Catfish Trailer Analysis

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Information about Catfish Trailer Analysis
Presentations & Public Speaking

Published on October 20, 2014

Author: arranmcdonaldmedia



An analysis of the trailer for the film 'Catfish' .


2. CAMERA ANGLES AND SHOTS • Documentary/“Mockumentary” style film has almost all the camera shots being Point of View (POV) from the cameramen (Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost). • The majority of the shots throughout the trailer are handheld. • The majority of clips shown in the trailer are also medium, close or extreme close up shots. • Shots such as the one of Nev’s texts are from an angle as if Nev is personally showing us or we are looking over to them even though texts/messages are usually private as if he ‘trusts’ us to show them – POV shot also reinforces the idea that they are documenting all of Nev’s relationship and that his phone is a big part of it. • You never see Ariel or Henry except for when only one of them is filming - The trailer centres completely on Nev.

3. CAMERA ANGLES AND SHOTS • Uses the Facebook tag for Megan Faccio instead of putting her name with simple text like Nev’s – Could be to keep reinforcing this idea of a relationship based around Facebook/technology. • Using the Facebook tag may also be to reinforce the idea of knowing Nev personally but only knowing Megan through what her Facebook says. • The top picture is another example of Nev with a phone and suggests again that it is a major part of his relationship – The scene is from Nev and Megan’s first ‘real’ conversation. • The text gives us a very brief summary of the context of the film – They met on the internet – But doesn’t tell us how/why.

4. CAMERA ANGLES AND SHOTS • Showing ‘private’ messages again (like the ones on Nev’s phone) to give us insight into their relationship and feel like he is sharing personal/intimate information with us. • A lot of the first half of the trailer focuses on Facebook – i.e. Nev looking through pictures, messages, etc. • The trailer plays audio of Nev saying says “I mean, she must be pretty awesome… At least, from Facebook…” showing that he doesn’t really know anything else about her. • While we call him ‘Nev’ (his nickname) to give it an informal, friendly feel we always see ‘Megan Faccio’ (even on Nev’s phone) as if we aren’t really close enough to know her as just ‘Megan’.

5. MISE-EN-SCENE • During the first half of the trailer, Nev is always shown with a phone or by a computer. • Nev is also shown multiple times talking to Megan. • He is always shown in casual clothes at home and at his office – His job doesn’t need him to be in a suit/smart clothes. • Appears to be into creative arts shown by his guitar and photography of the dance hall which mirrors Megan’s apparent success in modelling, dancing, singing, etc. • In his office is a PC as well as a laptop. His office is also fairly cluttered with a lot of files/stationary looking disorganised – Suggests work is more based on technology rather than other things.

6. MISE-EN-SCENE • The clip of Nev laying in bed reading out texts between him and Megan continues to support the idea of him sharing everything about the relationship to his friends and also the audience. • Since Nev is in bed as he reads them out it links to the texts since they are ‘intimate’ between him and Megan. When they all start laughing it is possibly to keep the audience feeling like Nev is sharing the information with us as friends. • The scene of Nev revealing the painting sent to him by Abby shows how disorganised they are again by the cluttered/untidy bookshelves.

7. MISE-EN-SCENE • In the scene (pictured at the bottom) where Nev is looking through Megan’s photos on Facebook, the mirror behind him could suggest the contrast between them as he would see the ‘real’ version of himself in the reflection whereas, he only sees Megan through the pictures she uploads. • When they are photoshopped together it is technically the ‘closest’ they have been together. Links with the theme of no intimacy since both of them are not wearing clothes. • The top picture is a further example of Nev on the phone with Megan and also is another scene with a mirror behind him.

8. SOUND • Music starts playing at 0:13 (‘This is Nev.’) as a bed underneath other audio e.g. Nev talking about Megan and her family. • As the “Not based on a true story... Just True” text screens appear, a click can be heard just like someone clicking on it with a mouse. • The music is non-diegetic and changes several times throughout to mimic the mood of the scenes. • The sound of the camera click when Nev is taking photography of the dancers sounds non-diegetic because it is heard much louder than the ‘natural’ sounds/bustle of the dance hall.

9. SOUND • Majority of audio in the trailer is Nev talking about the situation shown in the film (e.g. Megan, the family, his relationship, etc.) but is not particularly well structured i.e. It is mostly jumbled up/not linked. • The clip of the person playing piano links with the sound as it mimics the soundtrack change – The music becomes slower and more tense/suspenseful to link with the tension in the final scenes shown. • The majority of the sound/audio shown is based around the conversations between Nev, Ariel and Henry rather than music or other non-diegetic sounds. This is possibly because it is supposed to be a documentary-style film and meant to be realistic. • The audio quality changes randomly throughout the trailer which again shows the realism when the audio is only being recorded through the video cameras without professional-quality sound recorders.

10. SOUND • The mouse click sound is repeated throughout the trailer and is made fairly loud - This is most likely to keep reinforcing the idea of how much time Nev spends on Facebook/his computer. • Another reason the mouse click may be made loud is that, because Nev is a photographer, his computer is important for his work as well as his personal life/his relationship. • During Nev and Megan’s phone call it sounds as if the audio is boosted because the phone beep sounds very loud and so does her voice on loudspeaker – possibly to accentuate the fact they’re on the phone.

11. EDITING • The editing during the first part (the introduction to Nev and Megan and their relationship) of the trailer is fairly fast paced but upbeat, shown by the music. This could be to mimic the start of Nev and Megan’s relationship where it is new, happy, exciting, etc. • The majority (if not all) of the edits are cuts throughout the trailer. • When showing clips of Facebook, it is always shown as very pixelated – to look like a computer screen. • It is always pixelated when showing any member of the family – Possibly because Nev ever sees any of them ‘properly’ as the pixilation makes it hard to see what they really look like.

12. EDITING • When the music changes, the second part of the trailer begins (the issue which is the unique selling point for the film). • Second part of the trailer goes more in-depth into Megan’s character and her family – “… The Facebook family, that’s what we’ll call them.” • The reviews by other people all have the pixelated background (like the clips of Facebook had) to link with the rest of the trailer. • The pixels could also be blue to link to Facebook. • Since the trailer does not give a lot away about the actual issue, the reviews don’t make a lot of sense but indicate it is tense/thrilling.

13. EDITING • The third and final part of the trailer is when they decide to go meet Megan in person, the music changes once again to a slower, more tense piece. • This section of the trailer begins normal – They suggest going to Megan’s farm to meet her but don’t give away their reasons why, it is assumed that it is because Nev finally wants to meet in person. • As they drive into the farm, Nev seems nervous/uneasy and Ariel or Henry comments “This place gives me the creeps…” • This change marks a shift from the upbeat happy first section to make the audience realise something isn’t right. • Due to horror films like the Paranormal Activity series which consist of handheld and set cameras in a documentary/’home movie’ style (like Catfish) the third section of the trailer is specifically built to mimic that concept and the tension without giving away the ‘monster’. • The horror/thriller-esque conventions are also present in how most horror films begin innocent or peaceful until an event happens that puts the main characters in the place of danger. • The edits are also put closer together (shorter clips) and the clips are usually ones that do not show much – i.e. the extreme close up of the side of a video recorder before cutting quickly to Nev sat in front of a computer with what looks like an answerphone light blinking behind him. • This is significant because this shows that, for the first time in the trailer, Nev has ignored a phone call that may have been from Megan – contrasting directly with the earlier section(s) where he is always on his phone with her or by his computer.

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