Media studies assignment

Most films have two trailers, one aimed at the American public and one aimed at the British public. Film companies do this because of the difference in culture, acceptancy, sense of humour, and current affairs. There are some things that the American public may not accept as freely as the British public and vice versa. Also the two countries will obviously have different senses of humour and definitions of what is humorous and what is not. And of course different things are happening within each country, so for example; it would have been very distasteful to show a trailer for a destructive action film in America at the time of the September 11th attacks.

Another vital piece of information, which a trailer must convey, is the age group the film is suitable for. This why the film is given a certificate ranging from U to 18 by The Video standards council (V.S.A). The V.S.A spends a great deal of time analysing each film to come to an agreement about which age group it is appropriate for.

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One of the simplest but most important aspects of a trailer is the release date, because without that, the public would have no idea when the film will be showing at the cinemas. Advertising campaign for my film.

I have chosen to use the characters from the hit TV show ‘The Simpsons’ as the basis of my film. I have chosen these characters because they are widely known worldwide and they appeal to a wide range of age groups. Small children love watching ‘The Simpsons’ because of the colourful images and humorous slapstick comedy they portray.

Teenagers also enjoy ‘The Simpsons’, the majority of boys can identify with Bart’s practical jokes and rebellious attitude, and most girls can identify with the trouble of having an annoying older brother or sister. Grown men and women can watch ‘The Simpsons’ and laugh at the subtle jokes or sexual innuendo, and similarly these men and women can often identify with aspects of the characters of Marge and Homer. This makes ‘The Simpsons’ ideal characters for a film, they are the epitome of the average two point four child family and are easily identified with by all the different members of the family.

In my trailer I want to raise questions which the audience can only find the answer to by going to see the film. There is a point in my trailer when Marge tells Homer that she is pregnant, this will intrigue the audience and make them want to find out what happens to the family as a result of the new addition. There is also a point in the trailer in which Bart is hanging off the edge of a cliff; this will raise questions over Bart’s safety and whether or not he survives.

I would make my film appeal to the right target audience by showing my trailer on ‘Sky One’ during the breaks in between ‘The Simpsons’ TV show. This would guarantee that I reach my target audience because the people who will be watching ‘The Simpsons’ will obviously have an interest in it. I would also show my trailer in the middle of other ‘Matt Groening’ productions, such as ‘Futurama’.

This too would ensure that I reached my desired audience because the odds are that if the people watching like ‘Futurama’ then they’ll probably like ‘The Simpsons’ because they are similar kinds of programmes, with similar animation. I would also show the advert on children’s channels such as ‘Cartoon Network’, or ‘Nickelodeon’ because if the children like the look of the film, they may persuade their parents to take them to watch it. And to broaden my scope of audience, I would show the trailer on terrestrial TV during family programmes, because as I said earlier, all members of the family can enjoy ‘The Simpsons’. I would also place advertisements in ‘The Simpsons’ magazines, and other children’s magazines. To attract more people I could also run a promotion in a national tabloid, such as ‘The Mirror’ in which the reader had to collect tokens to get into the cinema free of charge.

To further the hype surrounding the film I would make new merchandise available to buy. I would have a new sticker book made, a new computer game, I would assign a top pop star to write a theme tune, and I would make a TV programme about ‘the making of’ the film.

Description of my film trailer.

The ’20th century Fox’ logo comes onto the screen. The voice over says: ’20th century fox is proud to present a Matt Groening film….’ The film title comes onto the screen and the voice over says ‘The Simpsons: the American Nightmare’

The trailer opens with a long shot of ‘Springfield’, which is the home of ‘The Simpsons’, the camera zooms in on the Simpson home. As this happens the voice over says ‘This was a town like any other, until…’ The camera then zooms out again, and we realise that the image is on the TV. We see an ‘over the shoulder’ shot, as if looking through Homer’s eyes at the TV. He says ‘Doh! Not another Boring neighbours from hell documentary’ we then see a mid-shot of him sat on the couch, he flicks the switch on the remote control and turns over to a different channel.

In the next frame we see the silhouette of Homer and Marge in bed together. Marge says ‘Homer…. I’m pregnant!’ There is a split second silence, then we hear Homer scream and see his bedside lamp switch on, he jumps to his feet and looks at Marge in a daze as he says ‘I’ve just had the weirdest dream!’

The camera cuts to a long shot of a cliff face, we can see someone hanging off the edge. As the camera zooms in on the person we realise that it is Bart. There is a close up of his face, his eyes are bulging out and he has beads of sweat on his forehead. He’s screaming; ‘HELP, somebody help me!’ We then see an extreme close up of his feet, the rock which they are supported by begins to crack. We hear Bart scream; ‘Aaaaarrrrrggggghhh’. The camera cuts to the title screen, which shows the credits, website address, release date, and certificate. The voice over says: ‘Coming to a cinema near you from the 12th of February.’

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