Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Film Trailer Analysis: Spider-Man: Homecoming

I will be analysing the film trailer for the Marvel film 'Spider-Man Homecoming' that was released on the 5th of July 2017 in the UK. Starring Tom Holland in the leading role, this film is the second Spider-man film reboot of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Audience Appeal
  • The primary target audience of fans of Marvel and action films may find the trailer appealing as it features Robert Downey Jr, who will probably be reprising his character of Iron Man
  • This primary audience may also find the trailer appealing as it has many action scenes with SPFX such as explosions and fires
  • In the opening scene, the four bank robbers are shown wearing Avengers masks. Although the real Avengers aren't present, this reference to other characters in the MCU makes the film funnier for Marvel fans and may encourage them to go to see the film if they enjoyed other films with those characters
  • The secondary target audience of teenagers may find this trailer appealing as it deals with issues that teenagers may deal with at secondary school.
  • For example, Peter doesn't concentrate in his lesson and the fact that he is playing a simulated Spider-Man game instead may suggest that he doesn't think school will be useful in his adult life, when he is hopefully in The Avengers and saving the world.
  • The school settings may also be familiar to this target audience

Genre Signifiers
  • The genre of action is signified through the action scenes in the bank where Spider-Man fights four robbers in a physical fight
  • It is further supported through all of the fire and explosions on the boat at the end of the trailer
  • The pace of the trailer increases in the second half of the trailer, creating a faster-paced action tone and demonstrating more shots of Peter in danger
  • Apart from action, the comedy genre is shown through Peter's interaction with the robbers, he leans against the wall, waiting for them to see him, and refers to the robbers with a casual "Sup guys."

Character & Representation
  • The main character of Peter/Spider-Man is presented as an awkward teenager, trying to figure out his way through both high school and saving the world
  • Despite the fact that Peter is presented as an inexperienced superhero, he is eager to improve to become an Avenger
  • Instead of concentrating in his lesson, Peter is presented playing a simulated Spider-Man game on his laptop, which may suggest that he finds school boring or irrelevant to him in adulthood
  • Liz is a character that is presented as a popular girl: putting up the large 'Homecoming' banner in the hallway and later walking past Peter with her friends following.
  • She is also potentially presented as Peter's love interest; he has his hand under his chin and is looking at her dreamily while discussing her outfit, as she walks past
  • Peter's best friend, who remains nameless in the trailer, is presented as his awkward sidekick who may not initially know about Peter's Spider-Man secret
  • Robert Downey Jr's character is connoted as being his emotionless guiding figure, who seems to be helping him in the voiceovers in the second half of the trailer
  • The dynamic between Holland and Downey's character seems to be one of Peter rebelling against Downey; he is heard saying "Stay close to the ground" while Spider-Man is shown towering up the Washington Monument
  • However, females do not have a central role in the trailer as Liz is the only named character in the trailer, another teenage girl and older woman are shown but not introduced or named
  • This may reinforce the representation of the 'damsel in distress' or love interest being saved by the superhero

Branding & Studio Identity
  • The Sony, Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios video branding is shown near the beginning of the trailer, after the opening scene in the bank
  • The appearance of Robert Downey Jr in the trailer further supports the Marvel studio identity, as he has portrayed the role of Iron Man in past films in the MCU
  • The reference to the other characters from the MCU in the opening robbery scene creates Marvel's strong branding
  • #SpiderManHomecoming is featured on the end title screen with a link to the film's Facebook page, this may encourage fans to discuss the film on social media and raises the awareness of the Marvel branding

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Continuity Task Evaluation

This is the first video task that we completed in our media course. The brief was to "produce a story featuring an accident in 6 shots, cut in camera." We would try to communicate a story that makes sense to the audience and create a feeling of continuity from shot to shot.

1. Explain the story of your video
In my video, there are two boys (Andreas and Morgan) playing catch with a tennis ball on a school playground. A girl (myself) walks into the action, gets hit with the tennis ball and gives one of the boys a 'death stare' at the very end.

2. How did you attempt to create 'narrative flow' (continuity)?
We attempted to create continuity by following the 180 degree rule that says that you cannot cross the line of vision between two characters. This is because the viewer's sense of direction in the scene would become confused and they would not be able to make sense of the scene. We also followed the 30 degree rule that says that the camera must move at least 30 degrees (if the same framing is kept) to ensure that there isn't a visible 'jump' in footage. An eyeline match was also needed in our last shot to ensure that the girl was looking in the correct direction and angle to follow the story. However, the most difficult rule to follow with a cut-in-camera task was the match on action. This rule meant that the girl had to be the same distance away from the boys as the shots progressed and the girl walked further towards them, to make the story flow through.

3. Did you achieve full continuity? If not, why not?
I think that we were not entirely successful in creating full continuity as there were a few jumps between shots. For example, the female character was walking in the correct direction between the two male characters playing tennis from shots 2 to 4, but in shot 5 she seemed to change direction. To resolve this continuity issue, we should have placed the camera at more of an angle so that the direction is constant.
However, there was good continuity from shot 5 to 6 because the shot changed from a medium-long shot to a medium close-up so the 30 degree rule was not needed and the shots followed through.

4. In hindsight, what would you do differently to improve the narrative flow of your video and tell your story more efficiently?
A main problem with my video was that the introduction of the female character was delayed through the masking of her face in shot 2 and the backwards tracking shot in shot 3. This built up a great deal of suspense regarding her character, which was impactful but unnecessary to the main story that was being portrayed and therefore didn't reward the audience. I would have also trimmed the establishing shot down because it is too long and could potential bore the audience from the very beginning.