Compare the impacts and effectiveness of the trailer and poster of 30 Days of Night
Both the trailer and poster for the film ’30 days of night’ are both purposefully designed to advertise the film using examples of synergy and iconography. They are also created to be used as a narrative. An example of synergy in the poster is the website which is also in the trailer which encourages people to look on there for more information on the movie. They also use images from the trailer in the movie poster.
All the events that happen in the trailer happen in non-chronological order and at the very start there is equilibrium but the darkness makes you know there is something wrong. In the first scene of the trailer everything is black there is a fade up to a woman looking stressed in the kitchen next to a large window, so you expect something to come through it. The man sitting in the other room looks more worried than the woman and the scenes keep cutting in to each other with a quick cut and in the last quick cut you see something dive through the window and grab the woman. There is another quick cut and you see the man running over to the window and you can hear the woman screaming and the man shouting after her. The scene cuts quickly to outside the house and you can see the woman underneath the house and when the man gets a hold of her you see her POV of him as she is dragged underneath the house.
The studio title card comes to the scene; warm colours are missing from the pallet which is missing colour all the way through the film. There is no red because they’re draining the blood out of the people. Crescendo building up to add tension to the scene. Text cards to fill in the scenes and make the trailer last longer keep popping up to fill in elements of the movie. This one says “They lived in the shadows.” The text cards keep fading to black because it adds more atmosphere and tension to the movie. A shot shows a high angle long shot of two people standing on the roofs. There are no lights in the village “They are the last of their kind”-another text card fades to black. The shot tilts to unnerve you. We’re are above the arctic circle, and a high long establishing shot of the village with the lights turned on with low dark clouds making it dark. Another text card comes saying “Where night lasts for 30 days.” Guy on his own in an extreme longshot there’s a close up but in the background there is a man in the background blurred out.
There is a montage of exciting scenes and the last shot in the sequence is a vampire with their mouth wide open. Half way through you can see the hero. Medium shot of man in jail. Reverse shot is of policeman. In a medium shot you can see the bars of the cell; it makes you think who is trapped. “Board the windows try to hide, run” he gets closer with each shot is teeth are dirty and rotten like the vampires teeth. Then there is a close up of the police man saying “Who are they?” and as he says that the director cuts over to the man standing next to the window and you can see someone through the window and you hear a deep sigh as if something evil is outside.
There is another montage of the town. There is writing in the title card which says “Based on the ground-breaking graphic novel.” There is a sequence of fast paced clips from throughout the movie where all the victims are separated by little fade to black cuts and fade ups. Then there is a steady non-diegetic heart beat in the background and as the montage progresses its grows faster and louder to increase excitement. There’s a cut to a little kid walking down the street on his own. There’s another title card saying “from the director Sam Raimi” the I on Raimi is dripping blood, fans of horror will know Raimi directed The Evil Dead and poltergeist. There’s another cut to a woman walking down the street shouting for help and you can see quick edits of the people looking through little gaps in the houses at her just expecting her to be killed by one of the vampires. There is a very shot of a face brief face of a vampire with blood smothered all over his beard. Then there is a record player spinning and one of the vampires puts a long dirty nail on the player and a steady loud beat starts playing fade up to a small pool of blood dripping down the hill. There are no bright colours in this movie so the colour has been drained from the movie texture. The man that’s in the cell says, “That ain’t the weather. That’s death approachin’.” A title card flashes up and says “How can they be stopped” Music builds. There are more scenes of violence getting quicker. The main character saying “we can last a month” in the movie he is always ahead of the woman making him look as though he is in charge when really he isn’t. There are more scenes of vampires and victims fading up to black quick cuts. The music keeps getting faster and louder to make it exciting you can see scenes of people dying. As the music builds the shots get quicker and shorter to increase the excitement. Music builds up to the final scare. A title card saying “30 Days of Night” flashes up on the screen as if it’s written in blood. The billing block comes up telling you who’s in the movie and the website to find out more details about it .
On the poster you notice straight away all the blood splatters because it is the brightest colour on the poster. The people are grey and disaturated because there is no bright colour on the pallets. You can see people off in the distance behind the woman holding the gun, but in between her and the vampires you can see “They’re coming…” painted in red, which has connotations of blood and death. The woman looks weaker next to the big ‘Hero.’ Looking brave with the axe. At the bottom right of the screen next to the billing block you can see a vampire head facing towards the woman but it’s as if the man is protecting the woman with the axe but really you know he is not in charge the vampires are in charge. The man with the axe looks tired and unshaven to make it look as though he has not had any sleep since the vampires have come. There is a review from the empire paper, which is a popular paper, so this is an important recommendation saying “FAST, BRUTAL AND TOTALLY UNSTOPPABLE” and they have given the movie 4 out of 5 stars. In the poster they have their backs to the vampires who are all huddled up so they are going in to attack them and they don’t know where they are. The sky is all discoloured as well as the people because it is night time and the sky looks as though there is a storm coming, which indicates trouble. Even though it is dark there is still a light shining on them. You can also see the man with the axe has a police uniform on so you can see he is a powerful man, but not strong powerful. The title is written in blood and the writing is as if the writer isn’t human, and is more of a vampire. The purpose of the website is to give the viewer more of an idea of what to expect.
I think the trailer is more effective because it can use sound and moving images that can suggest more of the story though the images and mise-en-scene of the poster hint at the storyline. Both have the film’s website where people can go to find out more information.
By Jack Marshall