Toy Story is an animated Disney movie directed by John Lasseter. It’s a series of three movies now, and I love them. A group of toys that belong to a kid named “A
ndy” play with him and have fun and crazy adventures inside and outside his house. I used the Toy Story 3 movie to make my trailer. I turned this children movie, which makes kids love their toys more, into a scary adult movie that emphasizes the idea that toys are evil. In my trailer, toys are hunting down children to do something evil. Viewers can’t know what toys are planning until they watch the movie.
At the very beginning of my trailer, there’s a tittle that says, “You might think they are common and harmless toys …” I used more tittles along the trailer and I used what I learned from William Robbins’ book to make them. For the design of these tittles, I had high contrast between the black background and the white letters (this makes it easy for the viewer to read it). I had used the repetition of the font “chalkduster.” I chose this font because it has the signifier of a chalk duster (naaghh… really?), which relates to children. All the titles are aligned in the center of the page and letters are close enough together (proximity) in order to give the viewer a clear structure of a visual unit.
Before and after most of my tittles I have subclips. I know that sounded really obvious and ridiculous, but I mention it because choosing the subclips was crucial and a little frustrating. I watched the movie once to put together all my ideas first and to start thinking of which parts of the movie I would take. Then I watched it for the second time to take out subclips from the movie (and that took so long, and it was so frustrating!). Finally I watched it a third time to make sure I didn’t leave out anything that could be useful.
To choose which subclips I would take from the movie, I used many ideas from Dick, B. and his writing on Film space and image. I created a montage sequence of a color film
with straight cuts in all the subclips. This created a rhythm accompanied with the background music; all together, it made a visual unit with characteristics of a scary movie. Some of the subclips I chose were close ups. For example, in the beginning, Buz’ face when he is being hit and later with Andy’s picture that Woody is staring at. It helps build an atmosphere of fear and it conveys the message that these toys are planning on something. In the very end, there is a close up to the baby’s face. Once again this close up creates a scary atmosphere that works well as the closure of the trailer because the feelings of fear and curiosity might be implanted. I have another subclip of the baby being zoomed in and in another it is being zoomed out. These two specific parts of the movie where meant to be a little scary. A high angle shot in the subclip where the children are running like crazy, creates tension.
Most of the subclips have the whole picture in focus; however, the one right after the tittle that says “they are watching your children” stock to many of my friend’s heads. Apparently many viewers who have seen my trailer, say this one tittle and the subclip that follows it, where the must stunning ones. The focus point of this subclip is the girl playing outside and Woody’s legs are out of focus. The fact that his legs aren’t completely visible makes it more scary and interesting. These specific subclips make the composition of the trailer stronger and successful.
After having some people watch my finished trailer, I came to the conclu
sion that at least 85% of them laughed during the part where the toy’s revenge is justified. When a little kid is bouncing over the three green aliens, or sticking Mr. Potato Head’s eye into his nose, or using Buz Light Year as a hammer. The edit choices of having
this subclips as part of my trailer gives it a fun twist while it’s still scary. This might bring more interest and curiosity to watch the full unexciting movie.
The explanation of Aaron Delwiche in his writing From the Green Beret to America’s Army: Video Games as a Vehicle for political propaganda on how video games make people immerse into the game is what I was going for in my trailer. Toy Story is already famous and having the context completely changed is catchy on its own. Still though, the music I choose I believe is the key to immersion. I took the soundtrack from the movie Dead Silence and made the subclips fit in with the structure of the melody. The music was crucial for my trailer and I see it as the cherry of my ice cream. The music turns it magically into a seriously scary movie.
Finally, just like the From the Green Beret to America’s Army: Video Games as a Vehicle for political propaganda reading, I think someone should take some moral responsibility and think of the real purpose of their movies, especially scary movies. Let me tell you a little secret… I have never watched a scary movie, suspense movies is as far as I get. If you have to work hard to get peace and calm (at least I have to work hard to get them), then why producing something that will take them away in an hour and a half? Do we want people who get scared by silly things like toys? Like clowns? Many people are scared of clowns because of scary movies that used clowns to scare people. They are supposed to make people happy, to make them laugh. Now some people take clowns as scary. Just like Woody Allen made it acceptable for beautiful woman to sleep with jerky nerds, as
Chuck Klosterman said, The joker fromBatman, the horror film Clownhouse in1989, and even the music group Dangerous toys, are some things that made clowns scary. The idea being discussed of the “fake love” and how people dream and want things on TV and movies is also true for the fact that many people find certain toys scary. The evil clown used in horror movies is ridiculous and genius! Why would a clown be scary? The fact that Toy Story 3 had a clown and a creepy babe with a random face in their movie was a gold star for my trailer. HERE ARE MY ADVICES!
- Get the premiere free trial on your personal laptop or computer! I had an emergency and I had to go back home for more than a week and I had downloaded the free trial into my computer. Oh my… LIFESAVER! I had the ripped movie in a USB always with me just in case something went wrong.
- Reducing the time of each clip so I could have straight cuts with fast clips was crucial for a scary movie trailer. To learn how to do this I used tutorials. I think this is the most important advice: USE LYNDA. You have no idea how helpful it can be.
- Look at many movie trailers of the genre you are creating. This will be like a Lynda tutorial that gives you ideas of the main charactistics a trailer of the genre movie you are looking for has. As I was watching other horror movie trailers, SUSAN BLACKMORE’s writing on EVOLUTION AND MEMES: THE HUMAN BRAIN AS A SELECTIVE IMITATION DEVICE came to my mind. Maybe scary movies are also like a meme, where the fear is contagious and you absorbe it and imitate the fear that some characters in the movie have. Maybe the information is copied and that is why we tend to get scared with scary movies. Which takes me to my next advice
- Read your notes on your reading before you start, and half way through your project and start writing down ideas on what your will write on.
- I started playing with premiere and making videos of my friends just for fun to practice with the program. This helped me a lot when I started the project because I was faster working with it and I knew where things where.
- One difficulty I encountered was finding the music. There were websites with movie soundtracks, which was exactly what I wanted, but I had to pay for subscriptions to websites. A friend showed me a YouTube webpage, where you can copy and paste the link of a YouTube video, click convert, and download. After this you can put it into your video. It was really easy and it really helped since I had wasted a lot of time searching for webpages to download soundtracks.