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Analysing a  Film  Trailer    

TH 13 March  2013   Lesson  Objectives  

Learning Outcomes  

•  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  

film trailer.  

film trailer.  

•  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?  


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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  

Film Trailer  

How to analyse a film trailer

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