Music is Vital, Voice and Type are Not

In all of the movie trailers I found the pacing stayed more or less consistent. The clips were short and tied together through quick cuts that jumped from scene to scene. In a way the trailers were almost like a montage, as they tied many scenes and parts of the movie together and gave the reader a basic idea of what the story was about without giving too much away.  The quickness of the cuts also made sense considering the trailers were fairly short. The shortest was only 30 seconds, while the longest ran a little over three minutes, with the average length being around two minutes ten seconds.

Strangely, none of the real trailers I looked at had voice-overs or even any type.  I thought these trailers were almost more enjoyable to watch, because instead of having a narrator tell you the story you got to watch it through movie clips and piece together what was happening by yourself. In the recut trailers, words or voice overs were used except in the case of Dumb and Dumber, possibility because they were fairly recognizable movies such as The Ten Commandments, Jaws, and Dumb and Dumber.  However, the Dumb and Dumber trailer was very short and relied heavily on the usage of black and white cinematography and distortion of voices to make a point that it was supposed to be a horror movie, as opposed to an actual story line.

A lot of the trailers used the speech of characters from one scene on the movie imposed over clips from different scenes. In the clips the character’s lips were not moving, so the director had the ability to essentially make the character’s actions mean whatever. In recut trailers, this was often  used to retell the story, and impose meaning on scenes that wasn’t originally there.  The spoofs were very smart about choosing scenes were the character’s were not talking, which is a good idea going forth with the video project.

It seem like the music throughout the trailers was really the aspect that defined what mood the trailer gave off. Even in the recut trailer Lurk and Lurker, a spoof of Dumb and Dumber, even though the quotes being used were objectively somewhat stupid and silly, the ominous music in the background made even the word “candy” sound creepy. Similarly in The Ten Things I Hate About Commandments, the music is playful and upbeat, even though The Ten Commandments is a serious movie. In the trailer for the movie La La Land, the music started out as slow piano music, and it had a bit of an “old-timey” feel. As the trailer progressed and picked up, the music did so as well, going from piano to jazz to a musical-like number that sounded upbeat and hopeful, rising in tempo and volume until the end. It was very obvious through the music and clips that this movie is about two people trying to make it in the acting/performance field who ultimately fall in love. In comedy trailers, the music was always upbeat and fairly quickly paced, which contrasted to movies like 4th Man Out which is intended to be more dramatic and had slower music that pulled on the heartstrings a little more. In all the trailers, music played throughout the length in the background, and seemed to contribute as much, if not more, than the clips themselves to the overall feeling and story of the trailer.



Trailers: Renegades (2017), La La Land (2016), Baked in Brooklyn (2016), American Honey (2016), Fear Inc (2016), Sing (2016), Same Kind of Different as Me (2017), 4th Man Out (2015). 

Trailers: Must Love Jaws, 10 Things I Hate about Commandments, Lurk and Lurker

This entry was posted in Blog #4. Deconstructing Movie Trailers. Bookmark the permalink.

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