It’s True…Less is More

After viewing several trailers, I found many similarities amongst the short clips. The overall pacing of the trailers appeared to be very fast paced, constantly throwing new shots and images into the viewers face. However, this seemed to be more of a trend in action movie trailers such as Safe House, and Hunger Games. This fast movement from shot to shot draws excitement and a sort of anxiety in the viewer giving them a sense of the thrill they will experience within the movie. In these trailers the shot lengths are maybe one or two seconds each, giving each shot a clean and abrupt cut from one to the other. On the other hand, in the comedy trailers I viewed, the pace seems to slow down a bit and have longer shot lengths, allowing more time for scenes to play out. I think for comedy films this is more common because much of the humor can only be enjoyed in its entirety. If only snippets of a hilarious scene were to be shown, the viewer would not be receiving an accurate depiction of the movies humor. Furthermore, I found that the beginning shots of the trailers are the longest, allowing the viewer to slowly delve into the films premise before being submerged in the chaos of its appealing content. For instance, in the start of the Hunger Games trailer, the scene where the main character offers herself up as one of the contestants in order to save her little sister, receives a longer shot length, in order to inform the viewers exactly what the film is going to revolve around.

In addition, every trailer I viewed was accompanied by music. In the action movie trailers I took note of the fact that as the clip progressed the music seems to grow louder and more intense, building the excitement. Where as in the comedy trailers, the music seems to be more constant throughout. Although I did notice that for many of the trailers, there are several instances in which the music comes to a halt focusing merely on the dialogue and the actions of the characters, giving the viewer a small break in the continuity of the clip. In every trailer, the music was constant throughout and dimmed down when the characters spoke. The music also seems to reflect the theme and genre of each movie. In the Safe-House trailer, the music is very intense and dramatic, following the clips fast pace. However, in the Despicable Me trailer, the music is very light hearted and upbeat, reflecting the movies naivety and innocence, as it is intended for children.

As far as narration, many of the trailers seemed to do just fine without, simply relying on character dialogue. The only trailer I viewed that had a strong narration throughout the clip, was Despicable Me. I think that in this case the narration acts as an alternative for text within the trailer. In the rest of the trailers I viewed, text appears in almost every one, but is never excessive. The text that does appear is short, straight to the point, and bold. Some trailers include type offering praiseworthy remarks on the movie such as “Best-Selling,” or “Movie of the Year,” while others acknowledge noteworthy actors with bold text, giving the film notoriety and implying good quality, probably in hopes that recognition of well known actors will draw viewers in to go see the film. In several of the trailers text was also use to guide the plot of the movie.

Overall each trailer seemed to hover around the two minute mark. Safe-House was the longest trailer, at 2 minutes and 30 seconds, while the others seemed to float around a minute and a half or so.  The shortest trailer, Hunger Games, was one minute and thirty seconds. The recut trailers seem to abide by this two minute-ish rule as well.

In the recut trailers I viewed there was not much audio synchronization, seeing that this method could come off as looking fake. Instead small clips were taken from throughout the movie, using original sound, and pieced together in a way that could manipulate the genre of the film. For instance, in the School of Rock recut trailer, scenes of Jack Black scolding his students are weaved together in order to portray his character as an evil teacher, out to bring suffering upon his students. Furthermore, I found that sound effects are greatly utilized in these recut trailers. I find that these sound effects are almost crucial in accurately portraying a new genre, different from the original. For example, in the Lion King recut trailer, loud gun shots and sounds of explosion are used to overcompensate for the innocence of the animated figures.

After watching these recut trailers I also concluded that they utilize and depend on text much more than the original trailers. Rather than using narration or voice over, these clips seem to use text as a way to convey the story. The Titanic recut trailer uses text within the clip five times, while the School of Rock recut trailer uses text six times, not including actor/actress names or the movie title. This number is large compared to the original trailers, who use text maybe one or twice throughout the entire clip.
Trailers: The Campaign, Hunger Games, Safe-House, The Dictator, Despicable Me

Recut Trailers: The Lion King (children’s film to horror), School of Rock (comedy to horror), Titanic (action romance to horror), The Notebook (Romance to horror)


About mialeslie10

I was born and raised in Orange County California and currently play volleyball at Trinity University. I love food and am a HUGE fan of dessert. I am a dog lover and have three dogs of my own at home.
This entry was posted in Blog #4. Deconstructing Trailers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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