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I am going to analyse three film trailers which all consist of different genres. I will be analysing Women in Black (horror), seven (hybrid) and 50 first dates (romance/comedy).
Women in Black – Horror genre
The beginning of the trailer starts with an establishing
shot of a room in what seems to be a very old ‘haunted’ house which immediately reveals to the audience that the genre of the film is a horror as we can see from the lighting as it looks dark. Also the props used also suggest that is it the genre horror from the rocking chair and the candle. It immediately draws in the audience as they want to find out the obvious questions like what is this house? What happened? This also links to Barthes theory (enigma code) as it looks mysterious and creates the sense of the unknown. It also subverts to Todorov’s theory as the trailer begins with the disequilibrium and makes the audience wonder what the equilibrium used to be like and how it happened.
This shot which lasts from about 1 second reveals an isolated eerie location which fits with the genre of horror and there is a feeling of being lost and no where to escape to. Also the use of the grey sky creates a gloomy atmosphere which also fits with the genre theory which is horror as they use the conventions to create it.
This is another example of an establishing shot as it answers the questions from the short clip of the empty room which tells us that the mysterious room links to the creepy looking house. This creates tension and drawing the audience into wanting to carry on watching the trailer. Also the non diegtic sound used creates enigma as its sets the mood using the instrument of a xylophone. The whole look of the house creates enigma as the over grown grass and rusty gates create an eerie atmosphere as if it is in a grave yard.
The use of old fashioned puppets is a conventional horror prop which are used in films of the genre horror. As we can see that this sort of puppet would have been around during the 1890’s therefore it creates enigma as it makes the audience wonder why they are there and how the equilibrium was destroyed which subverts to todorov’s theory.
A corridor is a common location which is used in horror trailers which is conventional feature as it creates the sense of being isolated and not being able to escape. It also makes the audience feel as if it is reality which links to the gratification theory as people watch films for escapism and for entertainment which this trailer creates. It also links to Barthes theory (enigma code) as the codes and conventions of the creepy corridor create questions and a feeling of being trapped.
Here we see an image of a photograph of a family which links to the establishing shot of the mysterious house and a family where their eyes have been scratched out. They have been represented as disfigured which creates enigma. Also the black and white effect creates a spooky serious feel which makes the audience feel more scared and also the sense that it was taken a long time ago.
The ghost character is revealed slightly in the creepy house as we can see a dark figure which carries on the mysterious feel which links to Barthes theory (enigma code) as it creates the fear of the unknown and makes the audience wonder what has happened and who this woman is. This also links to Propp‟s theory as this mysterious character is portrayed as the „villain‟.
A conventional feature in a horror genre film is people screaming and in pain which connotes that something has gone wrong. This therefore links to Barthes theory (enigma code) as the sense of mystery has been created as the audience then want to find out why the lady is screaming and where did she come from. The diegetic sound of the narrator of the young girls low voice speaking also fits nicely as it has a creepy feel to it which goes with the slow spine tingling music. Also from my knowledge of horror films young children are also a conventional feature used in horror films.
This shot of what seems to look like a grave Yard is very effective as we can see one cross where as a grave yard usually has lots of graves. This therefore suggests that the place is empty and no one else is there which makes it feel more scary which is the aim of the horror trailer. Also the use of shadows creates a creepy feel. Also it links to Barthes theory as the audience are wondering what he is doing there and who died? Which therefore creates tension and draws the audience into wanting to carry on watching in order to find out.
We can see the protagonist of the film is Daniel Radcliffe who is featured a lot during the trailer which fits with Propp‟s theory of the different characters. As we can identify he is the „Hero‟ character as he is running in order to solve the disequilibrium (Todorov‟s theory).
The trailer than finishes with a cliff hanger of a close up of the protagonist looking out of the window of the creepy old house where was can see the ghostly unknown figure suddenly appears behind him which is conventional of the horror genre which is effective and it draws the audience into wanting to watch the find to find out what happened.
The ending should reinforce the product name. The sans serif font used is very effective as it is written like this to give the film a trademark reminding the audience of the film and links to any other advertising campaigns of the film such as posters. The ending is quiet after the loud falling action.
Seven- Hybrid genre (horror/Crime)
The cinematography used is a medium close up of a detective which shows the audience the expression on the characters face. I can identify from the mise en scene in the shot as the use of the beige jacket and the torch, this can be understood though Barthes theory through the symbolic code as the man resembles a detective. Also the use of the lighting is very effective and the direct address which gives a realistic feel for the audience as if something serious has occurred. Also this is linked to Barthes enigma code as it creates questions for the audience as they wonder what has happened? Which attracts the audience to watch the rest of the trailer.
A extreme close up is used of the man’s faces in order to show the audience that he is looking at something. This links to Barthes narrative theory of the Proairetic Code as the audience knows what will happen next as we expect there to be an eye line match of what the man is reading. It also supports the genre of crime as it suggests that he is researching an investigation which is portrayed by the use of the mise en scene of the reading glasses.
A high angle long shot is used to show the dark eerie bedroom with a red crucifix above the bed which suggests death or evil this therefore suggests to the audience that the genre is horror. This adheres to Neale‟s theory we expect these conventions in the horror genre. Also the lighting creates the feeling of spookiness which also links to Barthes enigma code theory as the audience does know why there is a cross above the bed? Also the voice over sets the atmosphere as it typical of a horror genre.
A medium shot of a man a office is used to show the surrounding and his actions as we can identify from his position of his hands that he is dealing with a situation and the expression on his face which implies he is concerned. This therefore suggests the genre being crime. Also the mise en scene of the man wearing a suit implies he is an important person.
This shot denotes a a person dead under a sheet using a high angle as the dead body is powerless. Also it fits with the genre of crime as it is an investigation in order to resolve the disequilibrium (Todorov) of the murder. However the convention of death and the use of darkness follows the horror genre and also creates suspicion to who the murderer is which like to the enigma code (Barthes theory.) This therefore draws the audience into watching the film in order to find out what happened which links to the uses and gratification as people watch horror films for entertainment. This shot is very disturbing as the words „help me‟ have been used which suggests that someone is pain or something paranormal is occurring which fit with the expectations of a horror genre (Neale). Also the voice over of the man speaking increases the scariness as the man says “They are caught in a game” which is a typical line in a horror film. This follows Barthes Hermeneutic Code as the the problem is not solved which creates mystery to what is happening.
A long shot is used as they are in the office with the main detective higher up in the rule of thirds which tells us that is is the most dominant and the most powerful. We can also can identify from the trailer that he is the protagonist of the film therefore the hero in the film according to Propp‟s narrative theory as he is trying to resolve the disequilibrium (Todorov). The mise en scene of the office and the piece of paper he is holding suggests the genre is crime. The use of the quick shots of captions is effective in the horror genre and is also a common convention which is repeated throughout the trailer in order to remind the audience of the genre. The typography tells the audience that the genre is of horror by using serif red font symbolising death. Also the fast moving shots creates tension as the audience feels drawn in. The non diegtic sound of the scary music create the atmosphere that something is going to happen. The end of the trailer the name of the film is shown in order to remind the target audience of the film so that they can watch it and it is a trade mark for the film. Also the title links with the horror genre using the colour scheme of black and red symbolising blood and death.
50 First dates- Romantic/Comedy genre
The trailer begins with an establishing shot of the sea of a beautiful romantic location on an island which is a conventional setting you would expect in a romantic genre film. It also plays non diegetic music of a fun song using the instrument of a drum therefore connotes that the film is fun and he genre of comedy. The songs that are used in the film will usually be well known pop songs, so that the audience can recognise them easily. This is used in order for the audience to relate to the story being told in the film. It also is the start of the equilibrium where everything is calm and peaceful (Todorov‟s theory.) The trailers then has a number of shorts clips of different women who have fallen in love with the same men. The use of close ups have been used in order to show the expression on their face. This is used in order for the audience (majority being female) to empathise with the women.
An eye line match has been used here as both the characters are looking at each other which portrays the romantic genre as it is „love at first sight‟. A non diegtic sound is used with the lyrics of “blinded by the light” which fits with the atmosphere. An extreme close up of their faces, especially the eyes has been used in order to see the way they are looking at each other and the detail of their expression in their faces.
A two shot of the couple has been used in the romantic setting as we can see the couple are on a date. The lighting is very effective as we can just see a silhouette of the couple holding hands which depicts that the genre of the film is a romance. Also from Todorov‟s theory is shows the stage of the equilibrium of the couple where everything is happy, calm and in love. Also we can identify that the target audience would be of the female gender as they connect with, and relate to, the characters in a romantic comedy.
Here we can see a two shot of the couple lying in bed which is a conventional setting of a romantic film as it portrays love however, we can identify that this is the stage of the disequilibrium (Todorov‟s theory) where the equilibrium has been destroyed and a problem has arisen. We can also see the that the film is a comedy as the two character are screaming which is shown using a close up of the character faces intentional to show the detail of the expression on their faces. This also links to Barthes theory (enigma code) as it makes the audience question „why are they screaming?‟
This tells the audience that the film is also a comedy as the main character high fives the walrus which is humorous as you wouldn‟t expect it to happen. It makes the audience wonder where did the animal come from? Which links to the enigma code in Barthes narrative theory.
A two shot Is used to show the main character giving his true love some flowers which is a conventional prop you would expect in a romance genre . The location is set in a beautiful location with the sea in the background which is a typically location in a romance. It also shows a typical man trying to make the women happy by buying flowers and a present for her so that she falls in love with him which helps the audience to relate to the film. The use of animals is common in comedies as it makes the film interesting to watch especially as the target audience are interested in animals. A close up is used to show the penguin dressed in clothes which reassures that the film is of the comedy genre. This links to the gratification theory as the audience watch the media for entertainment and interests and for their own enjoyment.
The trailer ends with the title of the film is it reminds of the name of the product in order for them to want to watch the film. It also gives the film a trademark as the audience will identify it in other publicity material such as magazines or posters. The name of the film is written using sans serif font which tells us it is a fictional comedy film.
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