Trailers play an integral role in selling a film. Trailers are appealing as they show part of the film plot and give the audience a vague idea of the films genre. In addition they show exciting clips from the film, to grab the attention of the viewers. We have trailers to promote upcoming films and attract suitable audiences. There are other methods to publicise an upcoming film such as merchandise, music soundtracks, radio, billboards, adverts and reviews in magazines, and interviews.
This essay will be a comparison of the movie trailers ‘Crash’ and ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and will analyse the different techniques used to make a film appeal to an audience. I chose these trailers as they appeal to different audiences. ‘Narnia’ and ‘Crash’ have very different film codes. The signals in crash are gun shots, police sirens, crying and police tape. The director uses these imply violence, crime and emotion towards events in the film. The genre of ‘Crash’ is drama; it’s a film about racism in Los Angeles in a range of manifestations.
The key themes that run through the film are racism, and how people’s lives are interwoven without them realising. All of the shots in the trailer are at night or in a dark environment, which suggests a sinister atmosphere and what happens in the dark stays behind closed doors. On the other hand ‘Narnia’ is very different. The signals are a railway, and obviously the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. As the children from the film appear in the trailer they are coming off a train and meeting a woman, this suggests they are being evacuated to the countryside because of the war.
The lion suggests bravery, where as the witch evilness. We associate the characters going through the wardrobe; however, we don’t actually see it. The genre of ‘Narnia’ is fantasy, and key themes are bravery and they impossible becoming possible. The colours used are very boring at the start, and then as Narnia unfolds brighter colours open up. Emotionally, cool colors are associated with aloofness and strife, while warm colors are associated with romance. Time of day is characterised by different hues: yellow for sunrise, red for sunset, and blue for night.
Distant time periods can also be conveyed through the use of hues. There are various different camera movements in ‘Crash’ and ‘Narnia’. In crash there is an aerial shot of the city, which is affective as it sets the scene which is LA (Los Angeles). Some of shots are close ups, which chows how important the character reaction is, like when Sandra bullock says ‘im always upset but I don’t know why’. The shots are always steady, and there is not a lot of rolling, and the shots are not very sharp.
In contrast ‘Narnia’ starts with a low angle shot, and then as the character are through the wardrobe the shots become a lot sharper and quicker, and are emphasised by the non diegetic sound. The lighting in ‘Crash’ is significant because the majority of the events that take place are in the dark, or at night, so under-lighting is used which gives a dramatic effect and sharpens shadows. The majority of the film is in low-key lighting. The dramatic content of the scene dictates its brightness. Generally, high-key lighting is favored for upbeat scenes, and low-key lighting is the choice for slow or taut dramatic action.
Both ‘Narnia’ and ‘Crash’ have use of diegetic and non diegetic sound. ‘Narnia’ has a voice over. Whereas ‘Crash’ has a voice over who is actually a character in the film. ‘Narnia’ only has a voice over until the character are in Narnia, then it is music which builds up to a crescendo, the music in ‘Crash’ trailer is very mournful and deep, almost like a tragedy. The editing in ‘Narnia’ in sharper, and goes at a fast pace once they are through the wardrobe, but it’s a slow build up. The director is trying to use the book to sell the film by having a clip saying ‘Based on C.
S Lewis’s beloved masterpiece’, and the advertising it at the end with ‘Narnia. com’. ‘Crash’ is similar as it has written narrative on shots saying how ‘we are moving forward’ and ‘when you are moving at the speed of life we are bound to collide with each other’. And they do. It shows Sometimes our collisions bring out the best in us. Sometimes they bring out the worst, they wake to the reality that the world is much bigger than just us and our lives. These collisions are what construct its story. It isn’t a story built around structured plot points and resolutions.
Instead, its story is about different people leading very different lives who collide. ‘Crash’ is completely different as all the shots are at night, and are very soft and fairly slow. There are also several wipe-out shots where you hear the gun shots to create tension, as the audience want to know who has been shot. To conclude movie trailers are effective as they give a brief show of film codes, use of camera, lighting, sound and editing.
This gives the public an idea of which kind of audience the trailer is aimed at, and generally what the film is about. Crash’ suits its audience as it appeals to people over the age of 15, as it is revelations that only older people understand, and has themes throughout that are not suitable for a young age group. ‘Narnia’ suits just about everyone as it has simple themes running throughout, and is an easy watch for people of all age groups. In my opinion ‘Crash’ is the most effective trailer as it uses simple techniques to draw an audience in. not many trailers are like ‘Crash’ whereas some people would compare ‘Harry Potter’ trailer with ‘Narnia’.