Textual analysis of student's work

Romantic drama trailer

We have looked at another student’s work hoping to get some ideas for our own trailer. Mariana and I have picked quite an unusual genre which is romantic drama and it was hard for us to find an example of someone else’s work to do with this genre and there were some things that we liked and didn’t like.

The trailer starts with a black screen and music comes on quite loudly. The mid show below fades in from black and we see two people sitting together talking and having a laugh. They have use hand held camera shot which made it very wobbly and jumpy and this is something we didn’t like.

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Hand held camera shot is used for the shot below as well, following the two characters. It’s a mid-shot again. The boy is taller than the girl and well-built and it makes him look manly and masculine next to an innocent girl. We think these characters play their roles well in this trailer as they follow the stereotypes of males and females which is often seen in the romantic drama genre. Their clothing gives away that they are two students.

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We really like what the student has done in the shots below. They have used a long shot and as soon as they walk around the corner and the boy spots another girl, they have changed it to a reverse long shot, showing their good editing skills. However, the thing that. We don’t like is the setting which is a school. It seems too easy and it shows a lack of imagination and unwillingness to film in multiple, external locations. Also, the hand held camera is used again which makes it look unprofessional because the shots are very jumpy.
The shots seem to fade in from black quite often, but we think the black is kept there for a bit too long; it should be quick to create excitement and persuade people to watch the trailer.

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In the next shot, the way the characters look at each other reveals that they are in love. They have their school uniform on, which proves that they are still teenagers. They get close to each other as if they're going to kiss and then there's a fade out showing good editing skills and creating tension and excitement. We like how this is used because it doesn't give too much away, so we don't know whether the couple are actually going to kiss or whether one or the other is going to pull away.
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In the next mid shot, the male character is left by himself and the fact that he's positioned on the side and there's two chairs next to him could represent his loneliness and that he has no one.
We don't like how a zoom on the camera is used, even though it's purpose was to show that the guy is alone. It doesn't look as authentic as a professional product which would use cuts more than zooms. There’s another black out which stays there for too long and it makes it boring.
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Next two shots...

The fact that the guy is positioned in the middle represents him as a heroic character and stereotypically masculine, taking over and going up to the girl instead of the other way around which is a sign of dominance.

We don't like the way the characters are positioned on the side of the shot instead of the middle, the focus should be on them. When they hug, the music suddenly becomes really loud instead of the volume going up gradually.

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The ending...

This extreme long shot shows that the guy has seen the girl and is willing to run after her, which again, has a reference to the typical Hollywood narrative structure, where the guy becomes heroic and decides to get the girl. Trailers aren't supposed to give the ending away, however, we don't like the way this trailer ends, because it just cuts out to black with the music suddenly stopping instead of the volume gradually fading out.

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Overall

We think this trailer is good overall. It has given me some ideas of what we want to include and avoid in our own coursework.

We like the way it refers to Todorov's theory and the typical Hollywood narrative structure of romantic drama films and we definitely want to use this in our trailer.

We want to avoid using hand held camera and zooms on the camera itself because it wouldn't be seen in the real life products as it shows lack of professionalism.
We also want to film in different locations to show a variety of different shots and prove that we're confident with filming in many different locations.