.Currently, Survival of the Dead has a rating of 29% on the website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 82 reviews.
AudiencesUSES AND GRATIFICATIONSEntertainment – people like to watch scary filmsto fulfil a movie adrenaline.MASLOW’S HIERACHY OF NEEDSI think that Zombie movies fill the selfactualization needs section because people onlywatch these movies when they are satisfied withevery other need.
Censorship IssuesMost Zombie films are of the age 12A – 18. Most at 15.• 12A = Works classified at these categories may upset children under 12 orcontain material which many parents will find unsuitable for them.• 15 = No-one younger than 15 may see a ‘15’ film in a cinema. No-one younger than 15 may rent or buy a ‘15’ rated video work.• 18 = No-one younger than 18 may see an ‘18’ film in a cinema. No-one younger than 18 may rent or buy an ‘18’ rated video work.
Audience AgeWhen doing my research I found that most, if not all, Zombie films had an age rating of 15 –18, on the rare occasion 12A. So I would expect the age rating of my film trailer of aHorror/Thriller Zombie movie to be a 15 because of how most Films of that Genre and Topichave been set that age. Films under this category can contain adult themes, moderate-strong violence. I think that also because my audience will be of this age, I will make mycharacters the same age so that they will feel more included with the movie, thereforemaking it more exciting for the audience.
QUESTIONAIRE Link to my Questionnairehttp://mediastudiesblog46.blogspot.com/2011/ 11/blog-post.html
Question One & Two : Q1 – MALE OR FEMALE, Q2 – AGE? I asked these questions to define what age and gender my audience would be. Q1 – Most people that replied were FEMALE however due to research on other Zombie films the audience ratings are more male. I think that this did not happen to mine because more women were asked to answer my questionnaire and men were less likely too. Q2 – All of the people who answered my questionnaire were aged 15-18 and this is a good thing because my film will have an age rating of 15.
Question Three – DO YOU WATCH HORROR/THRILLER MOVIES OFTEN? 63% of the 8 people answering this questionnaire said that they watched horror/thriller movies often, it is my prediction that most of these people will be MALE, and all of the 25% of people that said they watched horror/thriller movies WHEN EVER THEY ARE RELEASED would be male too. This proves that most of my audience for my movie (trailer) will be male, contradicting question 1.
Question Four – WHY DO YOU WATCH THEM? By reading these results I have gathered the idea that my audience will be watching the movie (trailer) to fulfil their need for ‘suspense’ and getting thrills out of being ‘scared’ and so I know that I need to incorporate these things into the storyline of my movie. By watching other movie trailers I can get an Idea of how I do this, I think I have realised that Audio Codes are a big part of this.
Question Five – DO YOU THINK THERE ARE TOO MANY ZOMBIE MOVIE ON THE MARKET? This was quite are hard decision to come across, I think that I placed this question in my questionnaire too be sure that my audience would be satisfied with the fact another zombie film would be shown and that there weren’t too many already. 38% of the people that answered this said there were and so I feel that this would be quite problematic, however the majority (63%) said there weren’t which means that the ZOMBIE MOVIE would be a good idea.
Question Six – WHAT WOULD YOU EXPECT TO SEE IN A ZOMBIE MOVIE TRAILER? I think that the results I got, people didn’t fully understand what I meant by ‘what would you expect to see in a zombie movie trailer?’ and so answered, commonly with zombies and a tension building storyline which is exactly what I am going to do in my Trailer. I think that by having this question I have secured what I originally wanted in my trailer to be in it, which is a positive thing.
Question Seven – SELECT THE IDEAS OF THIS NEW ZOMBIE MOVIE, WHICH YOU LIKE… (multiple answers) My original idea was to have a group of people surviving the zombie apocalypse as a very basic storyline to my movie. The results I got were surprising, 75% of the people answering the question said they would like to see a pair of people surviving the zombie apocalypse. From this I decided to make the storyline as a group of people which is whittled down by the zombies as a pair, this is why I came up with the name cadaverous, meaning “corpselike”, because the title is cadaverous it means that the audience will assume like any other zombie film that it is about the group of people surviving the apocalypse when is actual fact the twist is the teenagers will be the ones who loose against the apocalypse, therefore making the plot more interesting.
Overall evaluation of the results from the questionnaire…From the questionnaire results I think I have now secured the age of myaudience and how that audience will feel about my film.I have made slight changes to my plot like how there will be a group ofpeople but it will eventually turn to a pair of people, which is what the 75%of the audience would like to have seen.The Questionnaire has really helped me to make some importantdecisions, that I wouldn’t have done if my target audience hadn’tanswered the questionnaire.
Target Audience Profile • Age: 15-20 • Gender: Male and Female • Occupation: Students mainly, part-time jobs etc. • Income: Low income can afford to go to the cinema • Demographics: E - working class – Students, Unemployed, Casual Workers