The link below is to an Adobe Spark page I made, reviewing the shots used under 4 stipulations. (Micro cinematic features, Repertoire of elements, Typical elements of trailer/target audience and What we could possibly go on to use in our own trailers).
I decided to my analysis on the trailer for The Town, 2010, d. Affleck
Locke is a neo-noir film directed by Steven Knight released in April 2014, which stars Tom Hardy as the main character Ivan Locke. The trailer for Locke lasts a minute and 31 seconds, and follows a non-linear narrative. There is no clear outline of the story, all that is established is that Tom Hardy’s character has done something wrong and it is effecting his work and family life.
The editing techniques used in the trailer vary but follow a sort of pattern. At the beginning of the trailer the titles and some of the transitions between the shots are fade aways, however, as the trailer continues and the levels of suspense increases the transitions of titles turns to just cuts rather than fade aways. Creating the effect of a more tense and suspenseful trailer. Another piece of editing used in the trailer is change in opacity. Throughout the trailer there are numerous uses of opacity being changed, with various shots of Tom Hardy’s character being overlapped with each other. The effect that this has is it connoted that his character isn’t mentally stable and that he might suffer from multiple personality disorder.
The audio for the trailer follows a similar pattern to the editing techniques used in the sense that as the trailer continues the music intensifies and builds up the level of suspense even more. The non-diegetic instrumental sound increases in tiempo as the trailer reaches its peak. The non-diegetic sound also works in time with the editing, with titles coming in and out and cuts between shots in time with the non-diegetic sound. These uses of matching shots builds up the level of suspense. Another audio effect used is the way in which they make Tom Hardy’s character’s lines are given an echo sound effect, which once again have the effect of connoting that he has voices in his head.
11:05- Revealed that another woman is having the baby of the married men, hence why he isn’t able to tell anyone why he’s needing to go to the hospital.
14:07- change in sound, quiet non-diegetic sound as he tells his wife that he has had an affair
15:48- Possible sound bridge to try and add dramatic effect, Boss on the phone
17:27 “Right now nothing is a joke anymore”
18:27 “Do you know how many millions of pounds are riding on tomorrow?”
18:35 “we are facing 10 million pounds worth of loses in 15 minutes”
19:31 “I have made my decision”
19:53 “what are you looking at?”
20:04 “A familiar predicament to a man like you dad huh?”
20:17 “well that’s where you’re wrong”
20:24 “I want you to watch… I would like to take a shovel and dig you up out of the ground and make you watch me tonight”
20:40 “It’s me driving. Me”
23:32 “Don’t take his calls, don’t listen to anybody else until the morning, this is me and you ok?”
24:44 “We can’t really love each other or hate each other, can we? This thing just happened”
25:13- Police cars, could be used to fasten up the pace of the trailer
27:25 “You sound different”
27:28 “I am the same”
27:37 “Because I’m not sick”
30:45-31:30- key scene
32:16- Good dramatic shot of Tom Hardy’s face
40:22 “I will cut your legs off with a pavement saw”
43:50-45:30 “Let me educate”
54:05 “Well goodbye Ivan”
1:01:41- 1:01:46 “You’ve gone mad”
1:04:37 “You’re not coming home ever”
Narrative of the film:
Locke is an honorable man, under immense pressure, trying to do the right thing. The movie is suspenseful, deeply involving. The film follows Locke trying to handle his illegitimate child being born two months premature and having to break the news to his wife whilst losing his job as a result.
19:53-20:40- talks to dad for the first time
31:10-31:35- cracks appear
40:15-41:42- scream scene
43:35- 45:15- talks to dad again
45:55-46:01- I am, I’m going mad inside
57:47-58:55- you’re so weak
1:01:02-1:01:48- I’ve gone mad
1:02:45-1:03:30- life sentence
1:12:20-1:12:40- I’ve got nothing
Plan for Locke teaser trailer
Establish a linear narrative, with the development of Locke’s situation roughly outlined. Start off by revealing he’s committed an act that he regrets and then reveal that he has lost his job and family as a result. However, we won’t mention the fact that it has anything to do with an affair or the fact that he works as a project manager for a cement pouring firm. Instead we’ll have audio of his boss explaining their possible losses so that it seems he holds a more important position than just being in charge of cement being poured. We’ll use dramatic music to try and create a more suspenseful atmosphere than the one found in the film itself. However, we will be sure to not reveal too much in order to retain narrative enigmas that can only be solved through the watching of the film. This way our teaser trailer will be more effective and professional.
ISO – this changes sensitivity of the film
The lower the setting the less sensitive the film is and the more light you will need. The higher the setting, the more sensitive the film and the less you light you will need.
ISO 100 – 400: for outdoor sunlight use. 800 is for low sunlight.
ISO 1000 and above: low light and evening light.
Aperture- This setting changes how wide the aperture of the lens is. The lower the setting, the more light is let into the lens. The higher the setting, the less light is let into the lens. F1.8 is used for darker conditions but also creates a narrow field of focus. F5.6 and above are used for lighter conditions and create a wider field of focus.
Shutter speed- How fast the shutter opens and closes. The faster the shutter speed the clearer and less blurry the image is.
For example to create a narrow field of focus in day light conditions you would need to use a medium ISO setting and a low Aperture setting.
Neo-Noir films are considered to be modern day equivalents of the classic post-war noir films. With noir no longer restricted to black & white film and techniques, film makers began to adapt to the new technology. One of the main developments between the classic noir films and the neo-noir genre is the changes of Hays Code in American Cinema which meant that more graphic violence and sexual scenes were now allowed to be shown on the big screen. Neo noir films are in essence modernised Noir Films, where the modern film noir differs from those produced in the 1940s is the technology within them and the modernization of themes to ensure that it is relatable to current audiences ergo attracting a larger target audience and enabling for greater profit margins for the production and distribution companies. They also different in the ideologies and representations they portray within them as Neo-Noir films tend to be more outward looking in their views.
As a group, we were assigned the task of creating a teaser trailer for an existing film by cutting up the film itself. My role in the group was in charge of cutting up the footage from the film, ordering the sequence and editing the footage. I volunteered for this role as I had had a lot of experience using Premiere Pro and I felt like I’d be able to produce a piece of high quality work whilst developing my basic and more advanced skills on Adobe Premiere Pro. Our group had a really good work ethic and we had great communication between the three of us that not only made all of our lives easier but enabled us to produce a piece of high quality work.
With regards to the skills I used in the production of our teaser trailer, I did not learn very many new techniques or editing styles that I didn’t know how to before but rather developed the skills and techniques I already knew as well as strengthening my basic skills. However, one of the new techniques I learnt how to do was implementing J and L cuts into our sequence. A J cut is where the audio from a following shot overlaps the picture from the previous shot, so that the audio of the later shot starts playing before its picture visually cuts into a new shot. An L cut is the opposite of this and is where the audio from the previous shoot overlaps the picture from the next shot, so that the audio cuts after the picture, and continues playing over the beginning of the next shot. Both these variations of cuts are effective in building tension and are typically used in trailers as they allow for dramatic shots and dramatic audio to be used simultaneously without sacrificing the quality of the piece by having a number of sharp cuts to unrelated shots that would result in the audience being left confused rather than interested in the text in question.
Pictured below is my use of a J cut, as the highlighted video file is where the audio is from, but I had the audio playing over 4 shots prior to the footage that the audio is actually from. In actual fact, this is both a J and an L cut as the audio goes across to another clip of footage after the original shot has been used.
Pictured below is my use of an L cut, as the highlighted footage file is where the audio originates from, but the audio continuous over the next shot after there has been a cut into a new shot.
Pictured below is my use of a change of opacity. Changing the opacity of a shot enables for a number of connotations and effects to be made. For example, having lower opacity allows for shots to play over one another at the same time whilst not being disorientating or confusing as the intensity of the shots have been softened. Having a number of shots going at the same time as a close up of a character, for example, has the effect of creating connotations that the character is mentally unstable, that perhaps they suffer from multiple personality disorder. Our use of a change of opacity is not too dissimilar from this, as we have a shot of our protagonist play over a shot of the road, connoting that although he is focusing on driving his mind is constantly racing and that he is emotionally unstable at that point in time given the circumstances he finds himself in.
Another skill that I enhanced during the production of our teaser trailer was my use of the split tool. The split tool is effective for breaking up footage precisely and including specific parts of footage without having any untidy and out of place frames on the side. Pictured below is my use of the split tool, where I placed another clip between two clips that I split.
To conclude, our group functioned well together, with all of us doing our individual roles to a high level and, as mentioned before, communicating well working well as a team. Our teaser trailer for Locke was marked to be a Level 3 text and I agree with that score. It built up tension as time went on, it had enough exposition to establish some of the plot of the film whilst still leaving narrative enigmas to be solved by watching the film itself and I believe that it appeared almost professional. The only change I would make is maybe have a more advanced main title.
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.
‘Genre study is nothing more than placing a film or group of films against a checklist of elements.’ How far do you agree with this statement?
Genre means ‘type’ and the aim of genre is to classify or organise large numbers of media texts into smaller groups. All Genres have a repertoire of elements that are specific to said genre and films that feature all these elements are categorised as being of that genre. These elements are called the conventions of the genre and are made up of elements such as: themes, settings, characters, story and plot, narrative structure, mood, props etc. There are people who say that these elements make the study of genre the categorisation of media texts and that they are fixed and traditional. There are also some people who disagree with this view and who say that genre is more than just groups of media texts that conform to set conventions, but rather that they are constantly evolving and are a reflection of changes and the issue in society.
There are a number of people who theorise that the first argument of genre study is the truth, people such as Warren Buckland and David Duff making statements that support these views. Warren Buckland said “‘To study a film as a genre involves treating it, not as a unique entity, but as a member of a general category, as a certain type of film. The aim…is therefore to classify, or organise, a large number of films into a small number of groups’. His view is very clearly that media texts are not capable of being their own “unique entity” but that they all fall into categories of film that have been established by previous media texts. The use of the word “organise” supports the view that genre study is nothing more than the placement of media texts up against a checklist and to the systematically assort them into genres. In the case of films the checklist is made up of conventions to which a text must conform to in order to be classified as being of a genre. As mentioned before these conventions can be: themes, settings, characters, story and plot, narrative structure, mood, props etc. And in addition to these macro and micro features the use of cinematography can also be studied in order to organise films into categories. This point is supported by David Duff, who said Genre is “a reoccurring type or category of text, as defined by structural and thematic criteria”. To better understand what Duff and Buckland are trying to get across one could examine a specific genre in closer detail and in this case, I’ll examine the Film Noir genre. With Film Noir, there are very specific themes that include: Crime, corruption, sexual obsession, greed, money, power, deceit, manipulation, fate, murder/death, betrayal. So according to Buckland and Duff a film that wants to be considered as being of the Film Noir genre it must feature most if not all of the themes listed above and that the film cannot express any secret ideologies or societal fears as no text can be considered a ‘unique entity’.
The other side of the argument is that media text such as films are able to be a reflection on society and that films can be of a genre whilst being a unique entity. People like David Buckingham argue that Genre study is not as traditional as Buckland and Duff claim it to be, and that it is constantly evolving in time with societal changes. He claims “Genre is not…simply ‘given’ by the culture: rather, it is in a constant process of negotiation and change”. Given the fact I used the film noir genre as the example for the other side of this argument I believe that it would be most effective to use Neo-noir as an example for this side of the argument. Neo-Noir films are considered to be modern day equivalents of the classic post-war noir films. With noir no longer restricted to black & white film and techniques, film makers began to adapt to the new technology. One of the main developments between the classic noir films and the neo-noir genre is the changes of Hays Code in American Cinema, which meant that more graphic violence and sexual scenes were now allowed to be shown on the big screen. This development of the neo-noir genre supports Buckingham’s view as the genre was able to develop as a result of the change in society as they became more open to violence and the exploration of graphic imagery and ideologies.
Another aspect of the modern film industry that supports the view that genre study is more than just organising texts into groups is the expansion in popularity of hybrid genres. Hybrids genres are texts that conform to the conventions of multiple genres meaning they can be organised into multiples genres. “The same text can belong to different genres in different countries or times” – John Hartley. Hybrid texts are the embodiment of the argument that texts and genres can be different and unique and ergo the study of genre is not only the placing of films against a checklist but can also be an exploration of different ideologies. This view is supported by Steve Neale who says, “Genres are instances of repetition and difference…difference is absolutely essential to the economy of genre: mere repetitions would not attract an audience”.
In my opinion, the study of genres is more than just ‘placing a film or group of films against a checklist of elements.’ The reason behind my view are hybrid genres as the fact that they can conform to multiple genres means that Buckland’s view that “To study a film as a genre involves treating it, not as a unique entity, but as a member of a general category, as a certain type of film. The aim…is therefore to classify, or organise, a large number of films into a small number of groups” is not true as the text is a unique entity as other texts will not conform to the same multiple genres, rather conform to multiple genres that are different.