Just a few influences…

Posted: December 8, 2010 in Media

 As I am actually starting the process of filming my trailer, I thought I would note some of my biggest influences in terms of trailers and films I have analysed and convey how they’ve become an influence to me… 

Dead Man’s Shoes

The trailer…

The Titles…

I think the aspect of the trailer for ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ that most influenced me were the titles. I especially thought the use of  ‘A brother’s love…A brother’s vengeance…’ was moving and impactive on the audience as it intrigues them to think about what the titles mean and how they link to the film itself, as well as giving away a bit about some general information on the film to let audiences assume whether it’d be a film they’d like to see. It lead me to think about my own titles and making them a bit more creative and impactive (which is why I’ve tried to convey that my film will be about vengeance and will contain a theme of memory and forgiveness etc, as this will both give the audience information on the film itself and hopefully move and intrigue them at the same time through ‘Sometimes…If you can’t forget…It can’t be hard…to forgive). I also did like the way the trailer broke the normal conventions of trailers and actually put quite long snippets of reviews over the top (Such as: ‘Disturbing, uncompromising and completely gripping, this could do for slasher movies what ’28 Days Later’ did for zombie flicks. Paddy Considine, meanwhile, is Britain’s answer to Robert De Niro‘- Colin Kennedy, Empire Magazine’) which I thought was very interesting as it allows the audience to get a fuller and deeper idea of what the film is about and more importantly, what critics are saying about it. It allows the audience to get an overall better idea of what the film is like than the usual ‘*****- Empire Magazine’ we usually see in trailers (as in reality this tells us nothing about the film!). So I thought I’d follow in the trailer for ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ er shoes, and include snippets from reviews that are larger than the usual ones, thus gaining more audience interest and breaking conventions of trailers to show my creativity (Mine won’t be real of course, because I haven’t made the film, so I’ll make these up myself…I was thinking along the lines of something like this, which I included in my storyboard: ‘The darkest film I have seen this year, it will leave you compelled from start to finish…- __insert fake critic name here…__ ****’).

The film…

The tragic hero…

Perhaps the biggest thing from actual film of ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ that influenced me was the protagonist of Richard (played by Paddy Considine). I thought he was a very compelling, interesting and tragic character  of whom the audience sympathizes with, despite the fact he is a killer and does truly terrible things throughout the film…

But that’s what I loved about the film- the fact that even though Richard does horrible and despicable things (Like dr*gging Soz, Herbie and Sonny, promising to let Herbie live and then killing him etc). The audience still feels like he is still the ‘good guy’ and hero of the film- meaning the audience connects with him and wants him to be victorious in getting his revenge no matter the methods of how he goes about it.

The brutal determination and fearlessness of the protagonist also influenced me a lot in the creation of my own protagonist, Jack. As I loved the scene between Richard and Sonny- when Richard is approached and then threatened by the thugs that he wants revenge on, the audience at first think that Richard is the vulnerable one in this situation. But on the contrary, Sonny is the vulnerable one as Richard turns his threat against him by looking him in the eye and showing he is not scared of him, or any of them. It is his cold and driven reaction that reveals to the audience and the group of thugs that Richard is something else completely, and is a much stronger and more determined character than we originally thought. 

Interestingly I’d also view that my protagonist’s costume has been influenced by Richard’s costume in ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ which is mainly a thick, green and hooded coat– which I think looks quite mysterious– as if the character is attempting to hide something from other characters and furthermore, the audience.  Thus helping to build tension as the audience wonder what it is that this character is hiding and whether it will be revealed through-out the course of the film. And it is a coat similar to this that I asked the actor playing Jack within my trailer to wear. Mostly due to the same reasons I believe the costume designers of the actual film chose it for the character as well as the fact it is a way for me to pay an homage to ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ within my own work.

 The theme of vengeance…

My vengeance theme in my film and trailer was originally influenced by ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ as due to how much I liked the film and it’s protagonist, I thought it was an interesting subject to explore within film. Especially in the way that the protagonist’s can be driven and often consumed and obsessed by what they want revenge on/who they want revenge on- and how this can develop and change the character throughout the film. I thought it was interesting to see a character like Richard, who was so determined to get his revenge ont he thugs he uses such extreme methods to inflict the most pain possible upon them: like overd*sing them with a stash of dr*gs that he previously stole from them (which is what influenced me to think about how Kitty could be killed by Jack– which is similar to the scene in ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ but with the difference that Kitty is by herself and actually driven to su*cide by Jack instead of just being murdered by him like Soz, Herbie and Sonny are in the film). I thought that the way Richard’s character progresses and develops within the film, reflected a bit on my own protagonist, Jack and his journey through-out my own plot : Richard begins determined and obsessed, but as the film develops he turns into a character who is empty and drained of  the anger that he once held ‘I just want to lie with my brother’ <- which is what he confesses to his last victim, Mark, as he reveals he just wants it all to be over and for  Mark to be the one to end it by killing him. He just wants to be with Anthony again and is sickened by what he has already done and what he believes he is capable of doing next if Mark doesn’t kill him. Which I thought reflected on how Jack, in my own plot, starts out as very obsessed and determined to get his revenge on the youth club  owners (like Richard is towards the group of thugs)- but as the film progresses and Jack’s victims are killed one by one, his character is seen to change: he becomes drained of all of his anger and is sickened and disgusted by what he has done and the man he has become. So, like how Richard choses to make his last victim kills him, Jack confides in Alice and tells him why he did what he did. He also burns down the youth club and therefore gets rid of the demons (represented by  the character of Ray) that have been driving his path of vengeance. And like how Richard finds peace in death, as everything is over and he cannot do any more acts that sicken him or be controlled by the things that dwell on his mind, Jack finds peace in being arrested- as he knows he will pay for what he has done, just like he has made the youth club owners pay for what they did to him.

The twist at the end…

I thought it was an interesting ending for it to be revealed that Richard’s brother, Anthony, is actually dead and his presence in the film was clearly just a figment of Richard’s imagination– or a visual representation of how what happened to Anthony is like a plague that is constantly on the protagonist’s mind– something he cannot get rid of  and therefore has to get revenge for. I honestly thought this made the film very complex and unpredictable– as the film did not hint at Anthony’s death– but only that  he was hurt in some way by the group of thugs. But as more and more of the details of what happened are revealed- so is the fact that Anthony is dead. And it is seen that Richard is actually alone and this makes the audience shocked and wonder whether Richard will be  able to shake the constant reminder of his dead brother from his shoulders and what the reason is to why Anthony’s death has played on his mind so much. This led me to think about putting a similar twist a the end of my own plot/film – which led me to think of including, similar to the character of Anthony, a non-existent character the audience is made to think is real. And it is only at the very end that it is revealed that the character was never actually there. But I attempted to go down a different route and instead of just having a character who is revealed to be dead or a ghost (like Anthony is within the film), make it a bit more complicated (so the character of Ray is a part of Jack’s mind, his innocence, rather than just an imaginary friend or ghost) and I thought this could show how I have been influenced by the idea of a non existent character and then developed it into something a bit different for the plot for my film..

 Sweeney Todd- The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

The trailer….

The Camera Shots…

I did, overall, like the trailer very much for ‘Sweeney Todd- The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ and I felt it really influenced me, especially when thinking of the various camera shots to include within my own trailer. Particularly what influenced me was the shots from the POV of the victim– which helps create tension in the audience as it is literally putting them in the victim’s shoes– and making them tense as to what will happen to the victim and how it’ll effect the film itself. Thus they are more likely to want to see the film itself and discover what happens to them (which is what a trailer originally is all about).

The Titles…

I also thought the inter-titles within the trailer were very compelling and memorable‘Never forget, Never forgive’. By using repetition of the word ‘never’ I thought this helped not only to link the titles together but also to make the titles all the more impactive and therefore stick in the audience’s mind better. I originally wanted to use repetition such as this in my trailer through the lines ‘You cannot choose what you forget, But you can choose what you forgive’ but later decided that they were not ‘snappy’ enough and didn’t really ‘fit into’ my trailer and it’s pace/mood/atmosphere at all. So I shortened the titles down and now they do not bare much resemblance to that of those in the ‘Sweeney Todd’ trailer but they do try to serve the same purpose I was initially influenced by (which is to be memorable, impactive and link to the film). 

The film…

The Tormented Protagonist…

Mostly what I think influenced me from the film ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ was the actual protagonist,  Sweeney Todd/Benjamin Barker. I loved how although he is a horrible character who kills so many characters and does horrible things still gains empathy/sympathy from the audience because of his motives for doing these things (which is due to the unfair treatment he got from Judge Turpin, who stole his wife/daughter away from him and banished him on a false charge for 15 years). Thus the audience can understand that when Sweeney comes back, what happened to him has affected and changed his character dramatically. Also, the journey that the protagonist goes through is similar to my own protagonist’s: Sweeney returns and swears vengeance (My film begins with Jack, driven by vengeance, return to the place where it all began), Sweeney is obsessed with getting revenge on the Judge, slaughtering many people in the process ( My protagonist, Jack, uses extreme methods to get his revenge, and can think of nothing else), in the end though, Sweeney realises what he has become, as he ends up killing the wife he thought he’d lost, and in the end, accepts his death at the hands of Toby( And similarly my protagonist, Jack, realises what the obsession has turned him into and accepts ,what is presumed to be, a life sentence in prison).

The Wolfman

The trailer…

The Limited Dialogue…

 I think the trailer for ‘The Wolfman’s best and most intriguing component was the fact it had so little dialogue (especially when compared to other trailers!). So I think it was interesting to break the conventions of trailers a bit there (as trailers usually have more dialogue so as to supposedly get audiences interested in the film they’re promoting) and also this makes the trailer more intriguing: with limited information being conveyed, it gives the film itself what seems to be a mystery element, so the audience is compelled to see how the film itself will play out because so little has been told to them. Of course it’s important not to go too over the top and just get rid of dialogue completely (because this would just leave the audience a bit too confused and thus not interested enough to see how the film itself plays out) but I think ‘The Wolfman’s trailer has the perfect balance– not too much dialogue so it seems as though the trailer is trying to literally force-feed the audience information on the film in a desperate bid for them to go and see it, but to give them a little bit of information or even hints to it to make them think and dwell on the film without knowing too much about it before they even get a chance to go and see it (thus I think limited dialogue makes the audience more excited about seeing the film itself- as they cannot possibly predict how it will develop and more importantly, end). And in my own trailer I am going to attempt to do just this. Influenced by ‘Wofman’s bold approach to include so little dialogue and yet appear so intriguing, I am going to attempt to use quite limited dialogue for that very same effect in my own work, which you can see quite clearly in my storyboards in earlier posts (such as not including so many character’s names, mixing dialogue up from where it would appear in the film and what shot I actually put it in etc…basically just trying not to give too much or too little away).

The Choice of Camera Shots…

Overall I really did like the choice of shots used in ‘Wolfman’s trailer. I thought they were very impactive/intriguing as well as being very typical of the genre of thriller and so gave the audience an idea of what the film will be like before they even go to see it (which is good as it allows them to make a good decision on whether it is the film for them or not and doesn’t mislead them...which can annoy audiences and lead to a film’s ultimate downfall in some cases). I particularly liked the following shots which they appeared to use a lot of….

Reaction shots– lots of these from all types of characters helped to connote not only that the film will be a scary/frightening one (because most reaction shots were of horror, shock or fear), but also made the audience tense as they can see only the reaction to what has happened and will wonder what the character is reacting to and why they are reacting in this way (Which I am including a few of in my own trailer for the very same reasons, such as when Pete’s look of horror when he realises he is being watched…it shows the character is scared/suspicious but doesn’t reveal why!).

Extreme close-ups– Helped add to mystery as the audience could only see an extreme close up of something or someone and not the full picture (thus they’ll be intrigued to see the full picture, which they can only do by watching the film itself). It also connotes a thriller film and lets the audience get a good idea of what kind of film could be in store for them if they went to see it. (And although I am trying to steer away from extreme close-ups, as I used so many of these in my AS piece and they are so conventional to the genre, I have to say I am using a few of them, or planning to, just because I think they can be so affective in trailers for not giving away too much and getting the audience tense/interested at the same time)

The film…

The tragic hero…

 What most influenced me from the film itself was the protagonist of Lawrence, and how he, like most of the protagonists I have been influenced by, does terrible things yet still gains sympathy from the audience. Yet Lawrence is a little different from the likes of Sweeney Todd (‘Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street’) and Richard (‘Dead Man’s Shoes’) because the horrible things he does is absolutely beyond his control. You could I suppose argue the same with the other protagonists, that their actions are beyond their control because they have being cursed by what happened to them and can finds themselves no longer able to stop themselves (which the audience recognizes and thus sympathizes with them- because it reveals their hidden torment and despair). But Lawrence is literally cursed after being bitten by a werewolf and physically and mentally cannot stop himself from doing awful things- and it is these awful things he is hunted down for and in the end, killed for. And the fact this curse leads to his ultimate downfall the audience does sympathize with him because it was beyond his control and the things the beast did were not really his fault, yet he still pays the price for them. This is like my protagonist of Jack in my own trailer- who like Lawrence( though my character is plagued by his obsession for vengeance rather than actually being cursed by a beast)  feels not capable of stopping himself from carrying out the awful acts he does throughout the film. The fact he feels his actions are no longer in his own control, but in the hands of that of a monster (though not literally, like Lawrence’s actions are), leads my main character to try and stop himself (by being arrested– and not killed like the other protagonists, which is where my own character’s biggest difference lies) and all this like the other characters, I believe gains sympathy from the audience.

The Haunting Past…

One thing I found really interesting within the film of ‘The Wolfman’ was how the protagonist, Lawrence, clearly has had a very troubled and dark past that is revealed to us through flashbacks throughout various parts of the film. And I also liked the fact that what happened to Lawrence when he was a child clearly still affects him greatly as an adult, which again, gains sympathy from the audience. I thought the flashbacks to Lawrence’s childhood (as he sat in a dark room and appeared to be thinking back to it) were very moving and poignant as we see firstly his younger self and brother (who died at the beginning of the film) and mother playing happily in the sun. After this it turns to night, and Lawrence and his brother Ben hear something in the night, so Lawrence goes outside alone to find his mother dead in his father’s arms, apparently having committed su*cide. This poignant moment thus makes the audience connect with Lawrence further as they are seeing deep into the back of his mind, into the memories that still haunt him. We also learn that shortly after this moment, Lawrence was sent to a mental asylum, and though there are no official flashbacks to these memories, Lawrence’s visions when he returns to the asylum again in the middle of the film reveal his mind is tormented by those horrible things that happened to him as a child. As we see Lawrence turn into his younger self as he is dunked into the water, and he starts to cry and sees that his own father is cranking the lever which is putting him in the water and hurting him so much. We also see visions of a statue of Lawrence’s mother, with blood on her throat, turn her head and speak, saying: ‘As you can see Lawrence…I am quite dead‘. All of these terrible visions Lawrence has not only reveals the terrible things Lawrence has been put through all his life, but also makes the audience feel sorry for him and thus want him to be able to beat these demons and the curse that appears to be slowly destroying him. This links to my own protagonist, Jack, who like Lawrence, has dark memories from his childhood that he cannot forget (though they are initially thought to be Ray’s memories and not Jack’s to confuse the audience, which is how my protagonist differs from Lawrence) but the fact these memories deeply affect my protagonist and drive his actions is a bit different to how the memories affect Lawrence (as they seem to simply haunt him and reveal to the audience his troubled past to gain sympathy rather than to reveal anything more about the plot, like the memories from my protagonist would as they show the audience the protagonists motives for revenge).

Sleepers

The film…

( To be honest I didn’t really like the trailer as it wasn’t moving or that interesting. And really I thought the film itself was much better than the trailer initially conveyed…)

Sweet lasting revenge…

I found probably the most interesting and influential aspect of the film ‘Sleepers’  was the theme of vengeance, which initially inspired me to use a theme similar to this in my own plot and trailer. And the motives for vengeance displayed in ‘Sleepers’ directly influenced my own protagonist’s motives for revenge- as in the film the four boys ( the protagonists of the film) are ab*sed mentally, physically and emotionally by the prison guards who are supposed to be caring for them and making sure they are protected (they’re abusing their power). This influenced me to think of certain types of characters we, as audiences would typically view as good or kind (like guards– who are meant and usually thought to protect and care for people) and turn this view on its head, as the film itself does (so in my film I have characters such as people who volunteer to run a youth club for children in quite a deprived area who we’d typically view as good, but as the film plays out, it’d be revealed that they are actually dark and evil characters). And how this terrible ab*se affects the four characters when they grow up relates to how the ab*se my character, Jack, goes through drives his obsession for revenge. In ways he is very similar to John and Tommy, the two boys who become unable to put the past behind them and end up killing one of  the guards who treated them and their friends so badly (Stokes) which is why I chose Jack to kill all three of the people who destroyed his childhood (except his difference is that he drives them to su*cide with their hidden guilt rather than simply killing them like John and Tommy did).

The Sixth Sense

The trailer…

The scary dialogue….

What I thought was probably the most affective aspect of the trailer for the film ‘The Sixth Sense’ was the choice of dialogue. The dialogue not only gave the audience some information on what the film would be about (such as hearing Cole say in the trailer: ‘I see dead people’ indicates the film itself will be about ghosts and therefore possibly of the horror genre, as this is a convention of the genre) but also added a lot to the mood and atmosphere of the trailer itself, making the audience tense and scared through the following dialogue: ‘I see dead people, walking around like regular people…’ which makes the audience feel tense as to what the protagonist is talking about as well as afraid as to what he sees and how it may affect him in the film (as we don’t really see the ghosts but more hear Cole’s descriptions of them and his various encounters with them, which makes the trailer more mysterious and tense overall). Also as he describes how it feels to encounter a ghost to Malcolm Crowe: ‘Sometimes you feel it inside, like you’re falling down real fast, do you ever feel the prickly things on the back of your neck?’

Malcolm: ‘Yes’

Cole: ‘That’s them.’

And it is the chilling way that the ghosts are described by the protagonist, Cole, that makes the audience tense and they want to know why the ghosts make him feel this way (which means they’ll have to ultimately go and watch the film in order to find out, which is a trailer’s main purpose) Also by using a lot of direct dialogue– saying you, you’re etc– instantly gets the audience’s attention as it makes them feel as if the trailer is speaking specifically to them. In a way I have tried to apply this use for dialogue in my own trailer, as although mine is a bit more limited than in ‘The Sixth Sense’s trailer mine similarly tries to scare the audience by their descriptions/explanations of things the audience have not yet seen (like the terrible things Jack does and the ab*se he suffered as a child) also naturally making them intrigued to see what the characters are reacting to/discussing as they do not physically ‘see it’ in the trailer

The tense music…

I think the music in ‘The Sixth Sense’s trailer was affective as it fitted the genre well (giving of a dark, mysterious and scary tone- connoting a thriller/horror film and giving the audience a better idea of what the film itself will be like) but I liked mostly how the dialogue often triggered the music– such as when Cole reveals that the dead woman is apparently standing next to his window, this triggers off a dark rumble of scary music, and reinforces the mother’s confused and scared reaction to what Cole has said. This I liked a lot as it helped the music to be more than just a background to the actual action on screen- but to link to what was happening in the shots and to a point, reinforce them and hopefully make them all the more impactive and moving. I hope to try and do this in my own trailer through keeping the trailer silent until something bad happens (the disequilibrium, which is when Jack arrives and the youth club owners begin to start disappearing) and the music I hope will add to the atmosphere of the trailer and reinforce that something bad and strange has occurred in the actual film.

 The film…

The non-existent character…

The thing that really intrigued me about the film ‘The Sixth Sense’ was the ultimate twist at the end- the fact that our protagonist, Malcolm Crowe, turns out not to exist, and was actually killed by the shot fired at him in the beginning of the film. This I thought made the film all the more shocking, as it is something an audience member would just not predict or even think about/consider whilst watching the film. And it is interesting to watch the film again when in full knowledge of the fact that Malcolm is dead, as we can clearly see that the film hints to this a lot- yet audiences are too consumed in the other sub-plots that they do not realise this as such. Such as shots where Malcolm sits in on meetings between ‘living’ characters and listens, comments, but is not addressed by the other characters or even seen as a part of the conversation. And this is clever because Malcolm could just look like he is trying to be respectful and sincere, and not get involved in conversations that press on concerning matters that may not be as relevant to him personally (such as Cole’s bruises and wounds on his arm). But in reality he isn’t involved in the conversation because he just isn’t there. He doesn’t exist,  and that is why other characters seem to ignore his presence (which I don’t think audiences, the first time they watch it, would possibly catch onto). And it is this I also use in my film (directly influenced by Malcolm in ‘The Sixth Sense’), with the character of Ray, the little boy who lives with Jack, who actually turns out at the end of the film, not to exist. Also in my film and trailer,  Ray is made to seem real through his communications with Jack and the relationship the two characters are thought to share, which is similar to the fact that Cole communicates and has a real relationship with Malcolm and so Malcolm seems real. But the difference lies in the fact that Malcolm is real to Cole because Cole can see ghosts and Malcolm is dead. But my protagonist can see Ray because Ray is a part of him: his childhood and innocence, and therefore he is the only one that can see and hear him. One difference may be that in my film and trailer, Jack knows all the way through the film that Ray isn’t real, but he just pretends to himself that he is, yet it can be argued that Cole isn’t aware that Malcolm is dead and thinks he is actually a living person (though this isn’t discussed in the film but it is personally what I feel to be true).

Se7en

The trailer…

The chilling dialogue…

‘Like what you do for a living?…These things you see?…’

Opening up the trailer with a quote like that I think is simply brilliant. It straight away, with the silent background helping the audience to focus upon the dialogue, evokes a tense and dark atmosphere to the audience. Directly it gives them not only ideas about what the film will be about (suggesting that in the film characters will be seeing horrible things in a job- i.e a detective seeing dead bodies day after day…) but instantly portrays the film’s intense and harrowing tone that it has throughout the film, and is what makes it so unique. By using direct words such as ‘things you see’ instead of using character names or other things also catches the audience’s attention instantly as it appears as thought the trailer is talking directly to them. To some extent, the choice of dialogue throughout the trailer is all very specific- it gives away a lot about the film and builds up the tension in the audience (as most dialogue sounds either scared or shocked) such as Tracy crying: ‘I hate this city!’ and the last two lines of the trailer, said with no background noise so as to make the dialogue more impactive and moving, really leave the audience eager to see the film:

Detective Mills:‘Have you ever seen anything like this?’

Detective Somerset:No.’

And leaving these lines till the very end not only leaves them stuck in the audience’s mind but also lead them to wonder just what they are talking about and thus eager to see the film itself (as something shocking and unique seems to have happened but the audience can only see and hear the character’s reactions and not the actual thing).  In a way I am trying to achieve this in my own trailer through my limited but I think moving dialogue, as it gives away, like ‘Se7en’s trailer, character reactions to something, thus adding more tension than just a reaction shot (and making the audience eager to see the film). Such as in my trailer I have Kitty saying ‘It’s you!’ which, similar to ‘Se7en’s trailer shows her reaction to a character’s arrival in which she sounds shocked/scared but the audience cannot see who the character is or why she sounds so scared (thus adding more tension in the audience).

The camera work…

The camera work I particularly liked in the trailer for ‘Se7en’ was the shots which contained the villain– as they cleverly do not give away the identity of the villain of the film, but still makes it clear to the audience that there is a sense of  immense danger surrounding this character (which is shown more through how the other character’s describe him and his actions than the actual shots of him). And it is this that gives away a big theme of mystery within the film itself and makes the audience wonder who the villain is, and thus they’ll be intrigued to and see the film itself to find out who the villain really is. I’ve tried to do the same within my own trailer with the character of Jack (who is, in some ways, the villain of the film) by including shots of him and possibly some dialogue from him, but the shots of him are like that in ‘Se7en’s trailer- extreme close ups, shots of his reflection etc to conceal his identity and give away not only a theme of mystery within my film but also make the audience eager to watch the film and see who the killer (villain) is. I’ve also tried to convey to the audience, much like ‘Se7en’s trailer, more the things that my character does (his actions that affect the film the most) and the reactions his actions/presence provoke in other characters as this builds more tension than just simply explaining his character to the audience (such as Alice’s reaction shot when she discover’s Jack is the real killer).

The film…

The mystery and tension…

 What I liked most about the actual film of ‘Se7en’ was the tense and harrowing atmosphere the film has throughout it- leading the audience to be compelled to what is occurring in the film and constantly tenseexpecting something bad/tragic to happen but they don’t know when it’ll happen or what it will be (putting them in the main character’s shoes to some extent and allowing them to connect with them further).I think the tense atmosphere is mostly created by the dark and slow music of the film, the colour codes (particularly red, grey, black and white) and constant pathetic fallacy– the fact that it rains pretty much throughout the whole film suggests a dark and upsetting atmosphere and plot. I also liked how the film is pretty much based around the mystery of who the killer is and the protagonist’s desperate attempts to fight and beat him. It is this good vs evil theme that keeps the audience compelled to watch the film through to the end as they want to see just whether good will prevail (Somerset and Mills) or evil will win after all (John Doe) and the fact the film is pretty unpredictable and we are like sheep simply waiting around for whatever happens to happen, the audience cannot guess what the outcome of the film will be. I have tried to apply this to my own trailer by not giving away the identity of the character of Jack– thus the audience (like in the film of ‘Se7en’) isn’t sure how to predict how the film will play out– as they are left not even sure of who is doing terrible things and thus who the villain of the film is. This makes them imply the film will have a theme of mystery and, like ‘Se7en’, will be based loosely around the identity of the killer and whether the good/heroic characters (or in my case character, Alice) will be able to stop them and restore order and peace by the end of the film.

 Law Abiding Citizen

The trailer…

 The titles…

Specifically I thought the intertitles were probably the most affective aspect of the trailer (although overall I thought the trailer itself was pretty impactive, the titles influenced me more than anything else…). ‘A man who loses everything…Is capable of anything…’ I like the play on words as the two phrases fit together very well due to ‘everything’/’anything’  and conveys not only that the film will have a big theme of vengeance within it (suggesting the protagonist loses everything that is dear to him and then will do anything to get revenge) but also is very moving and impactive– as it makes the audience really sympathize with the protagonist as well as feel tense as to what he is going to do to get his revenge (which will ultimately make the audience eager to go and see the film itself). Inspired by these brilliant titles I thought I would also try and use titles to add to the trailer’s atmosphere and build tension in my own trailer ‘Sometimes…If you can’t forget…it can be hard…to forgive’  so I attempted to make two words sound similar like in ‘Law Abiding Citizen’s trailer ‘forget’/’forgive’ like ‘anything’/’everything’ so as to get the audience’s attention and recognize the link between the two words and thus how my protagonist is led into revenge (he cannot forget what happened to him, which means he cannot forgive it either, thus he wants revenge. Like in ‘Law Abiding Citizen’ he loses everything he loves so therefore he feels he’ll do anything he can to get his revenge).

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