Difference between trailers and films- Nightcrawler Case Study

As we have to make a trailer for a film Noir text as part of our coursework I decided to do some research into trailers and how they differ from the texts themselves in order for me to produce the most professional trailer possible and to avoid creating a short film.

As part of my research I broke down the trailer for Nightcrawler, 2014, and took screenshots of all the 126 shots in the trailer and then watched the film and made note of when the shots appeared in the film. The reason for this was so that I could gain a clearer understanding of the difference in narrative between a film and a trailer. I collected the timings and put them in a data sheet and then made that data sheet into a line graph in order for me to have a clear correlation of how the narrative of the trailer was compared to the film and to see whether it was linear or non-linear. All but five shots appear in the film: Shot 22 appears at 0:22:11- In trailer, the shot is the footage itself, but in film it is seen on television screen. Shot 39 the dialogue is filmed at a different angle in film, mid shot rather than close-up of Lou. Shot 59 appears at 0:19:09- But the footage on the monitor in the background is different in the trailer and the film. Shot 65 is just not used in the film and Shot 126 also doesn’t appear in the film.

The first link is to the data sheet and the second link is to the line graph.



The graph shows a mostly positive correlation, meaning that the trailer roughly follows the same linear structure as the film whilst not revealing too much of the plot. The reason why its important to ensure that you don’t reveal too much of the story in the trailer is so that there are still narrative enigmas that the audience can only solve by watching the film. From my research I’m going to try and replicate the same sort of linear narrative in my trailer as its a typical convention of trailers to have linear narrative and so adopting that into my trailer will ensure that it is more professional and  to clearly be a trailer rather than a short film.


Below is a table I made of all the screen shots I took from the trailer for Nightcrawler.

Screen Shot of table 1-6Screen Shot of table 7-13Screen Shot of table 14-21Screen Shot of table 21-27Screen Shot of table 28-34Screen Shot of table 35-41Screen Shot of table 42-48Screen Shot of table 49-55Screen Shot of table 56-62Screen Shot of table 63-69Screen Shot of table 70-76Screen Shot of table 77-83Screen Shot of table 84-90Screen Shot of table 91-97Screen Shot of table 98-104Screen Shot of table 105-111Screen Shot of table 112-118Screen Shot of table 119-125Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 14.40.04






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