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Film Trailers

Analysis of film trailers - technical codes, narrative, genre, institution

Al Norman

on 5 May 2010

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Transcript of Film Trailers

FILM TRAILERS technical codes genre narrative institution http://www.skillset.org/film/business/ understanding the role of
institutional logos & references understanding film as business academic analysis
of a form of media text extension of AS Media Studies &
preparation for A2 Media Studies skillset is the sector skills council for Creative Media promoting skills, productivity, careers & education in
TV, film, radio,
interactive media, animation, computer games, facilities, photo imaging,
publishing, advertising
and fashion and textiles. Task 5 Study the Development Finance section of the skillset storyboard (scene 2)
What is the producer seeking? Why does she need this?
What are the roles of the following in the filmmaking process? Why would they get involved at this stage?
a production company
a distribution company Study the Marketing section of the skillset storyboard (scene 10)
Which company markets the film?
What methods could they use to market the film?
What is the importance of the following?
above-the-line marketing
below-the-line marketing
the Internet and new marketing methods The whole skillset storyboard is worth studying if you are progressing to A2 Media or Film Studies A B compare your photo-storyboard version with the original trailer shot by shot
reconstruct a photo-storyboard version
of a professional film trailer In groups, choose a viable trailer.
•one you can replicate
•probably a British film
•consider cast, number of characters & extras, locations, props, costumes, SFX Watch the trailer several times: make a note of
•every shot and title
•shot type (angle, distance, movement)
•composition & framing
•as accurate an estimate as possible of the shot durations
•institutional logos
As a group (safely and legally), recreate every shot in the trailer as a still image.
•pay particular attention to setting up the shot type, composition and framing
•pay attention to body language and facial expression Recreate titles and create your own logos using Photoshop. Assemble your group's photo-storyboard (find a storyboard blank on the I drive).
Add details of shot descriptions, sound etc. Examples of British films that you could consider are;
Looking for Eric / The Damned United / Dead Man’s Shoes / This is England / Trainspotting / Kidulthood / Adulthood / Eden Lake / Hot Fuzz / The Descent / Harry Brown / Bend it Like Beckham / About a Boy / Layer Cake / Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels / 24 Hour Party People / Control / Alfie / Wimbledon / Cemetry Junction / Sommers Town / Slumdog Millionaire / Eastern Promises / Boy in the Striped Pyjamas / Calendar Girls / Juno / Billy Elliott /
Task 1 Task 3 Task 4 Task 2 concentrate on those technical codes that you could control
camera angle & distance
mise-en-scene (body language & possibly costume and lighting)
graphic design of logos & titles comment on those technical codes that you could not control or had less control over
mise-en-scene (locations, costume, hair & make-up, lighting...) how successful is your photo-storyboard at reconstructing the original? what have you learnt about the process of construction of a film trailer? mise-en-scene
use of camera (angle, distance, movement)
graphic design of logos & titles Is your film related to a film genre?
Is it an example of a hybrid film genre?
What other films are there in this genre or hybrid?
Is your film part of a generic cycle of films? How does your trailer use generic conventions? Generic conventions are technical choices that are commonly made within a genre.
In other words, texts within the same genre make similar choices of editing, mise-en-scene etc. Does your trailer make use of a repertoire of elements shared with other trailers? Elements shared with other films could include:
archetypal characters
typical narrative set-pieces. Does your trailer suggest the film will offer familiar pleasures to its audience?
What evidence is there of these? Does your trailer suggest there may be
"pleasures of diference",
that the film's audience will enjoy the ways in which this film differs from others in the genre? FILM TRAILERS FILM TRAILERS analysing how stories are told & structured,
and how characters perform functions within the narrative Roland Barthes (selected codes)
points of cultural reference
enigma code Tzvetan Todorov's 3-part narrative structure
new equilibrium 5-part narrative structure
new equilibrium Claude Levi Strauss
binary oppositions Vladimir Propp - character types
mentor prezi / VUE / Word / PowerPoint ? Most narratives can be deconstructed into distinct phases. A trailer selects parts of the film's narrative to entice the audience.
Can you relate narrative moments in your trailer to phases in either of these models? Which phases of these models would not be shown in a trailer? Why? Narratives usually orientate the audience (let us know where and when they are set).
They also need to hold our interest. How does your trailer make use of these codes to orientate the audience and to intrigue them?
How do these elements encourage the target audience to want to see the film? Narratives are regularly structured around clear and simple oppositions. Does your trailer contain such oppositions?
How might this help sell the film? Characters can be deconstructed according to their function within a narrative. Which of these does your trailer include?
What in the trailer enables you to identify the roles?
How does the use of character roles help to attract the audience?
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