Film trailers are a most effective and popular way to promote and advertise a film. They are shown at cinemas and on TV to catch the audience’s attention and to let the viewer know what the film is about. They are often shown many months before the film is due for release to let fans know what their favourite stars are working on next. Sometimes when a series of films are planned the sequel trailer is shown at the same time as the first episode is being screened.
An example of this is Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.
I have chosen to analyse the film trailer, which was used to promote ‘A Knight’s Tale’. I decided to use this trailer because ‘A knight’s tale’ was one of my favourite films of last year! I like this film because it is so different. It is a historical film but it also is very funny and entertaining. It is a not-too-serious look at the world of medieval knights, chivalry and tournaments.
All the historical details are there but they are given a modern twist, which appeals. ‘A Knight’s Tale’ seems to appeal to a wide range of target audiences.
My first reaction would be to say it is targeted at teenage boys and men because of the action and the big football link, but also the film could appeal to females as well because of the main star Heath Ledger.
There is a hint of a love story, which instantly attracts girls. The film is rated, as a PG so would also be suitable as a family film. This film can be viewed on many levels. Very obviously it has action, but also quite subtle humour and it can be seen as a satire or parody on football. ‘The Knight’s Tale’ is a new take on the Cinderella fairy tale.
It’s a rag to riches tale, which has eternal appeal to all ages. ‘A Knight’s tale’ is set in medieval Europe. The people and the events in the trailer make this very obvious. Although it is medieval, it has a very modern twist because the characters behave in a modern way. The clothes worn while medieval looking would in some cases transfer really well into today’s fashion. It is not a serious medieval film, but a fun, love and action story about dreams. The whole film has a very big link to modern day football or boxing.
This was the sport of the time and the main source of entertainment. Even down to the last details it compares to football. In the trailer we see big roaring crowds, singing, cheering and chanting for their favourite knight. The supporters wear the colours of the knight and their shield, just like a supporter would wear a football strip. You also see people selling food, drink and flags just like hot dog vendors at a match. In the trailer you can see the crowd warming up and chanting the winners name.
There is one clip in the trailer showing a helmet flying into the audience. It is made in slow motion and the crowd are jumping up to grab it just alike a football kicked into the crowd. Another clip shows the crowd doing a ‘Mexican wave’. This is linked to football because it first originated in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Just like football, jousting is in tournaments and finally leads up to a big world cup. The clips chosen, like most trailers, show off the most exciting parts of the film. At the start it is building up excitement with the crowd anticipating the sport.
There is a big variety of film clips and it tells the basis of the plot, without giving too much away. This leaves the viewers with an idea of the story but still left wanting to no more. There are also a few hints of the romance in the trailer, which catches people’s attention. The trailer also identifies the main characters. Heath Ledger, who is quite well known, was main star. He has been seen in such films as ‘The Patriot’ and ‘Ten things I hate bout you’. In this film he has the leading role, William Thatcher.
In the start of the trailer you see him as a young peasant boy and then later an adult making his dream of becoming a knight into reality. The trailer concentrates mainly on him but you recognise his friends, a girl he might fall for and the ‘bad guy’. William is obviously the good guy. He wears quite poor clothes along with his friends because they are the knight’s servants and obviously peasants. One of his special friends is the poet and well-known writer Geoffrey Chaucer, who is famous for writing the Canterbury Tales, one of which is called ‘The Knights Tales’.
The baddy (Adimar) is identified because he looks rich and wears dark clothes, mainly black. Perhaps this is to represent the dark side of his character. The girl Jocelyn is shown to wear exotic clothes, with bright pastel colours. The trailer is as action packed as the film with lots of images flashed onto the screen giving the impression of pace, excitement and combat; knights jousting, crowds roaring, swords clashing and heralds introducing champions. There is very little text because the emphasis is on action.