The Only Child

For my trailer I chose to remix the film, Step Brothers (Adam McKay, 2008), and turn it into a horror. Step Brothers was written by Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly who star in it as well. Step Brothers has to be one of my favorite comedies of all time simply because of how immature and ridiculous Ferrell and Reilly are throughout the movie. For those of you who haven’t seen it here’s a trailer for the real movie. After you watch the trailer you need to watch the real movie because it is a gem. To turn the hilarious Step Brothers into a horror I chose to make it look like Brennan (Will Farrell) is the psychotic new step brother of Dale (John C. Reilly). Brennan has a bad case of “only child syndrome” and loves being the only child so he decides to kill Dale. Hence the title for the remix, The Only Child.

Possibly the greatest movie of our time.

I started the trailer with a brief overview of the situation by creating a title reading, “Robert and his son, Dale, are about to start a family with Nancy and her son, Brennan.” I then used a clip of Nancy (Mary Steenburgen) and Robert (Richard Jenkins) kissing at their wedding and used a fade-in transition to a shot of Brennan glaring at his mother and new step father with a very angry, almost crazy looking demeanor. I did this to show that Brennan was not happy about the wedding. This is what Alfred Hitchcock was talking about in his video about the Kuleshov effect. In the shot of Brennan glaring I also added text saying “But Brennan wasn’t so sure.” This leaves the viewer guessing what exactly it is about the wedding that Brennan doesn’t like. I then used a clip of a moving truck pulling up to a house to show that Nancy and Brennan are moving in. I used a fade-in transition to show the next clip of Brennan and Dale staring each other down as Brennan arrives at his new home. According to Bernard Dick in his book, Film, Space, and Image, the fade-in suggests continuity between shots. This fade-in shows the continuity between the moving truck and Brennan arriving to move in. I added text to this shot that said, “Brennan liked being an only child.” This gives the viewer the opportunity to take a guess at what Brennan is going to do about the fact that he likes being an only child. After this I added several clips of Brennan glaring at Dale and looking very angry and mixed those in with clips of Dale and clips of the new family having dinner together. Between all of these clips I used fade-ins to make it seem more suspenseful than a straight cut transition. After this I used a shot of Brennan following Dale into a room. Brennan looks angry and scary and Dale looks oblivious to the fact that Brennan is angrily lurking behind him. Another fade-in leads to a fight scene which then fades into a subjective camera shot of Brennan burying the camera as if it were the viewer in the hole and Brennan was burying them. The subjective camera shot brings viewers into the movie, as if they are there. This can make it seem much scarier and is a tactic that is used in many horror movies.

My favorite part of my trailer is the music I used. I think it works really well and is really well timed with my trailer. I feel the music is also the most important part of my whole trailer, it’s what really makes it seem scary and suspenseful. Finding the music took a lot of time but when I found these songs they worked so well I hardly had to edit them. In the beginning of the trailer I used “Tubular Bells” by Mike Oldfield, from the movie The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973). After a scene where audio from Step Brothers is being played I used “Psycho Theme Song” by Bernard Herrmann from the movie Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960) during the scenes in the trailer where things start to get more intense.  At the end of the trailer I decided to add the classic music from the murder scene in Psycho called, “The Murder,” also by Bernard Herrmann. I thought it sounded really creepy at the end when Brennan is burying Dale I and the famous “The Murder” song is playing since it is so iconic of horror movie music. According to Danesi, “The Murder” is somewhat of an iconic signifier because it is such a widely known and used song in horror movies and media. Most people can say that they have heard the “The Murder” because it is an extremely recognizable sound that is frequently used in other movies and media sources simply due to its famous iconic sound of sheer horror.

Fortunately during this project I ran into very few and minor problems. Most of the problems are probably just due to my lack of video editing and technology expertise as opposed to a problem with Premiere. I am incredibly thankful I did not run into any of the major issues that other people were having because I would not have had a clue what to do. To those of you who braved the first Premiere issues and encountered all those problems I salute you. The only issues I really had were some glitches that appear in some of my transitions. I could not figure out how to fix it but they aren’t super obvious so I didn’t worry too much about it and decided just to let it be before I screwed something else up. Overall I would say that this project was pretty fun. I enjoyed the creative freedom that it entailed. The only really frustrating part for me was working with a program like Premiere that is so overwhelming because of all it’s capabilities. I got very confused at times just simply because there was so many things you could do. All I wanted to do was find one thing and I didn’t even know where to begin to look. At first, I wished we could have used a more “idiot-proof” software, but now I am glad that I was taken out of my comfort zone and forced to learn how to use a totally new program. I am beyond thankful for the lynda.com training videos that I was able to watch. I would never have been able to figure out how to do what I did in my trailer without lynda.com. I strongly suggest that you take a look at lynda.com next time you are using any program you are not totally familiar with. I guarantee you will find a training video about something you didn’t even know was possible.

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