Analysing Trailers….’The Summer Season’

Posted: June 17, 2010 in Media

In class we began our research in preperation for constructing a trailer. We analysed trailers from different kinds of genres to try to get an idea of what conventions are used (in terms of sound, camera etc), to attract as much audience attention as possible and how these differ depending on which film they are promoting. Thus giving us inspiration and knowledge to put forward to our own projects and overall understandings of how trailers work…

Firstly, we analysed a trailer promoting the summer season of 2010 at the cinema. Here are the questions we were asked and my own personal answers:

Q1-What do you remember the most?

A- The first thing that sprang to mind were the clips featured in the trailer from the film ‘Iron Man 2’ as it interested me, as it is a sequel to the film ‘Iron Man’ which I have seen and enjoyed. Something that also stuck in my memory was an audience member recalling the fact that they ‘throw popcorn in the air’ when they watch a horror film at the cinema. I think it stuck in my mind because it was funny and a very natural thing most audiences can relate to, as we all, at some point, have watched a film that has scared us.

(The summer sequel to first film, starring Robert Downey Jr as the iron hero)

Q2- Why do you think particular members of the audience were selected?

A- Well I think they were selected because they are a very diverse group- in age, gender and race. This means that most audiences watching the trailer can relate to what is being said and nobody is left out. I also think it adds a natural touch to the trailer to include members of the public- it helps us, the audience, relate more to what is being said.

Q3- What do members of the audience say?

A- Well, again, this is diverse- but they all have one underlying similarity: they all discuss why they enjoy going to the cinema. And, because they differ in age/gender/race etc, they all have different reasons. Children for example, are excited and want to see ‘Shrek’ and others, such as young teenage girls say that it is ‘like another world you can escape to’. This helps any audience member relate to what is being said, as there are so many different opinions on what makes cinema so entertaining. This is also helpful to make audiences reginite old memories in their mind of going to the cinema and by helping them remember what experience they had it could help persuade them to go again. 

(Children’s favourite- the lovable and successful Shrek)

Q4- How is information conveyed to us?

A- The information is mainly given through dialogue from audience members and a range of different clips from all genres of film. Generally it conveys information in a postive and upbeat way- with actors/actresses in clips of film sounding like they are speaking directly to the audience at times (‘A day date with destiny!’-Toy Story 3) which adds a personal and happy touch and relates to the messages being conveyed in the trailer itself.

Q5- What impact does the dialogue have? How does it link/engage audience?

A- The dialogue featured here is very impactive- whatever the audience members say links onto the clip we see next or at the time they are speaking. For example- ‘I want to see Shrek!’ and then we cut straight to an image of the animated hero and he says: ‘It’s Shrek!’. This has an impact as we see the films these audience members love and what they are talking about- it helps the audience of the trailer dig deeper into what the audience members are discussing and see it for themselves on the screen.

Q6-How have these things been selected for summer? Why?

A- I think overall these snippets we see and opinions we hear have been selected for summer because most are very light hearted and fun- a symbol of what summer is all about. It also features a lot of new childrens/teenagers films within it (‘Shrek Forever After’ and ‘Toy Story 3’) which was probably picked for the summer because children are on holiday and are more likely to go out for the day at the cinema than if the films were released in the school term thus leading to more profits in the long run.

(Highly anticipated by kids everywhere- Toy Story 3, with the voices of stars Tim Allen and Tom Hanks)

And on a personal note…..What ideas has it given you for your own trailer??

Well….I do have to consider that my trailer will be for one film only and not a collection of films to be shown in the ‘summer season’..however this does not mean the trailer has not left me with some knowledge/inspiration for my own trailer.

Maybe some ‘audience members’ (or actors…) saying what they thought of the film could be helpful to give an insight to audiences on what it’s about/what experience it gave them etc. As, from looking at this trailer, I can see this can very successful in targeting audiences and persuading them to see it with supposed ‘real people’ claiming it to be a good film. But would it fit in with the genre??? And would it get in the way of the impact a trailer is supposed to have??….Maybe. I’ll have to consider this.

It has made me think about voice overs a fair bit…I like the ‘stereotypical Hollywood movie’ voice over this trailer had, but I think…depending on the genre I had in my mind for my trailer (thriller/mystery/crime/revenge) It may not fit with the tone of the film itself. But I think that voice overs, like the one here, can be very helpful at giving audiences insight onto the narrative of the trailer… maybe I will do one, maybe not. But I’ll defintely consider it first without ruling it out completely.

It’s made me think about target audiences. Clearly it’s important to know who your target audience is as there are so many groups you can aim at (from watching the clip and it’s diverse opnions) so the trailer has made me realise that throughout planning I should be clear on who my target audience  is exactly.

And, on a last note: From watching the trailer it has given me ideas of pace, camera shots and editing. Generally here, the editing was quite fast, giving us a montage of different shots from a range of films. I did like this as we had to really focus on what was going on and couldn’t look away otherwise we might miss something that interested us. Therefore I might use this in my trailer eventually as I think it would help engage the audience’s full attention to the trailer itself without the becoming bored with long sequences of the same general thing.


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