Summary – Textual Analysis

For my textual analysis of horror movie promotional packages I looked at 3 websites for 3 different films. Firstly I looked at the website for 28 Days Later. From this website I was able to gain an idea of the basic set up for the horror film website, which is to have 4 different pages that contain different information on the film and other such ways of promoting the film (e.g. downloads), from this website I was also able to get some ideas of the colours I should be using for my website, such as dark reds and blacks which connote the themes of death and general evil. The 28 Days Later website also used rough, eroded fonts to help connote the genre of the film, which may be a convention that I could use. Next I looked at the website for the film Carriers, this website confirmed the convention of using 4 different pages with downloads, photos, about the film (story) and the trailer. Also this website employed similar dark colour schemes which connote the themes of the film. The Carriers website also included a box at the bottom of the page which allows the user to share the films website to a variety of different social networking sites, such as Facebook or Twitter and allows the user to become a fan of the films Facebook page, this is a promotional strategy I may be able to employ on my own website. This website also used some rough, scratchy fonts which suggests that this is a style commonly used in horror films and therefore a convention that I should be implementing into my own website.The final website that I looked at was the website for Dawn of the Dead, which was a film with a much larger budget than the last two. This website also contained the conventional 4 pages with about the film, photos, trailer (media) and downloads as well as a series of extras such as games, a forum and a timeline of zombie horror films. Although the extras may help to promote the film, they would be very nearly impossible for me to create and therefore it is probably best that I don’t try to. The Dawn of the Dead website also included the conventional dark colour which suggests to me that I should incorporate dark colours as a large part of my own website.

The second area of horror movie promotional packages that I conducted textual analysis’s on were film posters of horror movies. The first film poster that I analysed was the poster for 28 Days Later. From looking at this poster I was able to find out some conventional elements that I will be able to implement into my own poster, firstly I noticed the use of red and black on the poster which are colours that are commonly used with horror films as they connote evil and death. The film poster also contained the name of the film in the largest font on the page, a tagline, a unique selling point of the film and the institutional details at the bottom of the page in a small, barely readable font. The next poster, for the film Carriers, helped to confirm some of the conventions that I discovered in the 28 Days Later poster. Firstly there was a prominence of dark colours and black on the poster which is a huge connotation of the horror genre. The Carriers film poster also included the USP’s of the film, in this case the famous actors’ names, at the top of the poster. The institutional details of the most important people and companies involved were also displayed at the bottom of the poster in a small font which shows me that this is a conventional element of a film poster and will need to be put into use on my own poster when I produce it, as well as putting the name of the film in the largest font on the page so that it stands out and catches the viewers attention. The Carriers poster also stated at the bottom of the page “Coming Soon” which gives the audience a little bit of an idea of when the film is coming out which is something I may want to include on my own poster. The Dawn of the Dead poster is slightly unconventional in a sense as rather than including a long list of names at the bottom of the page, it simply uses the Universal Studios logo in the bottom corner. However it does also contain some of the main conventions that have been used on the other posters, such as the USPs’ at the top of the page, some use of black and red for their connotations, a tag line and the name of the film in the largest font on the page.

Finally I looked at horror film trailers for my analysis of promotional packages. From looking at the 28 Days Later trailer I noticed that many of the shots were set in dark surroundings which is conventional of horror films. Also I picked up that the trailer starts off slow, only featuring one or two shots before picking up towards then end revealing more about the film with fast edited montage shots. The trailer also didn’t directly expose what the main protagonist would be up against, as the zombies were only featured very lightly and obscured by darkness when they were featured. Since the Carriers film isn’t strictly a zombie horror film, many of the shots were set during the daytime which isn’t too conventional of a horror film, but I could use some similar shots for my trailer as my film will have some similar elements.  The Carriers trailer also started off with slow and sped up towards the end with fast editing, this is a convention I will have to use to make my film trailer look convincing. The final trailer I analysed was for Dawn of the Dead, this trailer played out very similar to the other two as it began slowly and finished with a fast edited montage towards the end.  Other conventions I picked up on were the change in pace for  music in accordance with the change in pace of the trailer.

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