Secondary Research Lucy-Anne Richardson A2 Media
Film Trailers Teaching Trailer Secondary states that “the combination of moving image and sound, especially when experienced through the advanced equipment of the cinema auditorium, is an exciting experience”. A trailer is designed to entice the audience into watching the entire film. It does this by giving information but doesn’t tell you the ending. This can beseen in Todorovs narrative structure as the equilibrium is disturbed. However, a trailer wouldn’t show you the solution otherwise there wouldn’t be any point in seeing the film.Often, people watch trailers and try to look at certain aspects that would put it in a particular genre, for example, blood would be assumed to be horror.
Using trailers would be a movie’s best advertising feature.Although posters and adverts on TV are also effective, they aren’t as exciting. “Posters are important in capturing the initial interest ofthe audience and drawing them into the cinema, but theycannot convey the excitement and atmosphere of a film in the same way a trailer does.” Film trailers are mostly found on the TV and internet as advertisements. However, one of the main ways in which they can be seen is through the cinema. Before a film isplayed in the cinema, there is about twenty minutes worth of trailers/adverts for upcoming films. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gBeG31fX40
Film trailers often follow the same structure as the film itself. Lookingat Todorovs Narrative Structure (1969), we can relate this to almostevery trailer and film’s storyline.Stage 1 – There is a balance/equilibrium.Stage 2 – An action of some sort causes a disruption.Stage 3 – The characters try to find a solution to this disruption.Stage 4 – The characters try to overcome obstacles in order to fix thedisruption.Stage 5 – Equilibrium is restored (usually a new equilibrium) and theconclusion is shown to the audience.This would be the usual structure of a film and a trailer is most likely tofollow the same path. However, the difference with a trailer would benot giving the audience a solution/conclusion (stage 5) as this woulddefeat the purpose of going to see the film.
Within my trailer, I have decided to use a young girl around theage of Eighteen. The reasoning behind this would be frominspiration from other films and due to my story. However, oneof the main reasons would be for visual pleasure for theaudience.Laura Mulvey’s Male Gaze Theory (1975) would be evidence forthis as she believes the use of women within magazines, films,trailers etc. would be for male attention within the audience,even possibly an inspirational figure for women.The use of an attractive female, or even an attractive male willattract the attention of many viewers just because of theirappearance – especially if they are a celebrity.
Women are also used in films as they are seen – or have previously be seen– to be weak and less dominant. So they are used for characters such as theyoung, blonde girl in Scream to represent girls in general. However, morerecent films have been defying these scary, conventional elements and havebeen using women for more dominant strong characters such asParanormal Activity 2.Within this film, the woman sets out to find the solution herself rather thanbeing the victim.I will use elements of Laura Mulvey’s theory by using an attractive youngwoman to enable a bigger audience. I am also going to use a moreconventional character to portray the woman. For example, a blonde hairedgirl screaming whilst being in the dark.
My genre is horror/thriller by using supernatural events such as a spirit. I want thecamera angles, Mise en Scene, acting, clothing etc. to be very mysterious andpotentially frightening due to my storyline. Shadows – unknown characters Candles – horror convention.Conducting research into Barthes Enigma Code (1964) I have found that thissuggests a product – in this case a film trailer – will be mysterious in order to attractthe audience. The enigma code is never revealed until the appropriate moment,which is usually towards the end.I want the audience to ask themselves questions about why something ishappening and who is doing it for example. Then eventually find out the answer atthe end of the film.
InfluencesFrom this secondary research, I have used theories in order to keepto conventions and create the right atmosphere.• Firstly, from Laura Mulvey’s Male Gaze theory, I have decided to use an attractive, blonde girl in order to entice the audience as well as relate to her. My actress is blonde which is in keeping with horror/thriller films as I want her to show innocence and purity.• Like every other trailer, I do not want to reveal the ‘solution’ of the story which is said by Todorov in his Narrative Structure. The trailer I wish to create will go through these certain stages such as a balance/equilibrium then be disrupted etc.• Due to the genre of the trailer, I need to create an unknown or a mysterious atmosphere. This is mirrored by one of the theorists I looked at, Barthes Enigma Code shows this by the solution to the problem being revealed at the correct/appropriate time.
Film Posters Illustrated film poster from the 1930’sA film/movie poster is used in order to advertise anupcoming film. Often, it is an image of the main actorwithin the film itself with the title and tag lines at thebottom such as release dates as well as distributingcompanies. However, previously, film posters wouldmost likely be illustrations due to lack of technologyand software that we have in the modern day such asPhotoshop and Mac computers.Film posters is an effective way of advertising a film asit can be released on many different platforms. Withthe impact of the internet and broadband, the web isnow perhaps the biggest advertising strategies as itreaches the entire world enabling a wider audience.Film posters can be displayed through websites(reviews, at the end of a trailer etc.) as well as onbillboards and magazines. Main actress shown 2012
In relation to pragmatics (connotations) there are many aspects within afilm poster. Firstly, the poster needs to have a purpose and the audienceneeds to know from looking at it what it is and why it is there. You wouldneed to ask yourself many questions such as the reason it was produced,whether it was to persuade an audience or convey a particular message.The audience should be able to understand and be swayed by the posterin order to go and see the film it is suggesting. This links in with hidden messages which may be inserted in order to create some sort of mystery or to give the audience more inside information. This can be done with connotations/ denotation. The denotative meaning would similarly mean a literal meaning by saying exactly what it is whereas a connotation would be something associated with it. An example of this would be colours. Many colours have certain meanings such as yellow which would connote happiness/sunshine where as red would connote love/ passion or even blood/anger. This is an effective way of creating a certain atmosphere or insight into the genre perhaps.
From research carried out by Tom Brownlee in MediaMagazine, we can see these elements within a filmposter are important to it’s overall success. Also, thelayout of the poster is often very similar due toconventions. For example, the use and placement of thetitle, as well as a positive quote, using previous credits(actors) in order to give the film extra justification andthe colours used.One of the main elements would be who will actuallybe viewing the product. The film itself would have atarget audience to begin with so this would be thesame with the poster. This would include theaudiences’ age, gender, nationality, interests, socio-economic status and their overall personality.For example, the target audience of The Godfathercould be seen as adult males whereas The TwilightSaga would be aimed at teenage females.
InfluencesI have decided that film poster and magazine cover will berelatively similar with regard to logistics – makeup, position,location etc.I want the model – who will be the main actress – to lookdirectly at the audience in order to make them feeluncomfortable (diegetic gaze).From looking at Media Magazine, Tom Blownlee stated thatthe layout of the poster is very important. The placement ofthe title will be at the bottom of the poster alongside theinformation such as companies, actors’ names and releasedate.The poster will be simple as having too much will confuse theaudience and take away some of the scary atmosphere that Iwant to produce.Another convention stated in Media Magazine is the use ofcertain colours for example. The background will be light atthe top leading into darkness which is similar to ThePossession poster. This will connote the darkness/evil takingover her body. Also, the use of a different, bold colour suchas red for the release date really stands out and connotesdanger/blood which is part of the story line. I could possiblyuse red as it is a similar storyline or another bold colour.
Film Magazine CoverFilm magazines such as Empire or Total Film incorporatenew or upcoming films within the magazine and are fixatedon the front cover. The purpose of a film magazine wouldideally be to persuade and sell the film they are advertising.The front cover usually involves a singular image of themain actor/actress within the movie. This would mainly beto advertise the film itself but also sell the magazinethrough the use of that certain person. This person wouldmost likely be famous and attractive. Drawing on LauraMulvey’s Male Gale theory, attractive men and women areused within the media such as actors, on posters andobviously film magazine covers. People would not only beenticed to buy the magazine – or see the film – but theywould also aspire to be like them.
The composition of the cover will almostalways follow certain conventions and aresimilar to other magazines of its genre.These conventions include the use of therule of thirds in which the readers eyeautomatically goes to certain points on theimage for example.The image on the cover can differ withregard to the models position and logisticssuch as makeup and location.A close up or mid close up would be used inorder to show the audience the facialexpressions which could give somebackground information into the film. This issimilar with logistics. As you can see in the This image alsofilm cover of Robert Downey Jr, his position shows a diegeticis upright showing he is quite respectable orthinks well of himself. Also, his clothing gaze as the modelrepresents a certain era which links in with is breaking thethe film. On the other hand, if it were a long ‘fourth wall’shot, it could be used to show the body of because he isthe model etc. looking directly to the reader.
Many covers have hidden meanings or show the audience context ofthe film. For example, connotations in colours and fonts enable thereader to know the genre or perhaps the emotions the film entails. Red – Love, passion, anger, bloodThe target audience would be essential to a magazine as they needto target a certain readership – in most cases. This can differ the useof certain colours and images. They could do this by looking atdemographic data by collecting surveys. Twilight – Teenage girls, stereotypical feminine colours. Or insight into the film by using red or gold for the change in vampire eyes.Len Ang (1991) suggests that you should make a profile of theaudience to enable you to create the correct magazine/cover. This isknown as ‘imaginary entitles’ which is when you have an assumptionof the audience.
Influences• From doing this secondary research, I have decided to use the actress from the trailer is she is what the film focuses on. She will also be attractive (Laura Mulvey) in order to entice the audience. She will be looking straight to the reader (diegetic gaze) in order to intimidate/make them uncomfortable.• I have also looked into logistics such as her makeup. From looking at trailers such as The Possession, the young girls make up suddenly changed which looked really unrealistic. I won’t change the make up too drastically, but will subtly make her look drained and perhaps older – if she is taking on a different spirit.• The location will definitely include a forest as it is accessible, it doesn’t cost anything and can create a scary atmosphere.