A Kill to Remember

"A Walk to Remember" is a romance film based on Nicholas Spark's best-selling novel of the same name.

I’ve never done any type of video editing in the past, and so this assignment exposed me to the world of video editing for the very first time. The movie that I decided to remix was A Walk to Remember. This movie falls under the romance genre and is based on a best-selling novel written by Nicholas Sparks. To see the original trailer for this movie, click here. I’ve always been obsessed with this movie ever since it came out in 2002 and thought that it would be interesting to put a little twist into it and form a horror/suspense movie trailer. 

According to Thomas Sobchack’s article Genre Film: A Classical Experience, a film’s genre is defined by familiar plot formulas, stereotypical characters, and iconographies. Most of my editing choices were made to reflect the elements in a horror film. The antagonist in horror/suspense films is usually a mentally unstable villain going after the protagonist. The protagonist is usually a vulnerable female and the plot is set around the female trying to escape from the villain. Since I wanted to create a horror trailer, I tried to find clips that would potentially portray Shane West’s character as a murderer going after Mandy Moore’s character. Sobchack states that iconography can include places in the movie that would help create the context of the plot. I chose to include a night cemetery scene in the trailer to create an eerie atmosphere and also because cemeteries are attached to the concept of death.

In addition to manipulating the plot for the trailer, I also tried to manipulate the shots by including scenes with certain shots. For example, I chose to use a close-up scene of Mandy Moore’s character at one point in the trailer because according to Bernard Dick’s Film, Space, and Image, the close-up shot is useful in emphasizing a particular emotion that a long-shot cannot do. In this case, the particular emotion that I wanted to emphasize was the character’s fear. A freeze frame was used at the beginning when I first introduced the antagonist to draw more attention to him. Mostly straight cuts and jump cuts were used throughout the trailer to move from one scene to another. Various transitions were also used to bridge the scenes. Cross dissolves were used at one point to create continuity between two completely different scenes. Dipping the scene to white and dipping it to black were also forms of dissolves that were commonly used in the trailer. Some shots in the trailer were longer than others and some sequences moved faster to create a panicked mood and to build intensity among audience members. I also chose to use certain scenes that were really dark because the dark lighting added an eerie tone to the trailer.

The titles in the trailer were used to reinforce the plot and concept of the horror movie. I used Robin William’s principles of design to create these titles. Since the idea of contrast is to make elements very different to draw audience attention, I decided to use regular white text, but I made certain words that I wanted to emphasize bold red. The colors of the text, the font type, and the font size were all repeated to create unity. I also followed the alignment principle in which nothing was placed arbitrarily on these title pages.

The concept of closure discussed in Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art was used to create the trailer. I was able to use certain scenes that were not anywhere near each other in the movie and put them together to tell a completely different story because closure allows the audience to observe the parts and fill in the gaps to make sense of what they see and I used this concept to build suspense among the audience.

The music that was used in the trailer played a significant role in changing the concept of the movie from a romance genre to a horror/suspense genre. The song that I used was titled Creeping Menace and was found in the provided music archives. This song, like the title suggests, has a creepy feel to it. It was used to set the scary and intense tone of the movie as well as to heighten the fear in the trailer scenes.

Adobe Premiere was used to edit videos to create a trailer.

Working on this project was fun and frustrating at the same time. It took me a while to get used to using Adobe Premiere. Once I got the hang of it, it wasn’t so bad. The first problem that I encountered was the missing audio in my clips. This problem was solved by dragging clips directly into the timeline instead of creating subclips. Besides for that major issue, everything else were minor problems such as getting the audio to fit in the exact spot that I wanted and getting the scenes to transition the way I pictured it in my head. The only solution to these problems was trial and error. I had to keep trying different things until it finally worked and everything was the way I wanted it to be. My advice to future students working on this project is to start early. It took me about 7-8 hours to complete everything and I know I would’ve been so stressed if I started the night before. Another important thing to keep in mind is to constantly save your work. If you happen to mess up or something goes wrong with the computer or software, you can always rely on the saved work and won’t have to start from scratch. Last but not least, try to have fun when you’re working on this project and enjoy the experience. It’s not everyday that you get to create movie trailers for a class.

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