Compare and evaluate the way in which the four trailers attempt to attract an audience to the films

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The four trailers I studied were Dragon Fly, Signs, Bad Company, and The Royal Tenenbaums. The trailers main purpose is to advertise the film. They are shown on TV, and also before and after films. Dragonfly and Signs are horror movies but Signs is also a sci-fi film. Bad Company and The Royal Tenebaums are both comedies although Bad Company is an Action film as well. The target audience for Dragonfly and Signs is mainly cinema customers because horror films tend to have more of an effect when on a big screen; the age they are aimed at is from fifteen and upwards.

The Royal Tenenbaums is a family film that could be watched by the whole family together, although Bad Company is a comedy it is slightly different in that its target audience is probably males aged fifteen upwards because it is an action film as well as a comedy. The way the target audience of trailers helps to bring people to watch the film is that they are aimed at the people who are most likely to want to watch and enjoy the film.

If you had to market a street fighting movie you would not aim it at pensioners, some pensioners might like the film and like action films but in general it would tend to be young males who watch that genre, so you aim it at young males. The two horror films do not have a voiceover but have a similar music score in that it is ‘ominous’ and the sort of music associated with a horror film. The film clips in Dragonfly tie in with the music.

Whereas in Signs the music starts quite slow but then it builds up to a crescendo and the speed of it increases, this builds the effect that something possibly bad could be happening soon, the music increases your awareness of what is happening in the trailer. The music and effects in this trailer help make you want to see the film because when the music gets to its peak the trailer ends leaving you wondering what was going to happen. The voiceover on the two comedies helps give a background to the plot line. In The Royal Tenenbaums the music is fairly light hearted, it helps create an atmosphere to the film.

Whereas the music and sound effects for the action/comedy film Bad Company was fast and upbeat, most of the sound effects were actually from the movie. Most of the four trailers would be shown before films of a similar genre, this is done because if you’re a comedy fan and you go to see a comedy and you see trailers for a comedy you might go and see it where as if they showed a horror trailer they would not really want to go. This comes back to target audiences, you advertise to those that are most likely to go out and buy/see the product.

The unique selling point of the different films is one of the selling points, sometimes the main selling point. In Dragonfly the unique selling point is the dragonflies, if you like dragonflies then you would be slightly swayed by the fact that it has them in. The family of geniuses in The Royal Tenenbaums is the unique selling point, it will appeal to those that like light hearted family tales that always go wrong. The narrative clues that help you decipher what the plot line of the film is are key to making you want to see the film.

In Signs all the images of crop circles (villagers commonly believed crop circles to be made by aliens) tied in with the only two words that are said create strong images of invading aliens, those two words are “it’s happening” this is said in a hushed voice, perhaps even a scared voice. This would influence you to see the film if you were a believer in the alien theory. The narratives in The Royal Tenenbaums are clips from the film of the ‘geniuses’ arguing in a comical way. This helps the viewer of the trailer to decide that it is a comedy.

The shots from the film – Bad Company – that were selected are of car crashes, guns and general action, this will persuade you to see the film if you are a fan of any big special effects. The pace of the two horror films changed as the trailer went on, in the Dragonfly trailer it starts slow but gets gradually faster till it is quite fast, similar to the Signs trailer but the Signs trailer slows down a little near to the end. The two comedies are both slow to start and The Royal Tenenbaums stays slow all the way through.

Bad company however speeds up towards the end, this ties in with the action part of its genre. Trailers tend to be of a reasonable pace in my opinion because if you didn’t get the basic plot line across in the short time a trailer takes up, the viewer would not be enticed to see the film, whereas if you fill it with the basic plot line but leave out some important parts so as to keep it surprising they would want to see the film so as to know the whole story. The star appeal of trailers is an important and crucial way of attracting people to see the full film/TV show.

In the four trailers I am studying the star is only revealed at the end in the final scene. The star in Signs is Mel Gibson, if the viewer of the trailer is a fan of the star he/she will want to see the film more than if there was no star in it. The same applies to the director, The Royal Tenenbaums is directed by the director of Rushmore, the viewer might have seen and liked Rushmore and if that is the case then the viewer will be curious as to what his/her new movie is like. The visual aspects of a film trailer are obviously the main part of any film trailer.

The two horror films have quite dark lighting that reflects the dark nature of the plot whereas the two films of the comedy genre are quite bright (there are some scenes in the Bad Company trailer that are dark, they reflect the action side of the film). The special effects help pull the viewer into the different world that the film is set in. In Dragonfly a bus is seen falling of a cliff, this leads you to wonder as to why it is falling of the cliff so you hopefully go and see the film to find out.

The effects used in Signs are amazing; the crop circles have been painstakingly drawn on computer, to look like they are burning. Similar techniques are used in Bad Company to produce the explosions. Special effects help to create the atmosphere within the film and in a trailer they help to make the viewer wish to see the movie. In the Signs logo there is clever use of the crop circle design to replace the ‘g’ in the name. Also in the logo for Dragonfly there is a white dragonfly.

These images in the logos stick in our minds, for example if you were watching TV and saw the Dragonfly trailer but didn’t pay much attention, the next time you see a dragonfly in the air you will think back to the logo and the trailer and this could persuade you to go and see the film. These logos are shown throughout the trailer but they are shown larger in the final scene/credits, this will make the images easier to remember.

Also shown in the last scene of Signs is the website address, if you are curious about the film this allows you to access its website find out more about its plot and also find out when its next on at the cinema. I think that all of the trailers worked to an extent partly because before I saw the trailers I hadn’t heard about any of the films but since I saw the trailers I have seen all of the four films. I liked the Signs trailer best. The music and the speed at which the scenes progressed made me feel that it was a horror/alien invasion film.

Personally I like this sort of film but without the trailer I don’t think I would have gone to see the film. The darkness, which ran through out the Signs trailer, created a mysterious, almost super natural feel to the trailer. I suppose this is exactly what the director wanted seeing as it is about aliens. The trailer which I feel didn’t work very well was The Royal Tenenbaums trailer. I felt the music for the trailer was to fussy and weird and that the plot line seemed childish, I suppose that it is a family film so there has to be childish feel to a certain extent.

Bad Company’s trailer although it looked flash with the special effects and on the surface it looked like a good film, there was little plot to the trailer and it left me not really knowing much about the film therefore not really wanting to make a special trip to see it. Dragonfly was a curious trailer at first I couldn’t see the connection between the dragonflies and what I thought was the plot, it is a new different plot line and idea to the rest of the ‘dead people communicating with living people’ films.

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