You are on page 1of 5

Shannon Bulmer

Media

Specific Genre Analysis – Coming of Age
Billy Elliot (2000) – English
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoiVEyCosEE

The trailer begins with the production company‟s ident „Universal Focus‟ which is normally seen at the beginning of every trailer. This is so the audience is familiar with who has produced the film and whether they know they other film‟s to know whether this will be a success. This is followed by another ident „Studio Canal‟, they show two normally because it shows the main conglomerate and their subsidiary. A fade transition is used revealing the first character, which we can assume, is Billy Elliot. The reason why we assume this is because normally the first character that we are introduced to is normally the main character and Billy Elliot is the title of the film. The set design is a gym where Billy is standing in a boxing ring reading to box. We know this because of his costume (boxing gloves, hat and gym clothes), which shows the stereotypical hobbies of a boy of his age. We also know this character is Billy Elliot as a male voice is cut in saying “give it all you‟ve got, don‟t just stand there Elliot”. Non-diegetic music is cut in of the Rocky theme tune. This makes it funny as it seems cheesy to the audience however makes them laugh, also it links with this boxing as the film Rocky is a boxing film. Billy then begins to dance around the ring, bouncing from the sides whilst a voice over of a male character cuts in. It says “Inside everyone of us there is a special talent, waiting to come out” whilst this is used, various shot of close up, medium close up are used at a canted angle to show the speed of Billy moving around the ring. The camera is showing the POV from the other boy in the ring, this is effective as it makes you feel as if your in the ring with Billy, making it more intense although we know it‟s a lighthearted boxing match. A cut then shows an eyeline match showing a medium close up shot of the other boy followed by a punch sound effect cut in matching the action of the low angle shot of Billy falling on the floor. The voice over continuous saying “the trick is finding it” meaning that boxing is not his talent. This is also funny as it is clear to the audience that Billy isn‟t good at boxing therefore the voice over is very literate. A slow fade out transition is used until the screen has a black out. A slow fades in then shows a close up shot of a ballet bar with young girls hand‟s gripping onto it. Non-diegetic music cuts in of „We Like To Boogie‟ which links in with the theme of the film, which is dancing. Billy Elliot then walks into the frame, showing a medium long shot of him still in his boxing costume. He takes hold of the ballet bar whilst looking at the girls dancing, making the audience assume that his talent is to dance. A cut then shows several close up shot‟s of the girls doing ballet i.e. their feet, and hands until the previous medium long shot is used again. A young girl turns around and says, “why don‟t you join in” in a mockery voice to say that it is unseen for a boy to be keen in ballet. The repeated close up shots of the girl‟s feet is used again, however this time it‟s a panning shot moving down the line of the ballet‟s feet. The ballerina‟s have matching costume of tights and ballet shoes therefore when the panning shot moves more to the right, a blue pair of boxing trainers appears in the line, we can only assume these are Billy Elliot‟s shoes, following from when the girl said “why don‟t you join in?” A cut then takes us to an over the shoulder shot of Billy looking in the mirror

Shannon Bulmer

Media

therefore capturing a medium close up shot of his face. A voice over of an older lady from the previous clip is shouting “ONE AND TWO AND THREE…” referring to dance steps. The clip then continues showing Billy trying to practice ballet in his house but knocking things down to show proof of the stereotypies that „boys don‟t dance‟. A cut then takes us to another shot of Billy in his house but in a different room practicing a „pirouette‟, whilst the medium long shot captures him mid spinning, a cut then takes us to Billy doing the same action in a ballet class. In this medium long shot your able to see that Billy is now wearing ballet costume i.e. blue tight tank top, similar to the tops of the girls however theirs are pink/white. The clip‟s go back in forth using quick cuts to show matching action of Billy trying to dance in both his house and the class, emphasizing that he cant do it. With the non-diegetic music still continuing over the clips, a cut shows a medium close up of Billy‟s dad saying “Ballet?” The tone of voice shows that he can‟t quite believe what Billy is doing, showing the stereotypical view in those days that boys shouldn‟t dance. A reaction eyeline match shot then shows a medium close up of Billy responding “What‟s wrong with ballet?” A cut then shows the same shot however of his grandmother who interrupts saying “I used to go to ballet” directing the speech to the father. We know this from the direction where the grandmother‟s head is facing, referring to the 180 degree rule from the proxemics of where the father is in the scene to where the grandmother is facing when speaking in the same scene. Shortly afterwards, the same medium close up shot of his father is used again. He replies saying “Lad‟s do football or boxing or wrestling not ballet”. Firstly, from the accent of the character‟s and their dialect we know that these characters are from the Northeast. From the views of the adults and props used in the film we also know that it is around the period of 1984-1985, which was when the coal miners went on strike. Secondly, his father mentions very masculine and violent hobbies in which he wants Billy to take interest in instead of ballet which shows the archetypes of what society think men would be like, along with the bread winner and so forth. This foreshadows the difference in opinion the older generation has to the newer generation, showing the change in society over the time/generations. A cut then shows a medium close up of Billy in his bedroom wearing nightclothes as costume. The repeated action of him pirouetting continues followed by a sharp cut to a medium close up of his concentration face whilst pirouetting. A slow motion edit is the used, slowing down the pace of the clip and his pirouette whilst the non-diegetic music slowly fades out once Billy stops and lands his pirouette perfecting. The slow motion effect is still used, showing the grin slowly appear on his face. This is effective as it emphasizes that he has successful done it. By including this, it sends a message to the target audience (coming of age genre) as it shows that with determination your able to achieve anything as we saw before that he wasn‟t able to do them and now he can. As the non-diegetic music completely fades out, a cut shows a medium close up of Billy‟s dance teacher in her car. She says, “I‟ve been thinking of the Royal Ballet School” followed by a reaction medium close up shot of Billy leaning through the window. He says, “aren‟t you a bit old miss?” this shows the comical side of the film as this represents she typical naivety of teenagers that age. It also signifies the lack of confidence Billy has himself as to think that she is talking about herself going there instead of referring to Billy. A reaction shot then shows the same medium close up

Shannon Bulmer

Media

shot of the teacher saying “Not me, you!” Instrumental non-diegetic music cuts in with the main instrument being a piano. The music is very calm giving off an inspirational atmosphere whilst Billy starts to train for the Ballet school. A slow fade out transition shows a wide-angled long shot of Billy and his teacher practicing his moves. Another fade in and out transition shows Billy practicing his moves whilst he walks down the street, showing his passion for it. These two clips appear for a short amount of time onscreen. The volume of the non-diegetic music decreases whilst the next clip appears on screen. This scene is set in Billy‟s kitchen, introducing another male character who is older than Billy but younger than his father, assuming that it is his brother. The long shot shows his brother saying “The Royal Ballet? Do you have any idea what we are going through?” again this is showing the same attitude and opinion of his father, showing the influence that the older generation has on this character as to know what is supposedly stereotypically right. A cut then shows an over the shoulder shot of a huge group of police men with the costume of uniform, helmet and riot shields. From seeing the prop of the riot shields, this links back to the strike of the coal minors, which makes the audience, realize the occupation of the father and brother. Montage editing is used showing different shots and scenes taken from the scene to show the strike and riots. You see a medium close up shot of Billy‟s brother being forced back by the police along with a group behind him whilst shouting and chanting followed by several other clips showing other aspects of the riots. In the background, the nondiegetic music increases in volume to represent the tension and atmosphere of the scenes. A quick fade transition shows a medium long shot of Billy and his teaching sitting in the boxing ring which was captured at the beginning of the trailer. His teacher has a prop of a letter in her hand and begins to read it. As the voice over of the teacher continues of the following clips it begins to reveal that Billy has lost his mother. The clip following on from it shows a long shot of Billy kneeling at a grave in a graveyard; we can only assume that this is his mother. A cut shows an over the shoulder shot of the grave which says „Jenny Elliot‟ followed by a fade transition going back to the previous clip of Billy in the boxing ring listening to the letter (medium close up shot). He quotes a bit of his mother‟s letter saying, “always be yourself” which shows he is taking his mums advice as to pursuing his dream of being a ballet dancer. Again inspirationally encouraging the audience to follow their dreams, making an impact. A cut then shows a medium close up shot of Billy‟s dad in a coat and hat followed by an over the shoulder reaction medium close up shot of Billy‟s face looking angry. Whilst the non-diegetic music plays in the background (quietly) a male voice over cut‟s in saying “This Fall…” this is similar to the way „Now and Then‟ when a male voice over introduced the names of the actors, the release date and so forth. This must have been common when producing trailers as these two films were produced around the same time therefore showing the past conventions of a trailer. A montage edit is then used showing different shots of Billy dancing in front of his dad however the shot‟s don‟t allow the audience to see the expression on the fathers face, therefore unknown to his opinion. A cut then shows a medium long shot of his father walking (tracking shot) towards his oldest son shouting “he may be a genius for all we know, lets give the boy a chance” cutting to an over the shoulder medium close up shot of

Shannon Bulmer

Media

the eldest brother crying then cutting to a medium close up two shot of the two crying and hugging. This shows the audience that the two come too terms with Billy‟s dream, showing the happy ending of the film, which is typical for the trailer‟s to hint at the climatic point of the film. The voice over cut‟s in again saying “The producers of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Elizabeth and Notting Hill” revealing all English films yet successful, reassures the audience that this film will also be good. By including this it also increases the amount of attention the film get‟s, as the success from the previous films they have produced will benefit the outcome of the amount of audience members that go and see this film. Montage editing is then used showing more small snippets of the film, followed by the narrator saying, “Experience the triumph of a dream which changed everyone it touched” over the top of several clips. This line briefly explains the purpose of the film, to touch the heart of the audience and somewhat inspire them to follow their dreams because with determination you will always get them, shown in the character of Billy Elliot. The remaining 15 seconds of the trailer shows short clips of Billy and his family, using fade transitions. Below are the print screens of the different clips;

Shannon Bulmer

Media

As you can see from the print screens, a lot of the locations are of the city or instead a dance studio or house. The production company is a British Independent company, which means their budget is very low unlike Hollywood Conglomerate companies, which have a huge budget. This means that the company are limited when it comes to set design, props and location therefor they use free locations i.e. the city streets etc. to film therefore not losing any money and guaranteeing a huger profit. A wide-angled shot is used showing Billy Elliot running into mid air, as seen in the first print screen. A graphic match is used, using Billy Elliot‟s body to change into an animation to make the title of the film appear on screen. As the animation finishes, the name of the title appears. A fade transition is used to make the two film festival quoted awards appear on screen. By including these it shows the success the film has made from film critics. Also, this type of advertisement is also seen in „Fish Tank‟ and „This is England „which are all British Independent Films. This means that due to their small budget, they rely on the audience feedback and awards to attract the audience into seeing their film instead of the star system and expensive locations/props.

Related Interests