The main purpose of all trailers is to sell a particular movie to the public. Most trailers not only sell a movie but also try and stir up public interest, the movie producers want to have people talking about the movie and what is said to happen in the movie. What’s a trailer that’s not there to attract people to the movie? Well it’s not a real trailer that’s for sure. In my opinion it is worth analysing all trailers, movies, TV shows in one way or another, this is because you will learn how to spot things in video clips that you wouldn’t notice if you just sat there and took it all in.
There are many media devices used in trailers, media devices are things added to the movie after it has been fully filmed. Editing specialists can edit the movie using computers. There are many different types of media devices such as “SATURATION”:- Making certain colours stand out in a media clip by increasing the Hue in a colour(s). There is also “DE-SATURATION”:- Making certain colours fade by decreasing the Hue of a colour(s).
Saturation can give many effects in a trailer e. g.if there is a scene on a hot, sunny beach, you would want to saturate all the reds, yellows and oranges to make the scene “feel” hotter. Another example is if you had a scene that was set in a very urban area in the winter, you would want to saturate all the blues and dark greens, this would make the scene “feel” cold. De-saturation gives the effect of dullness although this effect may work for a romantic scene as it also gives a “dreamy” effect. Another type of media device is “EDITING”:- Editing is used in anything that is filmed.
Types of editing include quick/medium/slow cuts between clips, slow-motion and text (captions that appear on the trailer). Saturation, de-saturation and editing are all internal media devices; there are many external devices in connection with trailers such as: – adverts on buses, newspapers, e-commerce, TV spots, radio adverts, bill boards and movie reviews. If you hear good things about a movie, you are more likely to go and see it. The two movies I have chosen to analyse are “Romeo & Juliet” and “Ocean’s Eleven”, I will be comparing and contrasting these two trailers.
Romeo ; Juliet” was directed by Baz Luhrmann and was released in 1996; it is a modern version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. It is a love story about a boy and a girl who’s families are mortal enemies, their secret love affair ends in tragedy for both lovers. “Romeo ; Juliet” is a Romance/Action/Tragedy/Drama genre and has a 12 rating. I have chosen to analyse this trailer because it has many media devices in it and it is very effective as it is clearly broken down into three sections intended for a certain audience.
“Ocean’s Eleven” is directed by Steven Soderbergh and was released in 2001.it is a modern remake of Lewis Milestone’s Ocean’s Eleven which was released in 1960. The movie is about eleven men, three casinos and one night. It’d a very funny yet action pact movie with high status. “Ocean’s Eleven” is a Comedy/Thriller/Crime genre and also has a 12 rating. I have chosen to analyse “Ocean’s Eleven” because it also uses many media devices but it uses them in different ways to “Romeo & Juliet”. These two trailers are going to be good to analyse as they have different genres and also have completely different structures of Audio, Sequences, Images and Text.
“Romeo & Juliet” has two selling points, I know this because the trailer is split up into three very different sections; the first section is there to attract you to the trailer and to see how modern it has been re-made compared to William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. The second section is mainly aimed at females who are interested in romance movies as all of the images in this section are of Romeo and Juliet kissing, flirting and other things of a sexual nature. The third section is mainly aimed at males who enjoy watching action, gunfights, car chases etc.
Making Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Danes the two leading characters (Romeo and Juliet) gives the movie so much more glamour and sex appeal than any Romeo & Juliet movie or play write. “Ocean’s Eleven” has three selling points; these are people who enjoy watching action/crime movies who also enjoy technology and gadgets, people who enjoy watching romance movies as there are two romances in the movie and people who enjoy watching comedies as there is a high level of humour in this movie.
The trailer is also split up into three sections (as in “Romeo ; Juliet”); each section tells a small part of the story that will eventually all fit in once you have seen the movie. The first section is mainly aimed at are the people who enjoy watching action/crime movies. The second section focuses more on the humour side of the movie and the third section aims at the romances of the movie. This trailer has quite a lot of glamour and sex appeal as the main characters (Daniel Ocean – George Clooney, Tess – Julia Roberts, Rusty Ryan – Brad Pitt) are played by major Hollywood actors.
In the first section of “Romeo ; Juliet” there are many images shown on the screen at a very fast tempo, each image lasts for about twelve frames which is about half a second so there is not much time for movement, this works well because each individual clip looks like a picture so they don’t give away the story too much. The way that the images are presented attracts the audience because they are fast, bright and a lot is happening in each image. In this section there is an image of Romeo screaming while sweat is running down his face, this repetition of the image is very affective because it really highlights the tragedy in the movie.
All the colours in this section are very bright and have been saturated so they will attract the audience even quicker. Most of the images in the first section of “Romeo ; Juliet” that have shots of people in them are all filmed in Close Up or Extreme Close Up, this gives the audience a really good “in your face” effect. The transitions in the first section are all clean cuts as there is no time to do anything else. In the second section all of the images are de-saturated to give a “Dreamy” effect as all the images in this section are of Romeo and Juliet kissing or flirting.
The lighting is mainly natural light but occasionally there is a Key Light and a Fill Light just too really emphasise what the director wants you to be looking at. There is an “ABABA” structure in the second section because there is an image of Romeo and Juliet kissing then there is a blank black screen with text saying “One Classic Story”, the next shot is of Romeo and Juliet kissing again, next there is another shot of a blank black screen with text saying “Is As Timeless”, it then comes back to another shot of Romeo and Juliet followed by a last piece of text saying “As Love Itself”.
All the transitions used in section two are Fades as it makes the shots look even more romantic and dreamy. There is a transition from section two to section three in the “Romeo ; Juliet”, there is a loud sound effect then there is an image of Romeo screaming out the name “JULIET! ” as loud as he can, the in goes into section three. Section three is the action section so all the colours are going to be saturated and brightened. Practically all of the light is natural sunlight although they may have used a Fill Light to get rid of the shadows.
The general pace and tempo of the third section is very quick and full of action. As there are gunfights and car chases in this trailer, they use Special Effects (SFX) to make the explosions look real and make things appear a lot bigger than it actually is. SFX can also be used during the filming process e. g. if there is a gun fight in the shot, they can use “squibs” to make a bullet sized hole in an object, also they can use stuntmen to do stunts that normal actors are not trained to do.
Visual Effects (VFX) are added after the filming process while it is being edited, these include (de)saturation and transitions. Most of the shots taken in this section are filmed outside a studio in bright daylight as it is very accessible and they can film everything on location. The concluding shots are of Romeo and Juliet. The first image in the Ocean’s Eleven trailer is blue flickering on a black background.
Then the screen splits into two halves showing the same shot, one halve is de-saturated completely so it is in the greyscale whereas the other halve has the red colours in the shot saturated, this is effective as its shows a contrast between both shots and lets you know that the character in the shots has two sides to his persona. As Daniel Ocean is the only person in the first shot, the audience know he is a main character and will play a major role in the movie, the fact that Daniel Ocean introduces himself emphasises my last point.
There is then an image of Daniel walking away from the prison which subsequently is split in to two halves again, both halves show the same shot but at different angles, this gives the effect of repetition and coming back to the same idea. This is again proved by the next shot which is of Daniel sitting in the same chair he started sitting in and in the same prison he started in. The next images are of the distributors – in this case “Warner Bro’s Company” and “Village Roadshow Pictures”- flickering to give the effect of being screened on an old film projector, this is saturated in blue.
There is then a large Birdseye view of Las Vegas giving the impression that the movie will be set on a large scale. In the trailer for Ocean’s Eleven, the director has used text (like in Romeo and Juliet), all the text used is in a basic font in block capitals encased in large ovals, these ovals are bright and every contrasting in colour e. g. orange and blue. The text used says: “TO TRY IT, WOULD BE CRAZY” “TO DO IT, WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE” “THERE ARE A DOZEN REASONS WHY IT WOULDN’T WORK” “AND ELEVEN GUYS” “WHO DON’T CARE”
Subsequent to each piece of text, are clips that have been carefully chosen to be used in the trailer because they explain the main plot to the audience. All of the shots used are saturated in some ways, all the night-time/dark shots are saturated with dark blue or dark greens whereas the outdoor/more lit images are saturated with yellows, oranges and generally lighter toned colours. Most of the clips fit into the categories of having medium shots or close-ups, within these categories, there are shots which are mainly eye-level shots or low angle shots.
The lighting in this trailer stays somewhat constant with the main three lights used: The Key Light – The main light source and the most powerful The Fill light – This is used for lighting up the areas that create shadows The Back Light – This light makes the shot look more three dimensional by separating the background from the foreground. The only image in this section that is not consistent in lighting is a shot where Daniel and an associate are talking about there ideas, this shot has no fill light as the scene is supposed to be confidential and the lighting sets the mood for the shot.
Most of the transitions are clean cuts but there are a few fades in the whole trailer. The next section focuses on each character as an individual and their relationships with other character in the movie. There is a piece of text saying who the character is and then there is a short clip describing them or something about them and their role in the movie. During the section on Julia Roberts, there are two quick pieces of text saying: “FROM THE DIRECTOR OF ERIN BROCKOVICH” “AND TRAFFIC”
The director is practically saying if you like Erin Brockovich and Traffic, then you will defiantly like this movie. At the end of the trailer, there is a big piece of text saying “OCEAN’S ELEVEN” then there is a shot of Daniel Ocean saying the main catchphrase in the movie which is “You’re either in or you’re out”, this phrase is said through the movie several times. The first sound that is heard in the Romeo ; Juliet Trailer is a very load a quick electric guitar arpeggio, this is effective as it draws the audience’s attention the trailer.
The arpeggio then fades into the “20th Century Fox” accompaniment, this then fades into the music for the second section which is called “kissing You” and is sung by Des’ree; this is a slow love song and fits in with the second section as it deals with the main themes in the Romeo and Juliet movie (Love/Tragedy). The director used a computer generated sound as an audio transition from the second section to the third section; this was a screeching noise which was combined with Romeo screaming at the top of his lungs “JULIET!
” This is a good transition as it shows the contrasts between the two sections. There is then a sound of breaking glass as you see a bottle being smashed on the floor, there is then an image of a car spin and as it spins, a computer exaggerated tyre screech is heard which makes the scene sound more lively and exciting, this shows that the director is also trying to aim this movie at action fans. The music that is played throughout the second section is very “rocky” and fits in well with the whole action genre.
The music is very emotive as it makes the audience feel “cool and dangerous”; this is because the music brings you into the trailer. The music changes quite frequently during the trailer to show all of the aspects of the movie. There are some punches and kicks that are in the trailer that have had their impact noise exaggerated so it would so more dramatic and exciting. There were some ambient sounds used in this trailer like the sound of helicopter rotor blades spinning around, police sirens and gunshots. The transition from the second section to the third is of Romeo shooting his gun twice while screaming.
It then goes back to the second section which has the slow music by Des’ree, the last sound heard is of Romeo saying “Well Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight” the music and the speech both then fade out. At the beginning of the Ocean’s Eleven trailer, A woman says “Please state your name for the record”, this makes you aware of the surroundings (a prison) as it sounds very serious and professional, the actors tone of voice is very commanding yet calm. Daniel Ocean then states his name, from this you gather that he is the main character as he is the first to be introduced to the audience and he also introduces himself.
Some funky styled music starts playing, this is very uplifting and fun, it differs slightly throughout the whole trailer. The same woman as before asks Daniel what he would do if he gets out of prison, the music then stops abruptly, this makes you aware that something important to the plot of funny is about to happen. This really emphasizes the sound and image after the music stops. Daniel then says in a very sarcastic tone of voice “I don’t know, how much do you guys make a year? ” The music then slightly changes but in a way that makes it more exciting and jazzy than before.
The beat of the music is in sync with the images and cuts which is every effective. All of the voices that are heard in the trailer have been directly taken out of the film and pieced together so that it explains the plot briefly but does not go into detail, this means that you can half the dialogue from one character then it cuts to a different character talking about the same thing but in a different place at a different time. All of the puns and jokes are highlighted in the trailer by the lack of background music; this emphasizes the line very effectively.
When the joke is over the music will start again, this is shown perfectly when Daniel is asking an associate whether they need anymore people for the heist, This clip also works well because of the lack of voice from the other character in the scene diverting the attention to his body language, facial expression and eye contact. The music then changes to a groovier and bouncier “professional” style; this is played as each character is being introduced During this section, each character that is introduced says something that reflects on their personality so the audience can relate to the characters.
I think that the reason they did not have a voice over in the trailer was because the images and sounds already had enough content to briefly explain the plot of the story. There are a few sound effects in this trailer, they are: exaggerating the sound of somebody twirling in the air (normally this would be silent but as the trailer has to attract attention, the director has added a “swoopy” noise to it. Most of the prop noises are exaggerated; there is a line of small explosives that explode so the explosion noise is fairly exaggerated.
There is one last music change which is when Julia Roberts is introduced, as she is the only female starring in the whole movie and there is an obvious romance between her character and Daniel Ocean. There is one last music change and one more silence to emphasize the catch phrase at the end of the trailer. In my opinion the plot of Romeo and Juliet is not given away too much because there isn’t a voice over and there is not much dialogue throughout the trailer. I presume that most people know the plot of Romeo and Juliet anyway as it is probably the most well known play-write by William Shakespeare.
The parts of the plot that were revealed to the audience are the fact that there is action and violence in the movie and the fact that the movie was written by William Shakespeare. I think that the reason the director chose not to reveal anything about the story is because the trailer would leave people wondering about the full movie. The trailer for Ocean’s Eleven tells a lot about the movies plot, although there is absolutely no voice over, each of the characters have their own piece of dialogue that tells you a bit about them and the plot.
The things that are revealed to the audience are what they all aim to achieve and the relationships between all the characters. I think that the decision of giving away a lot of the plot was made so that the audience has the chance of deciding whether they will like to watch this movie or not. I have chosen Romeo and Juliet to be the least effective trailer; this is because although the first section is eye catching, it doesn’t keep you interested so the audience may lose focus on the trailer.
I have devised a new opening sequence which is hopefully more eye catching and gripping. In my new sequence, music will be played in the background which sets a mood that is in the middle of the second and third section, this music will be by Radiohead and is called “Talk show host”. There will be no voice over as there will be text on the screen. I think the trailer for Romeo and Juliet is quite good because it focuses on all the aspects of the movie, these aspects are: love, hate, conflict, pain and tragedy.
All of these aspects are put across very well as they are not to subtle but not to easy to spot. There is only one part of the Romeo and Juliet trailer that is not as effective as it should have been which was the opening sequence, this was rather disappointing because the sequence just didn’t hold as much interest as it should of done, consequently it didn’t keep the audience focused on the rest of the trailer, it was section one that I chose to re-devise.
I thought that the “Ocean’s Eleven” trailer was very good, the best out of the two because the director put across the plot to the audience perfectly. The choice of images that were used was exactly right so that just about enough was told about the plot, I think the way visual effects were use was very effective. I liked the way the characters personalities and relationships were communicated to the audience.