Scream 3 trailer analysis.

I will now start my textual analysis of my 3 promotion packages. This will anable me to get an idea of what sort of things are in a trailer, poster and website of this genre and I will get an idea of what I need to include in mine.

The ‘Scream 3′ trailer opens instantly with Lévi-Strauss’ theory of opposition as the opposition of light and dark is clearly portrayed. The darkness in the trailer creates a sense of mystery and therefore uses Barthes ‘her’ code. This is done as darkness connotes night time and things being hidden.

The camera shots in the beginning of this trailer give the audience a sense of unease and they are quick and jumpy, in relation to the music which gets louder when the camera shot changes. This is typical for a horror film trailer as it shows instantly what the genre of the film is and also keeps the audience wanting more. The light which is on top of the dark background forms images that relate to the film, although if this was the first thing you’d seen of the film you wouldn’t know that. Although this is the case, the image which forms the mask of the villain still looks horrific leaving the audience to feel scared.

On top of the opposition of light and dark are hints to the narrative, ‘chapter one sets the rules’, which is written in the same colour as the light. This is done to draw the reader’s attention to the narrative hints.

In this film trailer, Propp’s theory is introduced clearly as the audience can see who the victim and villain are. The victim’s in this film are the young people that are being haunted the villain, the person in the scream mask. Although this is the case, his ’cause and effect’ structure isn’t shown in this trailer as you can’t really see why it has happened. Also, there is no clear beginning, middle and end in the trailer and therefore Todorov’s theory can’t be used.

With the next camera shot a typical happening in a horror film is shown, with also a conventional character. The camera focuses on the phone while it the diegetic sound is the phone ringing, on top of the non-diegetic music.

The camera then quickly moves on to focus on the characters face, as it is a young woman and is clearly vulnerable and scared. While this happens, the background music slows down and becomes less frantic although within a few seconds, the music gets louder and faster, and also the camera shot types change and also become faster.

This happens once the villain’s voice is heard by both the victim and the audience as it is clear that this is when the character becomes most scared, and the audience should also feel this tension. As the camera shots quicken, the audience see 6 happenings from the film all of which seem to be some of the most horrific. This is because a teaser trailer is trying to draw the audience in to watch the whole film and must chose the best parts of the film for this to work.

Iconography for a horror film is portrayed well in these shots as it shows the genre of the film and again draws the audience in. The type of iconography which is shown in this trailer is the dark house, the young woman and a gun which is typical for this type of film.

The trailer then slows down slightly after the frantic camera shots and again shows the opposition of light and dark, just like the start of the trailer, although quickly speeds up giving the audience more of the narrative. The villains face is seen in these shots which relate to the image that if formed with the light at the beginning.

There are mixed camera shots here as there are long shots so the audience can actually see what’s going on, and also close ups to see the victims faces, in relation the diegetic sound of them screaming. After another hint of the narrative with ‘but in the finale’, the audience gets a chance to see the characters faces as they all turn around in different shots to face the camera. This again gives the sense of unease as it clear by the non-diegetic sound of a male talking, that something is going to go wrong. The non-diegetic music then gets louder as the camera shots changes and the phone rings for the second time in the trailer.

In the ‘final act’, its clear to the audience that this is where the horror takes place as long shots of people show the fear in their faces and body language. The music then gets faster and again, the camera shots quicken to portray a number of different happenings in the film. It is here that the audience can see that the film is coming to an end as people are being attacked by the villain, which shows the typical storyline in a horror film. In between most shots at the end of the trailer is the image of the light v. dark again forming the villains face. This is now recognisable for the audience and leaves them feeling scared as this is one of the last things they see in the trailer, and leaves them wanting to go and watch the film therefore fulfilling the aim of it.

The title of the film ‘Scream 3’ is then shown after the quick camera shots which is light on a black background. The number 3 is in red, connoting blood and also adding the horror feel.

Throughout this trailer, a number of conventional elements for a horror film are conveyed using Rick Altman’s theory that certain signs and certain plots and themes in films. The settings, characters and props are typical of what you would expect to see in this type of film and therefore instantly show the genre of the film and give a hint to what is going to happen.

At the beginning of the trailer, the audience are presented with a young girl, who seems to be alone in the house. This represents her as being vulnerable and therefore when the phone rings, creates an enigma, making the audience want to watch more. A mystery is also presented to the audience as the colours are dark, and therefore things are hidden and there are things that the audience do not know, and the music is slow and therefore builds tension. In the trailer, the villain is represented clearly as you can see that he is the one causing the people’s reactions. As he is wearing a mask, he is being represented well as following the conventions of a horror film, as the audience don’t actually know who the villain is. The quick camera shots mean that the audience can only see the characters reactions, but not actually what is causing these reactions mainly at the end of the trailer, representing an enigma and therefore also making the audience want to watch more. Representation is also used in the iconography that is used throughout this trailer, and a lot more towards the end. Weapons like guns, and knives are used to convey the genre of the film and therefore present this well.

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