Simple Analysis Skills: Movie Trailers

Movie trailers are valuable tools for movie creators when they are trying to create awareness or excitement for their films.  They can also inform viewers of the existence of the film, the stars, or when it is available.

Using the template below, examine a recent film trailer – and give as much detail in your answers as possible.



1. A TRAILER FOR THE TRAILER? At the beginning of trailers when watching online, there is sometimes a short 5-second burst of action or mystery from the trailer at the start.  This “teaser” is designed to stop you skipping to the next video.
Is there a “teaser” at the start of the trailer?
What was your reaction to this 5-second teaser?  How did it make you feel?
 
2. NARRATIVE? Describe the movie in a few short sentences. Remember, the trailer will not tell the whole narrative in story order.
3. MEDIUM What type of media is it? 
4. PURPOSE What is the media trying to do?
e.g. Print | Moving Image | Digital
 
5. TONE What tone is the media?
e.g. Formal | Informal | Serious |Playful
 
6. GENRE What is the type of content?
e.g. Sci-Fi | Comedy | Horror | Fantasy
 
7. SOUND The use of music, voiceover or dialogue from the film can help generate excitement or mystery, make us want to know more, or make us laugh.
Music used? Classical, Electronic, Pop Music? Other?
Mood of the music: Sad, exciting, dramatic, scary? Other?
Voice over: Narrator or characters speaking?
8. EDITING The editing of the trailer can help suggest the mood – long slow clips with “smooth” edits that flow, suggesting calmness or perhaps suspense… Or sudden sharp disjointed edits to suggest excitement, shocks, or action.
Describe the editing of the trailer
Why do you think the editing was done in this way?
 
9. ON SCREEN TEXT Text on screen could be the title of the film, the actors, the production company.  It could also help tell the story.
Can you describe the font type used?  Serif, sans serif, handwriting, stylised?
What colour is the font?  Can you suggest why?
Upper case or lower caseWhy?
Can you describe the impact of these lettering choices on the audience?
 
10. IMAGERY The trailer will have a lot of images.  But which stick in your mind – and can you describe them?
Describe three examples of COLOUR used in the trailer.What is the effect of that colour – what does it mean, what does it make you think of?
1 
2 
3 
11. TARGET AUDIENCE Who do you think this trailer, and the movie, is aimed at? 
Gender, social class, age range, job, hobbies or interests? 
  
12. SHOT ANALYSIS Choose two interesting shots from the trailer then analyse them as follows:
SHOT ONE
Describe the shot type – what is the impact of this? What does it let you see?
Describe any interesting composition (main focus in middle, use of empty space on the screen.
Describe the camera angle?  What impact does it have?
Describe how colour is used in your two chosen shots.
SHOT TWO
Describe the shot type – what is the impact of this? What does it let you see?
Describe any interesting composition (main focus in middle, use of empty space on the screen.
Describe the camera angle?  What impact does it have?
Describe how colour is used in your two chosen shots.
13. THE CREATORS Writer, director, studio who made the film, the actors.
How are they presented?  Who is first?  Who is most important – why do you think this?
 

See related post SIMPLE ANALYSIS SKILLS MOVIE POSTERS


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