 Music used for pace and mood

 Fast cutting/ editing to maintain pace

 Narrative structure usually parallels the films’ narrative structure

 Snippets of dialogue

 Text provides anchorage as does voice over narration

 Quick identification of genre through encoding

 Trailer is no longer than 2 minutes

 Teaser trailer is usually 30-60 seconds and relies heavily on the audience recognition of the film ‘brand’ itself




 Trailer is an extended advertisement for the product

 Audiences invited to engage with the product ‘the film’ on many different platforms

 Audiences encouraged to share content


1)  Media Forms


Give detailed examples of the codes and conventions used in relation to the target audience.

Describe angles, shots, framing, colours, sound, anchorage, typography and the desired or intended effect on the audience.

Theory to support your points:

Barthes came up with the theory of sign, signifiers and icons

‘If the text is analysed according to Barthes theory of signs, the audience could read the red cloak as a symbol of anger and conflict.’ 

Hall came up with denotation, connotation, encoding and readings.

‘Using Hall’s theory of readings, it seems that the preferred reading of the text is….. However, it could also be argued that an oppositional reading would see the More Four sequence as highly sexist.’

Todorov  came up with the theory of narrative structure of equilibrium, disequilibrium and new equilibrium.

‘The narrative structure of the sequence shows the pattern of Todorov’s disequilibrium and new equilibrium.’

Levi-Strauss came up with binary opposition in characters and narrative (e.g good vs evil, rich vs poor)

‘Katie Price is clearly positioned as Andre’s opposite, in terms of Levi Strauss’ theory of character types’.

Propp came up with a more detailed theory of character types.

‘the female stuck in her car is presented like one of Propp’s character types, the princess or damsel needing rescue’ 

Barthes also came up with the theory of narrative codes including the enigma code.

‘the trailer strongly suggests a Barthes narrative enigma leaving the audience wanting to solve the mystery of the murders’.





Key terms to include:


• Codes and conventions

• Genre codes – narrative, iconography/icons, characters, settings

• Technical codes – shots & views, angles, editing, fades, focus, mise-en scene, lighting, diegetic & non-diegetic sound

• Symbolic codes – body language, voice tone weather, colours, clothing, montage, mise-en-scene

• Written codes – typography, anchorage, transitions

• Photography – direct mode of address, contrast, composition, negative space, focus

• Signs, signifiers and Barthes

• Denotation (to denote) connotation (to connote)  Barthes

• Readings – preferred, oppositional and polysemic Hall

• Mediation

• Narrative – structure & codes Todorov, Barthes

• Syntagm and Paradigm

• Juxtaposition

Types of Questions


• 1) How does the trailer use media language to catch the attention of the E4 viewing public?

• 2) How does the text use the conventions of an advertisement?

• 3) How does the sequence catch and hold the attention of the viewer?

• 4) How is the sequence constructed to engage the audience?



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