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We studied a number of film trailers and came to the following conclusions about their conventions. Each one of them has the common features that I have discovered.
At the start of every movie trailer, there is a production company logo and name. This is very important in every trailer because it notifies the audience that the movie was made by this particular company.
Each company has its own logo brand and copyright name/logo, as it has been used for many years, on different types of movies. I have also noticed that a company can make and supports a certain type of genre film. There are many different production companies that have been around for many years;
20th Century Fox, Pathï¿½,
Miramax Films, Walt’s Disney,
Paramount, Warner Brothers etc.
These companies have made so many different films which people would now recognize in a flash, even without looking at the name of the company. This is because the company is so familiar and we see it in everyday life, all around us.
After a trailer has shown the production company (which only takes about two to three seconds), the film shows a very brief number of clips/images taken from the movie – but only the most exciting moments. These clips and images inform the audience about the genre of the film, it also gives us the some idea of the film, whether its genre is action, comedy, sci-fi, horror, romance etc.
The clips show a number of different exciting or interesting moments to try and persuade the audience that this film is a winner. They do this by showing images from all over the movie in swift cuts so that we don’t know what we are seeing in a one second clip, but when the whole trailer has ended, the exciting moments remain in our heads. There are swift cuts to help keep the audience entertained and interested in the trailer, so that once the trailer has ended it makes you want to go and see the movie. Some trailers start off slow and build up the impact and some shots lasts longer than others this is to add more affect to the trailer – it all depends on the genre of the movie.
Film trailers inform the audience about the genre of the film and also give the audience the idea of the film, plus the opportunity to see what type of film it is. It gives them the idea of the film in the way the trailer is presented. If the movie is an action film, the trailer would be a fast paced one with hard hitting music, which can get your attention in seconds. If the movie is a romantic film, the trailer would have slow and calm type music with slow cuts, but with a longer shot than an action trailer would. These trailers are usually set in the same format.
If you want your movie to be a big and a winning movie, you have to have a known actor, actress or director, producer to be part of the film. If a new film was just released with the actors, actress or director, producer that is unknown around the world, the film wouldn’t do as well as a film with a known character or cast. A production company knows that a big star in a film they support will make them profit. All stars are unknown at first. They get to the top by either working with a bigger star or by starting in a winning movie. For example, the film ‘Gladiator’ was an Oscar winning movie all around the world, but the actor who played a main role, ‘Russell Crowe’, was unknown before the movie. But because the film was an epic, action-drama, animation movie he is now known.
Also the production company of this film was a joint production film also helping to make it a big movie.
The main thing that tells you about a movie is the title. The title can informs us what type of genre the movie is. For example, if the title was ‘Galaxy’, you would know the movie would have something to do with space and this goes for sci-fi as well. Many people think that, if the title is eye catching the movie will have an impact on them, so all movie titles have to be eye catching and simple. The title would be presented in the way of the genre of the movie. For example, if the movie’s genre is to do with ‘History’, the title could be in a shape of a rock. Or the title could be in a simple text, but the background picture would have something to do with History. Either way the poster of the movie will have something to do with the genre of the movie, weather it’s the title or the background.
In a film trailer, they use music also for impact and to get your attention. The music played would go along with the genre of the film. For example, if the genre was ‘action’, a fast paced music will be played. Without music, all trailers wouldn’t look interesting and wouldn’t have an impact at the audience. Some movies use their own soundtrack to the movie. These soundtracks are songs from the movies (music played in the film), and this is another way to promote the film. For example, Celion Dion sang a song for the film titanic, and in the video to this song, it had motion pictures taken from the film.
Some trailers have music in the background, whilst a voiceover in front. Another word for this is called ‘Portentous Voice’, which sounds like a warning type voice, which is deep and which can get your attention. The voice informs the audience who made the film, who acted in the film, if it had won any awards, what is the releasing date and the production company that helped make the film. I think this is a better way to present a trailer instead of reading the text yourself, because the voiceover can give more information and is clear to understand. For example, you can watch the screen and listen at the same time, which gives you more to take in.
As part of learning about trailers, we analysed twelve different trailers and picked out four which are all different genres.
The first trailer I have chosen to write about is Paramount’s Mission Impossible 2.Mission Impossible 2 is a sequel to Mission Impossible 1. The title relates to the genre of the movie, action. Like most action trailers, it starts off at a medium pace, and then builds up to a fast pace, with loud music pace music and a voice-over. It has swift cuts in between each frame as the genre is action, and also the movie uses the same soundtrack from the previous movie (Mission – Impossible 1), but with a bit of adjustment to it. This time the soundtrack sounds more like rock, while for Mission Impossible 1 it sounded more acoustic.
The second trailer I have chosen is X-Men. The production company for this film is 20th Century Fox. The genre of this movie is a mixture of action and sci-fi, and we get an early clue of this in the first few seconds of the trailer when the trailer shows a sci-fi fighting clip. The soundtrack to the film is the same soundtrack used in the cartoon X-Men, but there was no voice-over. At the end of the trailers it showed the release date with the website below it. Also the trailer showed us a slogan that relates to the genre of the movie, “We are not we seem?” a sci-fi meaning.
The third trailer I have chosen is an award winning movie, Gladiator. This film has a joint production company, Universal and DreamWorks, making this film a big movie. The genre of this film is a mixture of action and history. The music in the background is a mixture of people shouting and heroes welcome music. Like most action trailers this too starts off at in a medium pace and then buildings up to fast pace trailer, showing clips in swift cuts. At the end of the trailer, it shows us the website of the movie and its slogan. The trailer also had a voice over explaining that the movie had won an award and was recommended by newspapers.
The fourth and final trailers I have chosen is Pokï¿½mon, and the production company is Warner Brothers. The genre of the movie is a mixture of action and animation cartoon. It uses its cartoon theme tune for the soundtrack, and as the soundtrack is playing in the background there is a voice-over. We hear the main characters say a few lines, and we also see the release date. The release date is shown at the end of the trailer saying, “Coming This Summer”, because the cartoon is aimed at children and summer is the time when children have their holiday and so is part of the marketing strategy. The trailers also showed the films website to promote the film.
The common feature for all these movie trailers depends on the genre of the movie. If the genre is action, then most action movie trailers will be in the same format. For example, the trailer starts of in a medium pace then ends up being fast, with hard hitting music. If the genre is romance, the format would be different compare to action trailers, but the format would be similar with all romance trailers. For example, the genre of the romance trailer would be slow, calm music in background, love story etc. But there are a few things that all movie trailers share. They all have one of the following; Voice-over, website, release date, music and Production Company. Most of the trailers use music from the movies soundtrack and most use the same soundtrack in the movies and its sequence but edit it like we see in Mission Impossible. This is done to give the audience a new taste to the new movie showing that it isn’t the same as the previous film, but better. Overall all trailers try to keep their message understandable, entertaining and short.
The basic idea of the film is about a fourteen-year-old boy whose rebellious behaviour has him expelled by the headmaster of Shady Glen School.
After taking his sister to class one day, the boy sneaks into the basement to set up one last prank before heading back to his dad who is waiting in the car. But there, the boy discovers that the school security consultant has taken a successful Entrepreneur, the headmaster’s daughter hostage. She is also a Shady Glen student. The boy decides to go back and tell his father, who is a police officer about what is happening, but he too is taken hostage. At this point the mastermind, who is behind the hostage-taking (the leader/boss), orders his men to capture the whole school and to hold them hostage.
The father who has been waiting in the car for almost twenty minutes decides to find his son. As the front entrance is closed, he heads through a back entrance. He is then just about to enter the main hall, when he peeks through a small window on the door. To his shock, he sees the whole school, including his children and teachers on their knees with rifles pointing towards them.
The father then becomes a hero as he fights the men using his gun as well as everything and anything to fight the men and saves the whole school.