A trailer is a series of clips from a film that shows a target audience what the film is about. The purpose of a trailer is to attract a specific audience so that they will want to see the film. The target audience for Mission Impossible II is American people, especially American men. This is because the genre of film is action, American men love fast-moving, action packed film.
In this assignment I will be focusing on the Mission Impossible II trailer, however, I shall also analyze some of the more common aspects of all trailers of the action genre. A genre is the type of movie, for instance horror is a genre and science fiction is also a genre.
I will discuss different aspects of the Mission Impossible II trailer and action films in general, within my assignment; for instance, the music used different camera effects and shots, voice-overs and captions. I will also look at why the director has chosen these elements and the effects it has on the target audience.
I am now going to look at how the director has used the music to accentuate the genre of Mission Impossible II. Different styles of music are used for different genres of film. This is to create an atmosphere in the audience according to the style of music in parallel to the genre, for example a fast-moving action movie will have perhaps fast-moving rock music. The incentive there would be rock music in an action movie trailer, is because it would appeal to the same target audience as the action movie. In the Mission Impossible II trailer the director has chosen Limp Bizkit to do the music, this is because they are a popular rock band in America, once again this is where the target audience lives.
At the beginning of the Mission Impossible II trailer there is a five second silence, this is so that it builds up an atmosphere of suspense. By adding suspense right at the start the audience knows that this will be a film full of drama and excitement.
After the first five seconds of silence, the music starts and immediately the audience knows that is a typical Mission Impossible film, which is linked with action, pretty ladies, explosions and other typical action genre properties.
The music starts off quietly and gets louder as the trailer progresses, this is because it is trying to mirror the action on the screen, and so as the images speed up the music gets louder. This makes the audience feel excited about the film. They are trying to create a full sensory experience. A full sensory experience is an experience which involves all of the senses. At the same time as the uneventful images there is slow-paced music. This really intensifies these images that are being shown.
The music being played is a bouncy rock riff that is very repetitive. This is important for a movie trailer because if the audience remember the tune they will think of bits from the film trailer. The band that played the tune are called Limp Bizkit, they have turned the tune into a rocky, fast-moving tune. The director has chosen this band because they were a very conventional band in America in the year 2000 which was when this film was produced.
Camera angles are key as camera movements. This is because they create different effect, such as excitement, sadness, empathy; these are to impact the audience. This is not just in the Mission Impossible II trailer or in action film trailers but in all modern films. This is an important selling point in the film; consequently the audience becomes involved in the film which makes them want to see it.
In each of the same genre of film an audience expects the same structure, as revealed by the Mission Impossible II trailer. In the case of Mission Impossible II the director create a safe but exciting viewing. He does this by creating a false sense of danger, for example in the trailer Tom Cruise is hanging off the edge of a cliff with no rope. This is exciting, but the audience knows that he’s not going to fall otherwise the film would be over.
These are the types of camera shots used in Mission Impossible II trailer:-
A panning shot – In this shot the camera pivots slowly to show a large area. It usually pivots from left to right. This is to show the audience a large area of land. There is no action in these shots it is just for landscape only. This is because the camera is moving slowly and the action would not mirror the shot.
Tilt Shot – This is when the camera pivots up and down. This is for showing someone’s body; they usually go from toe to head. This is so that the audience does not know who he is to start with. This creates suspense in the audience. The slower the camera movement the more suspense will be created.
Crane shot – When the camera is at the same level as the actor, it’s put on a crane so that it is on the same level. This is so that the audience feels that they are almost in the play this is because they are on the same level as them. Using this shot the director is trying to get the audience to feel empathy.
Tracking shot – When the camera is on tracks so that it can follow the action, it is used often to create velocity. This gets the audience to feel excited because of all the speed and pace.
Zoom – Is when the camera zooms in or out, to show feelings on a character’s face. This is trying to get the audience to feel what the character is feeling, this so that they become involved in the film.
I will now tell you about the camera angles used:-
Close Up (CU) – This is to show feelings on a character’s face or an object from close. This is to show detail on an object. This shows the audience everything they need to know about this object, for example a gun, the audience would be able to see everything to do with that gun.
Extreme close up – A vast shot revealing lots of detail, if this shot is of a human then it is usually from hairline to chin. This is to show what they are feeling. The audience feels like they are there with Tom Cruise
Long Shot (LS) – A shot taken far back from the setting, this is to give the audience the full view of the scene. The audience can see all the action now but not all of the scenery. This is because if they see all of the scenery then they don’t see much action. So it has to be the right balance.
Point of view shot (POV) – This shot imitates the characters viewpoint so the audience is in their shoes. This shot is used to create a sense of reality; the audience is really involved in the film during this shot.
Birds-eye view – This is a shot from above the scene; this is to give the audience a wider viewpoint of what’s happening. In this scene there is not much action, if any at all, this is because the audience can see the entire landscape from above.
Wide-angle shot – This is a shot with nothing but scenery, this is to give the audience a feeling of space. This is to show that there isn’t much happening right at this point and the audience can sit back, and have a break from the edge of their seats.
I will now analyze the different scenes in the Mission Impossible II trailer:-
At the beginning of the trailer there is a wide angle shot of a dry barren landscape with the smallest amount of blue in the corner. This little bit of deep blue is trying to suggest a small amount of danger. This landscape helps to create a sense of no life; nothing could possibly survive in this type of terrain. This is a build up to some action, or excitement.
The next section of the trailer is a zoom. The camera is zooming in over the barren landscape, as it does this the small blue area is growing. This is to show an increase of danger. The blue symbolizes a deep dark pit.
The third section of the Mission Impossible II trailer is a close up shot. It includes a man, on the edge of a cliff with no safety equipment, at this point in the trailer we don’t know who he is. This creates excitement in the audience because it is dangerous. This is shown in the colours used, now half of the screen is blue and the other is a rocky cliff which is light brown. This shows lots of danger and excitement.
Next is an extreme close up of Tom Cruise. This gets the ladies interested; it also gets the guys interested because he is associated with action. Tom Cruise is the unique selling point because a film with him in it usually suits everybody.
Now Tom Cruise is slipping towards the edge of the cliff, as this is happening the proportion of blue on the screen expands very quickly. This highlights the fact that what is happening is dangerous. The director is trying to create a false sense of danger, this so that the audience are excited, even though they know that Tom Cruise is not going to die because if he did the film would be over.
The fifth section of the Mission Impossible II trailer is a long shot of Tom Cruise hanging off the over hang of the rock face. This is trying to excite the audience; the men are thinking they want to be like him because he has so much excitement.
The next shot is a wide angle shot and the drop has expanded this is to show how high and dangerous the act which Tom Cruise is doing. Once again this is keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.
Then it zooms out and then fades into a long shot, it is a map of the world. The map is red and black, the land is red and the sea is black. This is to show that the film is high-tech. then a longitude bar and latitude bar go across the screen until the meet at a point in America. This is so that it appeals to the American nation.
The next shot is a zoom. Tom Cruise is hanging on to the edge of a cliff. He is looking into the camera trying to get the audience to feel empathy; at the same time he is portraying the image that this is part of his everyday life.
Then there is a long shot of the barren landscape and the cliff face. This is to show that there is still an element of excitement and danger. Also this shows that Tom Cruise can survive in these ghastly conditions.
The last shot I am going to analyse from the trailer is a close up. It’s a close up of some glasses being taken out of a high-tech case. This shows the audience that the whole film will be high-tech and modern.
There is not a narrator in this case because it’s an action film, so they think that it will be boring. Instead they use excerpts from the film. This is because it gets the audience more involved in the film Different accents create different moods and atmospheres, for example an English accents could create an impression of a snobby General in the army that just gives out the orders for the strong American man.
In the Mission Impossible II trailer, seven sentences are spoken; this is because too many sentences would prove boring. This creates excitement in the audience because there is a lot of action and not much talk. It is a visual experience and not an oral.
Films have catchphrases because it creates a corporate identity for a film, for example, “This is your mission should you choose to accept it”. This is associated with Mission Impossible. This makes the audience feel like they know what standards the film is at. This is the same with the other catchphrase, “This message will destruct in five seconds.” This also creates an atmosphere in the audience of accepting that Ethan Hunt has already accepted the Mission but that catchphrase makes it more exciting.
A trailer has captions because it provides information which will entice the audience to view the film, for instance the main action, director and title of the film. The Mission Impossible II trailer has five captions. The first is “Tom Cruise” this is because he is associated with action. “John Woo” is the second; this is because he has created very good action movies in the past. “Mission Impossible II”, this is because it is the film title. “M: I 2” this is because it appeals to a teenage audience because it is in text language. This is written in a shiny silver writing. This is because it makes it high-tech and modern, it creates an effect on the audience of excitement and craving to see the film.
A good trailer catches the audience eye. It also gives the audience a good insight into the film but does not give the whole film away. The purpose of a trailer is to attract a specific audience so that they will want to see the film. I think that the Mission Impossible II trailer was very effective because it kept me on the edge of my seat and was thrilling. I think it would make people go and see the film because it has everything an action film should have. It would make me go and see the film because I like action films and I liked Mission Impossible II.