Sunday, 25 September 2011

Analysis of Trailer Voiceovers

Audio From the Smurfs Trailer

The voiceover starts by informing the audience where the action within the film takes place; 'In a faraway land'. This also gives the audience an understanding of what type of genre the film is, due to the phrases association with fairy-tales, helping to set the tone of the film. The voiceover then tells the audience that the mysterious creatures 'have lived happily for hundreds of year's ... until today'. This builds a sense of anticipation and gives background information, helping the audience make sense of the narrative. The voiceover works with the dialogue within the trailer; when it states '... they will have to escape to a world they've never imagined', a character says 'oh my Smurf' giving us the impression that the Smurfs are shocked by their new world. This helps to summarise the plot of the film. The voiceover also works in conjunction with the titles reading 'this summer’; this informs the viewer of when the film will be released. Likewise the voiceover reads the titles 'from Colombia Pictures', the audience members who are fans of previous films from this company may be enticed into seeing the Smurfs. The voiceover describes the film as the '3D adventure of the year' building the anticipation for the film’s release. The voiceover goes on to read the title of the film, to ensure that it stays in the audience's mind.

Audio from Honey 2 Trailer

At the start of the trailer, the voiceover states, 'Maria had all the right moves...’ This sets the tone for the film, informing the audience that this is a dance film as well as giving us information on the characters. The voiceover goes on to say, '...she just couldn’t get the break'. This gives the audience some background, helping them to understand the narrative and hinting at the problems that will arise within the film. The voiceover works with the titles to inform the audience that the film is made by 'universal pictures and the director of honey'. Fans of the first Honey film may wish to see the second one due to the fact that it was made by the same director. The voiceover also states that the film features music by Estelle, Far East Movement and La Roux. This could encourage fans of these artists to see the film. Finally, the voice reinforces the title of the film to the audience.

conventions of a trailer voiceover

  • Deep
  • Masculine
  • Usually American
  • Male
  • Authoritative
  • Exaggerated pronunciation

Function of a Trailer Voiceover

  1. To help us make sense of the narrative by giving is background information, such us where the action is set, so that the audience has some understanding of the storyline.
  2. To give us infomation on the characters.
  3. Showcases the stars appearing in the film, the viewer may go and see the film if they hear that their favorate star is going to be in it.
  4. Give us infomation about important production personnel such as the director and producer and their previous work. The audience may be persaded to see the film if they are a fan of the producers/director's previous work.
  5. Helps to build a scense of anticipation about the films release.
  6. Re-enforces the title of the film.
  7. Sets the tone of the film.
  8. Summaries the story in around 5-8 lines. It does not give away the ending, but helps us antiicipate what is to come.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Analysis of a film trailer using Narrative Structure and Theory

 The Colombiana film trailer starts with an extremely short period of equilibrium in accordance with the Todorov theory of narrative. The state of equilibrium features two policemen eating donuts and drinking coffee, while sitting in a police car. This is a stereotypical view of American police (cops) thus the audience feel that nothing is out of the ordinary. The viewer is used to this stereotype due to America's domination of the film industry. It appears to be a cloudless, sunning day reinforcing the fact to the audience that everything is as it should be. This atmosphere of the film is peaceful and feels normal, giving the following events even more shock factor.

Within seconds this state of normality is disrupted, a car crashes into the police car, and then the main female character finds herself in prison.  A high angle shot is used making her appear helpless. She is sweating and looks dishevelled, leaving the audience eager to know how she got in this state. The problem within the film has now been presented, the viewer many wish to see the film to find out how it will be resolved.
Now comes the next part of Todorov's theory of narrative where there is a recongition of the problems within the film. The main female Protagonist is now in a cat suit and appears to break herself out of prison. There is no explanation of how she does this leaving the audience eager to for an explanation, meaning they are more likely to watch the actual film. The female protagonist is presented as seductive, this would attract a male audience. 
After this it appears that the female protagonist is seen to be shooting a gun, this also abides to the fourth stage of Todorov's theory of narrative where the characters within the film attempt to repair the disruption. Now there is a sense of danger, and the audience fear for her safety, this may make them go and see the film to discover whether or not she survives and wheather this problem is resolves. The viewer is also confused, due to the lack of detail within the trailer, leaving them wanting more.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Narrative Structure and Theory

Narrative is defined as "a chain of events in a cause-effect relationship in time" (Bordwell & Thompson, Film Act, 1980) 

Conventional Narratives are structured in five stages according to Todorov:

  1. A state of equilibrium at the outset. This the point where the film is in its normal state, and problems have not been presented. 
  2. A distribution of the equilibrium by some action. The problem within the film is presented.
  3. Recognition that there has been a disruption. The characters recognise the problem.
  4. An attempt to repair the disruption. The characters begin to resolve their problems. 
  5. A reinstatement of the equilibrium. The atmosphere returns to normal.
An extremely similar structure can be found within film trailers, and they usually appear in the same order. However, in a film trailer stage 5, where there is a reinstatement of the equilibrium is left out, this leaves the audience wanting to see what happens at the ending of the film, and how the characters resolve their problems.  

Monday, 19 September 2011

Codes and conventions of trailers

After watching multiple trailers on: I came up with a list of conventions used in almost all trailers:

  • Names of producers, cast members and director
  • Some form of narrative
  • A release date
  • A institutional logo
  • Voiceovers
  • Sound bridges

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Functions of a film trailer:

  • Advertise and promote the film
  • Inform the audience of the release date
  • Inform the audience of the cast members and the director
  • It is played in cinemas to reach film fans
  • Film trailers can also be seen on DVDs before the film starts
  • Outline plot and genre of the film

The Brief

Technology and equipment used in the filming process

  1. First of all we uploaded the film form the camera (A Cannon flip camera) onto iMovie via USB. The Cannon flip camera that we used had the ability to record, playback and delete filmed scenes, this aided us in the filming process as we could easily remove clips that had gone wrong.
  2. Once we had the film on iMovie, we began to edit. On iMovie we were able to shorten the length of the clips, cut clips in half, and merge clips together. This allowed us to remove mistakes made during the filming process.