Analysing a Film Trailer
TH 13 March 2013 Lesson Objectives
• To understand the
• I can understand the
importance of the ﬁlm
importance of the ﬁlm
• To know the diﬀerent
• I can explain the diﬀerent
elements needed to make a
elements needed to make a
• To use analytical skills.
• I can use analytical skills.
Film Trailers • There are many ways to get an audience interested in seeing a ﬁlm. One of the most important parts of this process is through the trailer. Trailers are designed to provide the audience with enough information to interest them in the ﬁlm as well as ensuring that there are enough questions produced to encourage audiences to visit the cinema
Trailer Analysis • The trailer is one of the most important elements in the marketing campaign. It needs to encourage an audience to see the ﬁlm, provide them with enough of an idea about the ﬁlm so that they want to ﬁnd out what happens to the characters they have just met.
Emotional Response • Examine your general emotional response to the trailer (or at least the response it's intended to evoke). It can tell you a great deal about what kind of ﬁlm it is. If it leaves you smiling, it's likely intended to be a comedy. Horror ﬁlms work for a sense of foreboding and dread. Summer blockbusters aim at getting the adrenal glands pumping; romances work to evoke a sense of yearning and passion. With those basic emotions as a guide, you can analyze the speciﬁc means the trailer uses to create them.
Plot • Watch for a sense of story within the trailer and the details it provides you about the plot. Though very short, trailers still deliver a basic dramatic arc: who the characters are, the obstacles they face and their development between the start of the ﬁlm and the end. After seeing a trailer, you should be able to brieﬂy describe what the ﬁlm is about and the overall tone it will set.
Unanswered Questions • Look at the methods the trailer uses to lure you into the theater. Trailers essentially serve as unanswered questions, prompting you to buy a ticket on opening day in order to ﬁnd out how it all comes out. They can do that in many diﬀerent ways: set up the storyline and then decline to discuss the ﬁnale; stress the spectacle on display through shots of the visual eﬀects; emphasize the threat or danger the characters will face. Ask yourself what the trailer is selling you and whether that's an eﬀective means of persuading you to buy a ticket.
People • Check for the presence of certain actors in a trailer. Big-‐time movie stars are often selling points alone, and will often be prominently featured throughout a given trailer. (Trailers sometimes make it appear as if an actor is the center of the movie, when he just has a cameo or supporting part.) Actors can further clue you in on the nature of the ﬁlm itself: ensemble pieces will feature numerous diﬀerent actors spread across the whole trailer; more intimate movies will center on just one or two actors.
Montage • Pay careful attention to the use of montage in a trailer. Montage is an editorial technique whereby multiple shots are strung together to create a uniﬁed meaning. Trailers often use them because they can achieve a given emotional eﬀect very quickly. Watch the way the shots are assembled, the pacing of the cuts (more cuts imply a faster and more exciting ﬁlm), and whether the assembly illuminates the ﬁlm's subject matter or simply obscures it behind empty images.
Audio • Listen to the sound and music in a trailer. It's often used as a bellwether for the overall tone: Like montage, music can cue speciﬁc emotions very easily. Most trailers don't actually use music from the ﬁlm itself. (The score is the last thing to be inserted into a ﬁlm.) Whatever you're listening to likely comes from another ﬁlm or a piece of classical music, so don't expect to hear it when you buy your ticket.
Taglines • Check taglines and catchphrases used in a trailer. Like the other elements, the taglines are intended to give you information about the ﬁlm in a brief encapsulation. • If done right, they're exciting and intriguing. But the worst are more desperate or clichéd, relying on stock phrases and an enforced sense of excitement rather than genuine inspiration.
Key Questions • How does the trailer introduce us to the main characters, plot and genre? • How does the music change during the course of the trailer? • What information does this give us about the direction of the story? • How do elements such as lighting, editing work with the music? • How do they change over the course of the trailer?
Key Questions • How is montage or other editing techniques used? • What tag lines are used and how eﬀective are they? • What are your expectations of the ﬁlm? • What questions are left unanswered? • Would you consider yourself to be the target audience for this ﬁlm? If so, what elements in the trailer particularly appeal to you? • If you are not the intended audience who is and why?
• http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=OVMsZk9UQhQ
Task • Introduce the importance of the ﬁlm trailer. • Using the Key questions analyse 3 diﬀerent ﬁlm trailers, one of which must be from the genre of ‘Gritty British Realism.’ • Post the ﬁlm trailers and your analysis of each of the the ﬁlm trailers on your blog. • Make sure you write in detail with clear examples and always use PEE • Deadline: Monday 18th March