Do Not Get on Nemo’s Bad Side

For my trailer recut project, I decided to the movie Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich, 2003). I believed that it was the perfect movie for me to recut as it would allow me to highlight a broad range of the techniques that I learned in class. Finding


Marlin grimacing in pain as he holds on for his life. (Still taken from the trailer of The Wrath of Nemo)

Nemo is originally a children/family movie, but I converted it into the horror movie known as The Wrath of Nemo. The trailer portrays Nemo (Alexander Gould) as a crazy clown fish that gets revenge on his father, Marlin (Albert Brooks) after he lets Nemo get captured by a scuba diver. As Greg Smith writes about in his book “What Media Classes Really Want to Discuss”, we identify with media because we put ourselves in the position it portrays. In this trailer, Nemo is relatable in the sense that he seeks revenge for something bad that happened to him. We don’t necessarily want to kill anyone, but we can sympathize with the pain he is feeling.


One of the most difficult choices I made when creating the trailer was picking the music and sound effects. Creating a horror movie, I had to select music and sound effects that would both set the tone and scare the audience a bit. To start off the trailer, I mixed a thunder and lightning sound effect with some creepy music. As Jessica Abel points out in “The deep sea: Sound,” layering sound effects and music can create an emotional tone. This layering created a mysterious and attention grabbing beginning of the trailer that draws the audience’s attention. Also, I included the sound effects of glass shattering and an internet dial-up. These both added to the “spookiness” and “creepiness” of the trailer.

Choosing transitions was another important part of the trailer. Bernard Dick’s “Film, Space, and Mise-En-Scene” goes into depth about the power of transitions. They have much different meaning depending on the situation. I only used the cross dissolve transition throughout the trailer as it smoothly transitions the two clips. In the context of the trailer, the transitions simply mean a passage of time. All of the other clips were straight cuts. During my research, I noticed that majority of the clips were straight cuts.

Throughout the project, I only experienced a few problems. About two hours into the process of acquiring clips to use in the trailer, I realized that I was cutting clips from the previous clips I had cut. This resulted in me only having a handful of clips when I should have had around 20. Once I identified the problem, I had to go back and recut all of the clips. To make sure I didn’t repeat my mistake, I had to double click the ripped clip to ensure that’s where the clips were from originally. Another problem I had was the transitions reaching back so far that it had a millisecond of the previous shot in the individual clip. This caused the transitions to look very sloppy and rough. To solve the problem, I had to change the duration of the transition as well as modify the length of the clip in some cases.

My biggest piece of advice to future students would be to make a very in-depth plan about how the trailer would pan out before even ripping the video. If you can not come up with an idea, then most likely your trailer will be sub-par. I had an idea of what I wanted to make in my head, but not on paper when I was pulling clips. This process caused me to become very confused about the direction my trailer was going in. At one point I was considering changing from a horror trailer to an action/adventure trailer.

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