The Art of Movie Trailers

The shot lengths were fairly consistent across the board. Each shot happened within a 1-4 second time span accompanied by a quick transition to another shot. There are, of course, a few longer shots in order for the audience to grasp what is actually occurring in the movie. The overall pace is quick within each of the movie trailers. I find this to be true because the quickness of the pace captures the audience and creates a feeling of excitement. Although in some cases, not in my movie trailers, the pace needs to be slow in order to provide the correct feeling about the movie. But the movies that I saw, the trailers were very fast paced. The movie trailer lengths were very consistent as well. The shortest movie was 1:43, the longest was 2:45, and on average each trailer lasted about 2:10.

The way directors incorporate music into their trailers is very interesting. I found that in every trailer there was at least one song change meaning the song switched from one to another. Music changes occurred in the beginning, middle, and end of all the trailers, but at different times of course. I believe the music change is in order to accentuate a major turning point in the movie or really a signifier about the ongoing plot of the movie. The sound effects in the trailers were very loud and in your face possibly used to evoke a reaction in the audience thus absorbing them more into the movie.

The narration for most of the trailers was split between an actual narrator and scenes in the movie. Although this seemed to be fairly consistent throughout all the trailers, there are a few that are different. For instance, Animal House is the oldest movie and had the strangest incorporation of narration and overall trailer experience. The narrator of the movie is in fact one of the actors in the movie talking about his experiences at school. The only time the narrator voice that is so ingrained throughout our society came on is at the end. The typography is also consistent throughout the trailers. A few lines here and there with the narrator reading the lines coming onto the screen seems to be a fairly used tactic. The Hannibal trailer used very creepy, red typography instead of an actual narrator reading the lines. It definitely evoked a different response to me than any of the other trailer’s use of typography.

The trailer recuts audio synchronization is decent. But the Pirates of the Caribbean recut synchronization is very poor and so is Troy recut. The best way directors tell stories in recuts is through their choice of music and very selective scenes that they choose in order to evoke the targeted response. Typography is only used in the Nightmare on Elm Street recut and is used successfully by showing the change of genre from horror to comedy.


About pclendenning

San Francisco, CA Senior Trinity University Nordstrom Sales Representative
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