Example Movie Trailer Analysis
I will be analyzing the movie trailer developed for the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This movie is placed in present time, in the United States of America, in a medium sized city. Charlie, the main character, is an incoming freshman in High school who has no friends and ultimately is an outcast or “wallflower” in the beginning of the movie. We are introduced to his new found friends Sam and Patrick, two upperclassmen that “take Charlie in” and invite him to partake in their fun and carefree lifestyle that has labeled them the “misfit toys” in their world. Charlie struggles to adapt to the social structures of High School and his new friends at first but slowly develops into the individual he never knew he could be. Charlie becomes infatuated with Sam, his beautiful exotic new friend. When his new comrades are threatened , due to their adversity, by the “in” crowd, Charlie finds that he is braver than he had ever anticipated. The point of the story is not to learn how to become accepted, but to learn to accept yourself.
This movie was produced by Summit Entertainment Studios; a Lionsgate Company, the same producers of “Juno”. This film is based on the critically acclaimed novel written by Stephen Chbosky. The main character, Charlie, is played by Logan Lerman who is famous for his latest role as Percy in the Percy Jackson series. Lerman’s infamous co-star is none other than the beloved Emma Watson, who will undoubtedly remain an acting legend for her portrayal as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series. This movie is classified under many genres. It can be classified as a comedy, teen drama, and a romance film. The target audience for this film is primarily teenagers and young adults. They’re attracted to the idea of “belonging” and discovering a piece of the puzzle that is growing older. This movie’s unique selling point lies in it’s approach at the realistic life of a teenager that isn’t “accepted” and how he approaches the ultimate question of who he is.
Sound is used throughout this trailer to convey specific emotions to the observer. This trailer utilizes slow acoustic melodies in the beginning to make
the viewer feel a sense of forlornness. The music tempo increases as Charlie discovers his new friends, this is done to uplift the viewer and feel an
emotional tie and connection to our main character, Charlie. The more drawn to the main character the viewer becomes the more likely they are to go and see the film. Voiceover is used throughout the entire trailer, this voice belonging to Charlie, once again making it easier for the viewer to grow personally connected to the main character. Charlie has a soothing voice which implies that he is a comforting character. The language used by the characters in the clips shown are appealing to younger audiences. The characters use slang words and ‘humorous’ phrases, for instance when Patrick is cheering with the cheerleaders at a football game and he exclaims “Be aggressive, Passive aggressive”. There is a very simple but very drastic musical idea used in this trailer. Musicians know this idea to be a Ceasura, to the audience it is a dramatic pause with no audio. This is used to heighten the anticipation of the viewer and highlights the turning point of the main character. Sound is a sense often underestimated by the average person however in advertising it is evident that it can be one of the most influential selling points and consequently can make or break a movie trailer.
Ironically, visual influence is often overlooked by most people. In this trailer the visual sense is very clear that you are an observer of Charlie’s
life. As it goes on you grow with Charlie the more he “shows” you. Initially the shots appear at a slow and steady pace, coinciding with the audio. When the audio picks up speed the shots also pick up speed. This conveys how quickly things change for Charlie, and also the difference between his old ‘boring’ life and his new life with friends. Almost all of the shots displayed are shots from an outside person observing the main characters life. One of the only point of view shots is used to enhance the way Charlie sees Sam ,when he sees her for the first time we see her through his eyes. This tactic emanates the romantic feelings Charlie harbors for Sam, and how important she is to the story line. The other main visual effect used to enhance the trailer is the use of “title slides”. These slides are used to reveal things to the audience, for instance, when it begins the first one used says “Charlie never stood out until he found friends that let him in”, you also learn his new friends names through the use of these slides. Slides like these are a very productive advertising tool as the viewer must read the slide and therefore engage themselves mentally and wholly into the trailer.
I feel this trailer does a fantastic job of portraying the movie. The trailer really focuses on subconsciously pulling the viewers emotions towards specific aspects that can be transferred from generation to generation. I feel that they could have alluded more to the story line, and the climax of the film, as it seemed to just be a beginning and then abruptly happy ending with little to no problem in between. I would definitely go see this movie based on the trailer. I chose this trailer for that reason specifically. This trailer fascinated me and is the sole factor that compelled me to go and see the actual film in theaters.