Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne, lead the fight to free human kind in the Matrix, a complicated deception of the world, created by the powerful machines of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that control everyone and everything within this manufactured world. Neo played by Keanu Reeves, is chosen from the millions of unsuspecting people caught up within the Matrix and has been declared the only one who can free the rest of mankind. With the world’s fate resting upon his shoulders he begins his training, with nothing but the tutorial of Morpheous (Laurence Fishburne) and his companions to guide him.
Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), is just one of the many enemies that Neo has to combat. Genre: The Matrix is a fictional, action-thriller. Target Audience: This film has been awarded a 15 Certificate, targeting young to mature adults. Primarily it appeals to those who prefer an action genre but provides a good balance between action and adventure, allowing it to appeal to a wide-ranging audience. The complex and thoughtful plot catches the older viewer’s attention whilst the continuous action draws the younger generation.
Despite the age limit of this film it does not contain scenes that use offensive language, are particularly disturbing or explicit which again will broaden the secondary audience and perhaps entice adults to buy this product for others. For example, there are multiple deaths in the film but these are never shown in gruesome detail and are made convincing by facial expression and movement and they are soon forgotten by the high tempo action sequences which coincide.
Men will be drawn to the film by the weapons, extreme stunts, new age effects and female characters (Trinity) whilst women will be attracted to the main male character (Neo) and the romantic part of the plot. I hope to combine these techniques into my own trailer to successfully draw this target audience. The trailer is an extremely important factor in the marketing of a film. The viewer’s decision about whether to go and see a film at the cinema totally relies upon what they see, hear or read about it prior to its release.
My promotional campaign must therefore persuade as many people as possible that The Matrix will be enjoyable to watch. The trailer has to contain the action, thrills and adventure aspects of the film whilst at the same time editing parts which are only suitable for viewers of its specified Certificate. This will allow it to be shown at any time of the day to any audience. Posters and reviews also serve to raise awareness of the up and coming film, but it is the trailer which gives the audience a real feel of what the film is like and whether this is one they would like to see.
Successful trailers such as the one for Mission Impossible 2, use text, sound and images very effectively, so I hope to incorporate some of these techniques shown in this trailer into my own. Text within the trailer plays a very important role by giving information and attracting audience attention. Throughout the Mission Impossible trailer any text on screen is big and bold and often comes out of flames, again making reference to the action genre.
More important text, for example stars’ or director’s names, are placed on a different background and takes up most or the entire screen, so that viewers can see and recognise these words without distraction. A small amount of time is allocated after each important phrase, so that people’s brains have time to register the words. Less important text, for example words associated with the confidentiality of the Mission Impossible genre, are placed on a moving background so that it is seen but not read thoroughly, so as not to distract you from the intense action of the trailer.
Images and sound in Mission Impossible 2 are often used in conjunction with text to produce full impact and give the trailer a unique difference, for example the rhythm of the theme tune is ideal for the action genre, as it has a distinctive beat like the firing of a gun. Quick moving images allow very little time for the viewer to judge or compare that scene to others, therefore decreasing negative thought within the audience. When making my trailer, numerous factors have to be considered to ensure maximum success at the box office.
The first of these factors is how to attract my target audience. This will be achieved in many ways, which I shall now discuss. Primarily my trailer for the Matrix appeals to those who prefer an action genre, as large amounts of high tempo action sequences containing the best stunts and effects will be used. Substantial amounts of spoken dialogue will also be used over these sequences to give out important information such as; a brief understanding of the plot, the well known characters, director and release dates.
This spoken dialogue will gain the attention of viewers who are not interested in the genre but find the plot and characters more to their liking. In order to impress on the audience the great success of the directors (The Wachowski Brothers) their names will initially be shown in small font that becomes larger as it moves toward the front of the screen. A strong, decisive voice-over will be used simultaneously to announce previously successful films directed by the Wachowski Brothers that have achieved nominations and awards.
Viewers that have already seen or heard of these films will then be assured that The Matrix will be just as enjoyable. Likewise poorer films that the Wachowski Brothers have directed will not be mentioned or shown as the audience may presume that the Matrix will be of the same sub standard quality. Despite the 15 Certificate of the Matrix, my trailer will not contain scenes that use offensive language are particularly disturbing or explicit. This will again broaden the secondary audience and perhaps entice adults to buy the film for others.
In my trailer there will be many combat scenes in which people are shot, these will not be shown in bloodthirsty detail but will be made exciting by camera close-ups on facial expressions and movements. To indicate the genre of The Matrix within my trailer conventions have to be used and will be mainly action related. These will include combat scenes, chases, stunts and special effects. There are various parts of the narrative, I have to expose in the trailer and many that I need to keep hidden, if the Matrix is to be represented at its best.
Scenes that need to be shown within the trailer include most of the impressive stunts and special effects, as I feel these would be imperative if the trailer is going to attract anyone who prefers an action genre. Features from a variety of genres must also be included, for example the witty comments and one-liners of comedy combined with the unusual and scary elements of horror will both contribute towards attracting a wider and more varied audience.
If these were not included within the trailer, you limit yourself to just one specific audience and halve your chances of success at the first showing. Main characters must get most of the spotlight during the trailer, so it seems as if the film contains a wealth of well-known actors and actresses. By editing scenes from within the Matrix, you can create a totally different atmosphere, for example linking appropriate catch phrases and comments in with action sequences to create a mood that fits the imagery.
Aspects of the narrative that should be kept hidden from the audience during my trailer are lengthy discussions between characters, which may allow people’s attention to fade, instead short frequent bursts of dialogue will be used to keep it flowing. Maximising director or star potential is one of the most important aspects of creating a trailer as these are the people who draw the primary interest in the film. This can be done by placing their name in large, clear fonts on backgrounds of contrasting colour, for example black on white. Sound combined with this text will emphasise their importance.
The theme tune to the Matrix is perfectly matched to the genre of the film. It has a deep tone with moderate tempo and manages to create a certain suspense, the feeling that something is about to happen. It was originally recorded by “Rage against the Machine” before The Matrix was made and the group title itself is very significant to the plot of The Matrix. The lyrics also fit aptly to the story line, for example the line “you reap what you sow” exactly portrays the theme running through the film. Because of this my trailer would keep this same soundtrack.