Analysing Trailers… ‘Sex and the City 2’

Posted: June 18, 2010 in Media

(A sequel to the film that was once upon a time, a hit American show)

 We watched the trailer around 3 times and analysed the following areas, discussing why things were used, what was good/bad and why etc….

Genre…

Clearly a chick flick. Form the content of the trailer we can see that the main characters are women- married, dating and mothers etc. And therefore we can assume this is a film aimed at mostly women too. There is hints of romance- weddings, flirtaous glances etc and lighthearted fun with the talk of holidays, shopping and laughter and smiles from the characters themselves. We can insinuate that this film will be a chick flick with sub genres of romance and perhaps comedy at times. 

Narrative…

There isn’t really much to speak of. Nothing that really grabs the audience’s attention or leaves them wanting to know more…but perhaps that’s a matter of opinion. The scenes of a wedding could intrigue audiences to know which characters are tying the knot/will it last/will it all end in tears etc etc. There is a hint though, from the narrating character, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) that there is promises in store in the narrative of the new film, as she says: ‘you haven’t seen anything yet’- which hints that the plot may contain shocking, new and exciting things. The shots of the 4 characters on hliday also opens new doors- we wonder what will happen on this holiday, whether it will effect their relationship and what the outcome may be.

USP…

Well, the trailer already has a Unique Selling Point before it even begins- it’s  a sequel. And no films make a sequel unless the first film was  big success, critcally and profit wise too. They won’t make another film is there is a chance they will lose money. So a sequel of a big, popular chick flick like ‘Sex and the City’ is sure to bring in hoards of fans no matter what the trailer sets the film up to be. If audiences have enjoyed a film they will always give it’s sequel at least, a chance. Sarah Jessica Parker as the leading role can also be argued to be a USP- she is a well known, glamorous, American actress and is most likely to have a large fanbase to which will ultimately attract audiences to see the film the trailer here is promoting.

Target Audience…

Obviously it’s women. To put it bluntly. Not teenage girls, however, more young women to elder women. As the film will probably be a 15, so any woman over that age is a potential target audience for the said film. But I think elder women in their 30s-40s may be a bigger market, as the characters featured in the trailer are around 40+, so therefore, elder women will be able to relate to the dilemas they encounter more than younger women could (such as divorces, weddings, children etc). Women are the obvious target audience because of the glamorous outfits of the characters, the hints at fashion, friends and fun and the overall idea that this film will focus on the peaks and dilemas of a woman’s life. Clearly women would be more persuaded to see a film dealing with this than a man- of any age- because he has nothing to relate to atall (men are really mentioned at all in the trailer- it’s pretty much female dominated). 

Music…

The music changes slightly- first of all we are greeted by modern, upbeat pop music- implying to us this film will be happy and light- like most chick flicks naturally are. The singer is also female- giving us more of this female dominance and insinuating the genre of a chick flick. Also, the lyrics sing about ‘New York’ connotating Americana- and we know this is true as ‘Sex and the City 2’ is an American film and mainly based there and has mostly American stars. We then move onto the theme tune of the ‘Sex and the City’ franchise- which audiences will know and love if they have watched the TV show/first film- and it gives them something to relate to and familarise themselves with. It is, however, different slightly- it is big, and grand, and played by an orchestra. It gives the sense to the audience that this new sequel will be bigger and netter than the first film- making them want to go and see it.

Camera…

Generally the camera shots used are simple and normal. There are long / 4 shots to show the four main female character together- the group which makes the programmes/films what it is. It connotates friendship and togetherness, making the audience feel that this film will revolve around the relationships of these four friends and therefore be happy and light. There were also alot of mid shots to show the characters doing various things- laughing, talking, looking after children- insinuating this film will involve many different areas of these women’s lives and we instantly want to know more about them and whether their lives/ current predicament will change. The long shot showing the characters riding on camels through the desert implies this film will show us the characters out of America and promises new and unique storylines that we, the audience, have not seen before.

Pace…

Overall it had a slow pace. It doesn’t need to heighten tension- as a chick flick is generally not very tense or shocking. There were some fast cuts but they weren’t dramatic and did so only to change location and keep the audience’s attention on the trailer at hand. Giving them insights into what happens- but not all of it- helps them to get people to come and see what really happens. But, as I said, it had a slow pace. But it doesn’t need one- they’ve already set up the audiences expectation with a first film and therefore do not need to recreate this with it’s sequel’s trailer. And anyway, it somehow makes the film appear more realistic to the audiences- life is not fast paced or editied reguarly and therefore the film is appealing to people as they relate more to the pace and generally what is going on within the trailer itself.

Dialogue…

The trailer is mostly narrated by the voice of the main character- Carrie (SJP) and I think that this was used because it is a regular aspect of the TV programme and helps the audience to understand what the sequel will be about. It’s quite simple really- she tells us there’s something new in store and that the story clearly wasn’t over at the end of the first film- making audience’s excited and anticipating what could possibly happen in the next film. She also talks about going out with ‘the girls’ and this informs us this definetly is a chick flick, aimed primarily at women- as it is something most women can realte to: having a day out with their closest friends, who are, for most, other women. It also makes the plot sound quite basic and dull to some- just ‘going out’ woth friends?? But could excite other audiences as it makes the film appear light hearted, fun and happy- something they cansit back, relax and watch instead of being challenged mentally by. Other dialogue featured is mostly contained of laughter and clapping- insinuating the film will be fun and upbeat throughout. 

Voice over…

Well….I think Carrie’s (SJP) voice narrating  was a voice over- as it was talking directly to the audience of the trailer and wasn’t dialogue actually spoken within the promoted film. Overall it helps us get an insight into what narrative the film might lead, the charcater’s thoughts, feelings and what tone the fiml may have. The use of Carrie’s voice also makes audiences feel personally connected to the trailer as they can hear the character’s thoughts- while other characters cannot. It makes viewers feel as though the character is sharing something with them, and so, grabs their attention- they want to know what will happen to this character they connect themselves to, and the only way this can be completed is by going to watch the film itself.

Special Effects…

There wasn’t really any to speak of…as chick flicks aren’t generally known for their special, big budget, effects. I don’t think they’d be included in the film itself, so including them in the trailer would ultimately make it look tacky and unrealistic. Afterall- chick flicks attract women because they can relate to them personally, the characters, narrative and film itself are based around realistic problems women go through every day- further enhancing the likiness of a big female market going to watch the film. So it’s this realistic nature of a chick flick the filmmakers rely on to get the audiences in.

Credits and Intertitles…

 I don’t remember much about the titles as such, as I don’t thin they were as big a convention of the trailer as the camera or music for example. But the titles to begin with, did play a bit of the part in the trailer for hyping the film- using play on words with the main character’s name- ‘Carrie on’…’Carried away’ would be familar with fans of the first film, who would immeadiently recognise the name and be humoured by this clever device. It also suggests that Carrie is the main character of the franchise itself and that she will be the centrsl protagonist of the film being promoted. I think the use of sparkily pink/silver letters also heightens the expectations of the genre- it insinuates that this film will be one females will love- as stereotypically girls love pink/fashion/diamonds etc (also this may not be ulitmately true for some!). At the end of the trailer we’re left with the title- ‘Sex and the City’…and a big ‘2’…thus leaving viewers watching all the way untill the end untill the title of the film. Although, arguably this isn’t needed as most can tell what film this trailer promoting by the actors, iconic music and style/font of the titles alone.

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