One of the first editing choices that I made when turning Frozen into The Frozen VVitch was to follow the format of other horror movie trailers that I had observed and analyzed. This format generally involves a calm, peaceful origin to the trailer. I choose to do this because the actual film, Frozen, is a children’s movie and accomplishing peace in the beginning would be natural. Similarly to other horror films, I quickly transitioned from happiness into fear. This was achieved by using a high-angle shot of a snow-covered kingdom of Arendelle. As Bernard Dick comments, a high-angle shot can cause to subject of the shot to be viewed as inferior and weak. The shot that I used in my trailer helps to add to the ominous power of the sorceress in the clip, by utilizing the view of Arendelle in a winter-stricken state. This shot helps to add to the incredible and wicked power of Elsa, the ice witch.
Another editing choice that I really emphasized was harnessing the soundtrack as the main source of conveying horror. The music in the background of the trailer is from a new horror movie Split, which is directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Because of this, I included a lot of chilling cuts, which harmonized by using the soundtrack as the main stressing point. Similarly to other horror films, the soundtrack steadily increased in pace and intensity as the trailer progressed. As Jessica Abel writes, people use isolation cues in music to emphasize that, “You’re using the sound to say, ‘You’re alone.”’ I included the most horror-related cuts with the most intense moments of the trailer. This generally was when the music emitted a booming noise. As the pace increased, I made the length of the shots progressively shorter. A tremendous amount of actions and close-ups were used to display the fear and emotions of the main characters. The sound from the soundtrack implied an overwhelming emotion of fear and isolation.
The final piece that I utilized in instilling horror was the dark gaps in between some of the movie cuts. I thought that the pattern of alternating between complete darkness with eerie music followed by a scene isolation or intense action helped to portray a horror film to the viewer, as well as cause a slight scare to the audience. As Greg Smith states, “Our identification with media occurs because it asks us to place ourselves in those positions.” Therefore, the dark cut causes viewers of my trailer to connect with the intense emotional state of the film. They not only feel a sense of fear, but also a connection to the main characters of the trailer.
The most challenging task that I found was deciding upon the correct music for the trailer. I believed that this element is vital for a success portrayal of the movie. For instance, the nature and intensity of music with horror trailers and film is essential to getting the audience on edge. In order to resolve the conflict of finding just the right kind of music, I used a couple hours of searching and analysis to determine the best trailer music. Although this process was indeed lengthy, it was necessary to the success of my trailer.
A prime example that I found that aided me in completing the project was watching the entire movie and selecting any portions of the film that applied to the new theme. Having an abundance of scenes to select from allowed for the process of creating the trailer to be easier, instead of hunting down and selecting scenes one at a time. Furthermore, I found that selecting one song to play for the entire film was much more useful than selecting multiple sound tracks. In addition, applying the cut scenes to the specific soundtrack caused the trailer production process to be expedited because I was able to choose the scenes that aligned with the music.
In conclusion, The Frozen VVitch trailer attempts to turn Disney’s Frozen into a horror film. The tactics for successfully doing this involved using key techniques from authors like Dick, Smith, and Able, who all aided me in my production of the trailer. While I focused heavily on the soundtrack and its importance, using the proper sequence of scenes and “dark cuts” was essential to in creating a the horror, The Frozen VVitch.