Recut movie trailers take certain elements from the film to advertise the movie as another genre drastically different from its original theme. In order to make a recut trailer believable, others must be analyzed to understand the components of piecing together one cohesive message. The trailer for, I am Legend (Francis Lawrence, 2007), will be converted from advertising a thriller and drama, to a romantic-comedy titled: “I am Loving.”
Trailers for movies last long enough for the viewer to catch a brief glimpse inside the director’s vision. Movies vary in genre, as do their trailers. When observing eight different regular and three recut trailers, there are several observable elements that stand out in each depending on its specific genre. Shot length, shot transitions, and overall pacing are a few elements that contribute to establishing the genre and mood of the films. Shot length includes the amount of time each scene is shown. Shots last about 3 seconds in romantic comedy trailers such as the one for The Space Between Us (Peter Chelsom, 2016), where the shots are long enough to show glimpses of the characters and their relationships as well as the plot-line. In contrast, the shots in action and thriller film trailers are shorter and less revealing of the plot. Shot transitions between scenes in the more light-hearted movies often faded in and out and cut in between scenes of the movie and subtle titles suggesting a positive turning of events. The transitions with action and drama films are faster and have few fades. In the trailer for the teen superhero-action movie, Max Steel (Stewart Hendler, 2016) the pacing is much faster as a result of the quick transitions between scenes and cuts; whereas, the pacing is much slower in the romantic comedy trailers. Music and sound effects help further the emotions, pacing and overall mood experienced by the audience. Music with lyrics match the scenes and actions of the characters in the scenes. For example, in the trailer for teen romantic-comedy, The Edge of Seventeen (Kelly Fremon Craig, 2016), the music is light and up-lifting and encourages positive actions for the main character depicted. It allows the audience to feel relaxed and at-ease. The shots in the trailer were 3 seconds on-average, which matched the pace of the music. In contrast, the music and sound effects in the movie trailer for Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991) put the viewer on-edge with high-pitched screeching strings and sudden, loud increases in volume.
The shortest trailer length is from the action and thriller movies. The Silence of the Lambs trailer is under two minutes in length, and is the shortest (and scariest) of the other trailers picked. In contrast, the romantic comedies and romance ones are longer in both shot length and total run-time. The longest trailer length is The Edge of Seventeen that ran for 4 minutes and 44 seconds. This trailer is long due to the many characters and relationships present in the film, as well as to show the audience the plot. The average trailer length estimates to be about two and a half minutes.
The narration for movies with a fun, light genre has a voice that comments on a story line that starts with a small conflict and ends with a positive outcome for the main character. In contrast, the narration for thrillers such as Silence of the Lambs evokes an ominous tone with comments related to the developing horror or thrill. The majority of trailers are narrated by separating the scenes and the voices of the main characters to match the events occurring in the trailers. This helps to explain the plot, characters and emotions of the film. Typography differs depending on the genre of film. The action and adventure trailers such as Max Steel and LOGAN (James Mangold, 2017), are bold-face and have a strong, eye-catching presence. The drama typography is similar, but suggests more intriguing and subtle type. Romantic comedies have a more humorous and casual edge to suggest the non-seriousness of the film.
The audio synchronization with the lips of characters in recut trailers don’t match. The characters’ audio tracks are over a cluster of scenes. The recut trailers also manage to tell the story of the film with these voice-overs. The voice-overs are over scenes that suggest that what they’re saying is explaining the scene occurring. For example, in the recut trailer for The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008) titled, “The Dark Knight as a Romantic Comedy Trailer,” the main character is explained in a narration that explains each character and shows scenes of their roles in the film. The characters’ voices also followed the narrations to develop the plot and character roles. The recut trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (David Yates, 2009) titled,”Harry Potter Spring Teen Comedy,” the trailer tells its new story without use of the narrator’s voice. The characters’ voices advance the story line and suggest that the original drama-fantasy, is now a teen romantic comedy.
The recut trailer for IT (Tommy Lee Wallace, 1990) titled, “Stephen King’s IT Trailer (recut as a family film),” uses the most typography in about thirteen scenes to explain the story. This recut needs many scenes of typography in order to keep the theme in the romantic comedy genre because the clown character is not explained in the story of this trailer. Without the typography, the plot might be lost and the audience would have difficulty understanding what genre and story is being depicted. Trailers include several elements of film editing to ensure that the message that the director conveys through the film is well represented.
Recut Trailers: The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008) as a Romantic Comedy Trailer, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (David Yates, 2009)as a Spring Teen Comedy, and Stephen King’s IT Trailer (recut as a family film).
Movie Trailers: Max Steel (2016), LOGAN (James Mangold, 2017), Run the Tide (Soham Mehta, 2016), The Space Between Us (Peter Chelsom, 2016), The Edge of Seventeen (Kelly Fremon Craig, 2016), Gifted (Marc Webb, 2017), The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991) , Romeo And Juliet (Carlo Carlei, 2013)