Published on March 11, 2014
During the research and planning stage, I looked and analysed at least 5 different horror trailers to help myself understand the horror genre. I analysed in detail the dated trailer for ‘The Last House on the Left’, which even though it’s an old trailer, was still very effective as I stated in my analysing. After researching into ‘The Last House on the Left’ and looking at other trailers, I saw quite obviously that the conventions of a horror trailer were: a slow building up soundtrack, the soundtracks were usually very quiet at the beginning and getting louder and more fast paced towards the end, dark lighting and colour scheme were also a common theme, camera shots that showed possible killings but the shot usually cut before we know if they’ve been killed or not, close up shots of the characters – specifically the murderer/stalker and the victim. I also noticed that faster editing came into effect towards the end of the trailer and cuts became a bit quicker, eerie music is also often used in slower shots to add suspense. Also, in some trailers, a scare shot that is up for a brief second, is also included at the end.
In our trailer, my group and I decided that we wanted to have as many conventions of a horror trailer to stay true to the genre. We added slow build up music which also had a very eerie sound and we had faster paced editing towards the end. When I was directing the trailer, I tried to make sure that the scenes were dark , we tried to contrast the dark colour scheme with our costume choice of a pink jumper for our actress who plays the victim. Another convention that our trailer has is how we have a mixture of happy scenes which suddenly turn to the more serious scenes. In between the clips, as a group we decided to insert text slides, so I added them, they have the film name, release date and text on a fade to black transition which gives a brief overview of the film. However, we did challenge the genre by not including any scenes where it involved someone being possibly killed, we did this as we wanted to add suspense, and we felt as a group we may not be able to film it and create it as professionally as we would have liked. We also used a heartbeat sound effect which is used in horror trailers from time to time to add suspense, which I feel it added quite nicely to the trailer. At the end of our trailer we included a scare shot which added even more suspense to the trailer.
My film poster goes against a the convention of a centred image as I felt this picture was just as effective. I feel this image is very effective and definitely would not have had the same effect if it had been centred. I kept to quite a dark colour scheme but I wanted to make our villain look darker and ‘creepier’ than our victim, I also wanted to make sure the red lips stood out against the dark surroundings. I felt the red lips added a sense of humanity to the actress, while possibly suggesting that our victim overcomes the villain as red, as well as having connotations of blood and death, it also suggests power. I also analysed film posters which portrayed the horror genre conventions. I noticed that their seemed to be a repeat of a dark colour scheme, which usually had red and black as an ongoing theme, presumably to represent ‘blood’ and ‘death’ to correlate with what is in horror films. The posters also often use an image in the central of the poster, with a billing block at the bottom of the poster in the middle and centred. Often, the poster will also included a quote from the film or tagline about the film, it sometimes also includes a star rating given to the film by a newspaper/magazine.
Magazine front covers were a bit harder to create due to the lack of conventions they had dedicated to a genre. Most film magazines look a various genres and films. I looked into different film magazines like Empire. Magazines in general tend to stick to a colour scheme and the colour scheme is usually based on the costume in the picture. The masthead is key to a magazine cover, usually to the left hand side or in the centre at the top of the magazine. The date, issue number and price are often placed by the barcode which is usually placed in the bottom right/left hand corner. There are often key words such as ‘WIN’ and ‘FREE’, often used to sell the magazine. The main coverline is also the biggest thing on the page. My magazine front cover sticks to most conventions, I have the masthead at the top of the page and to the left, the price and issue number are by the barcode however, I put the date above the masthead as I felt it looked more appropriate placed there. The image takes up the majority of the page which automatically makes it the main focus. The coverlines are on either side of the image. The main coverline is in the centre, over the top of the image and is a bigger font size than the rest. I challenge magazine conventions with the unusually dark colour scheme as magazine covers usually generalise their colour scheme, however I do think this works well.
I believe that together, my main product and ancillary texts work well together and are very effective. I feel this way because all three products correlate and definitely look part of one package. They have running themes throughout with similar and same texts used, as well as the same tag line used throughout. I personally feel that my trailer is effective and works well considering it was made on a budget. I feel it has worked due to how well me and my group worked together and used our ideas and skills effectively. The editing of our trailer is what makes the trailer effective as the editing is what gives it it’s fast paced and dark theme. I feel as though the ancillary tasks complete the package as they match well and working on my own on them allowed me to go with my own ideas while using our group ideas from the trailers. Overall, I feel as though together they all create a good package.
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