Trailer Park

After watching these eleven trailers, I was able to find several common themes among them all. The first of these themes was that every trailer used very short shots that were quickly paced. In addition some of the trailers used a “fade out” transition to go to the next shot, while others just cut from shot to shot. Because trailers only have a couple of minutes to capture the audience’s attention, the fast pacing and short shots are necessary in order to deliver the big picture of the movie to the viewer. On average, the typical trailer seemed to be around two minutes, with the longest being 2:32 (Flight) and the shortest being 1:10 (Project X).

One pattern that I noticed throughout the trailers was the amount of talking and narration that was used seemed to be related to the genre of movie. For the action movies, the trailer utilized more music and sound effects as opposed to dialogue, presumably because the main focus of these movies is on the action and movement as opposed to the storyline. For example, the Prometheus trailer used no talking whatsoever. On the other hand, the movies that relied more on the dialogue, such as thrillers and comedies, tended to use slightly slower cuts and more dialogue. Of the trailers I watched, the two that used the most dialogue were Flight and Dark Knight Rises. One unique technique in the Dark Knight Rises trailer was the use of silence instead of music or talking to create an interesting effect.

The amount of typography use in the trailers was fairly consistent, primarily only being used for the title of the movie, the producer, writer, or director, and the date when the movie reaches theaters. In my opinion, the limited use of type and narration is a sign that the scenes used in the trailer effectively capture the big picture of the movie without using the typography and narration as a crutch.

For the recut trailers, each of the three that I chose followed similar patterns of the real trailers, which made the recuts seem realistic. The most instances of typography use in the recuts was four in the Dumb and Dumber recut, while the Hangover recut used no typography whatsoever. However, none of the three recuts had to rely on narration or typography to change the genre of the movie. In addition, all three trailers only used synchronized audio from the films and no narration. Thus, to change the message and genre of the movies, the recuts just changed the sequencing of the shots and used different music in order to set a different tone. The best example of this was the Top Gun recut, where Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer are repeatedly shown looking at each other while romantic music plays.

Trailers: Dark Knight Rises, The Dictator, I Am Legend, End of Watch, Flight, Project X, Prometheus, Skyfall

Recut Trailers: Top Gun (gay romance), Dumb and Dumber (thriller), The Hangover (action thriller)

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