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HP 7pt2 and Sequel-itis (w/ emoticons)

To begin, please check out the trailer at this link – Harry Potter 7 pt.2 – then come back for commentary. And if you haven’t already, check out my full review of Part 1 at the Soontobeangel blog.

0:09 –> ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!!!!!!!!  (*-*)
0:12 –>  OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSH!!!!!!!!  (^-^)
0:15 –> OHMYMOTHERBLEEPINGGOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!  <(^o^)>
0:19 –> HOLY MOTHER OF GOD IT’S HARRY FREAKIN’ POTTER!!!!!!!!! <(X0X)>

I must say that I had purposefully cut myself off from Harry Potter film news recently because the my experience with the first film was partially spoiled by my full knowledge of it prior to the release.  I had been following Mugglenet and Mugglecast, which gave me every detail of Part 1 – from where the split was to news about the minor changes in the story.  Ultimately my experience was less because it was just fulfilling what I already knew – like playing a video game you have already seen a playthrough of.  But I digress…

The first time I saw this trailer was before Super 8, just three weeks away from the end of a series which has defined a generation. I have been with Jo and all the Potterites since the release of book 4 and have loved watching how it has shaped literature for my and later generations.  Anyway, when the trailer came up I was filled with a sense of awe and wonder that was diluted slightly by the knowledge that this is the end of a big part of my life. But again I digress and will now return to analysis of the trailer.

This trailer is tailor-made for fans like me – people who have followed the series from the beginning. I love that they open with Snape, as he does become a major part of this final installment. Also, the way that the creator of this trailer uses music is magical (pun intended). The times I mentioned above fit in exactly with how I felt as I was watching it the first time. It again plays right into the longtime fans and reminds us that this is going to be big! The sequence of images in the first 20 seconds just gets us in the mood and reminds us of the darker tone of the final part.

Next we get into the meat and taters of it.  I like that the first image after the WB logo matches the final image of Part 1 at Shell Cottage. It is a nice bridge. Also the use of the monologue from the final battle (Voldy’s challenge to Harry) really fits well, setting the tone again and the natural Ramp of it works magnificently for the style of a trailer. By the 37th second, it moves into the “epic portion” showcasing the Gringott’s break-in and the music picks up to goosebump raising levels.

The text on screen again plays well with the epicness of the music and the target audience of fans: “On July 15 only one can live”. Another important point is that if you look carefully, they artistically designed it so that Voldemort and crew are shown in dark blues and greens whereas HP and friends are in a lighter orangy brown.  This visually separates the two and makes the conflict more apparent.

Battle scenes and fighting sets up that final battle – which shows a nice linear flow of the trailer following the story’s plot. Probably my favorite part of the whole trailer comes at 0:57 – when Ron says “We can end this”. Amazing. I felt it. Any Potter fan felt it. WE can end this. WE.

A few final notes on the trailer:

  1. When the music hits its peak…and we see Tonks reaching for Lupin’s hand…. (;_;) Crying.
  2. To all you who have been there through the whole thing, from start to finish, “Let’s finish this the way we started it. TOGETHER!”
  3. THE EPIC CONCLUSION (w/ accompanying EPIC music)
  4. I dont think it shows too much because we know what is coming. It just pumps us up for it.
  5. Complete the Journey 😀

So with that #4, I lead into a short bit about Sequels. This film in particular is not, repeat NOT, targeted at people who haven’t at least seen the films, if not read the books as well. Because this is not just a sequel but one of the first Part 2’s in the history of film (I mean an intentionally split film). Thus, the advertisers know that people who haven’t been following the series will NOT be going to the premiere.  They aren’t going to fight the diehard’s dressed in wizarding garb to see it first. Thus they target us – the weirdo’s…I mean Wizards and Witches!

In the same way, trailers for sequels to movies and video games have to balance between pandering to the longtime fans and trying to entice those who haven’t yet joined the party. Harry Potter 7 part 2 knows exactly who they are targeting and makes a spectacular trailer.  I am pumped and ready for it, despite me anxiety over the end of my childhood series.  Good job guys. Good job.

FINAL SCORE:   ★★★★★

There you go. And now for a surprise bonus trailer!! Here is Disney•Pixar’s BRAVE. Absolutely love it. Has an excellent pace and I love that it feels like it contains its own story. The introduction of the Scottish element was handled well and I loved that they let the monologue lead to the title rather than divulge it. Only drawback here is that the animation doesn’t stand out as much as previous Pixar film did, from Dreamworks particularly. So I think they are going to have to sell this one on story rather than on looks. Just a thought. Really excited about it!`

Thanks for sticking with me and please check out my full review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 at the Soontobeangel blog.  Please let me know what you would like to see me review in the comments below. Next week I will be turning to another sequel, suggested by my brother:

Sherlock Holmes – Game of Shadows

Thanks again to him for actually suggesting a trailer. (HINT*HINT)  Please let me know what trailer you would like me to analyze and I will do it. So with that thanks again and go enjoy the final film in the greatest film franchise of all time. 🙂

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Revelations in the World of Assassin’s Creed

Before we begin, please watch the trailer linked here – Assassin’s Creed Revelations. Then return for thoughts and commentary. And if you haven’t already, check out my review of Assassin’s Creed at Soontobeangel.

First of all, sorry for how long this took to post. Expect my posts around noon EST.
Second:  Stargate. Ubisoft. SPARKLE!

Now that that’s out of my system, I will say that what initially struck me about this trailer was the power of the music.  The song is “Iron” by Woodkid, which I recommend you check out on iTunes. From the first note, you know that something is about to go down and the animation was matched perfectly to the emotional ride of the song. You can particularly feel the power at 1:03, when he gets hit. It immediately launches into “attach mode” that sets you up for the empending fight. And just to be clear, I bought the song and have been listening to it for 3 weeks now, and I still have no clue what the first two lines are. 🙂

The first image is an interesting choice. It reminds me of the first shot of the Dead Island trailer, which sets a tone of “what happened here?” I like starting with a question because that makes the audience engage more with it. Also, the middlepoint being the opening is a great choice as it introduces the who and a bit of the where but still leaves that since of wondering that entices us in.

Let’s look at the first 24 seconds.  We open on a hooded man in what might be armor laying on the floor. Fans recognize the outfit of the Assassins, but to those who don’t know you can see he is armored and might be carrying weapons. Then the men come and pick him up and we get the scope of his situations. Off the bat we know who the protagonist is and that he is in trouble. One final note – the final shot (0:36) gives us the first clue to the “where” that fans might recognize as the citadel at Masyaf.

Beginning at 0:42 we start into the flashback journey to that point. I like the boat simply because it is epic (I mean not typical or common, showing he is in command) and because we first get a glimpse at Ezio. Fans recognize him, non-fans see some kick-a old guy.  Also the water animation is fantastic!  Anyway we follow him on his journey (which signals a long journey in the game, probably from where he was before). What I like about this section is it shows off their animation skills. Ezio blends into the background which can be an issue for animated works (ie – stuff that moves in old Disney films is more brightly colored).

1:02 – This is where it gets bleeping crazy! Music fits perfectly here and I am not sure whether or not it was made for this trailer. Anyway the arrow hit totally freaked me when I first saw it. His reaction again solidifying his badbleepery. But enough about that.  Let’s get to the fight.

I love how they mess with the speed of the fight – from slowmo to speeding it up, it makes the fight all the more interesting.  I also like how human it seems. His punches and hits aren’t ridiculous and some how they make his reactions seem…reactionary. Not planned but like he actually sees what is coming, thinks and then acts. Particularly look at his dodging of the first pike guy (1:18).
Again, this fight is awesome particularly because it demonstrates the smoothness, the calculation, and the skill of the Assassin Ezio. Really showcases his fighting skill.

1:46 – Third turn (second of fight).  Pulling out the hidden blades should indicate to anyone who didn’t know what they were watching exactly what this is, as it is the flagpoint of the franchise. We also get another turn immediately following the Hidden Blades one. We see a White figure with a sort of aura around it. from 1:52 -56, we see that this person is a phantom of Ezio’s mind. Another level of intrigue which makes you and I wonder what is going on, particularly when we see Ezio go down. Fans get a powerful moment when they see the hidden blade, the symbol of the Assassin’s, snapped. Then we catch up to the present.

Again, just to clarify, we start in the middle – flash back to the past – then flash back to the end of the middle section.

The final sequence is just an excellent silent face-off between Ezio and the mystery bald guy. I like the musical twists of getting super intense, the verbal cue of “…your face”, and the use of silence at the end is fantastic. If you listen to the original song, they do a great job covering the break in the trailer with the hawk scream (I hate that sound but it works here).  Excellent parallelism with Altair and Ezio at the jump point from game 1. Just a great example of a Ramp – emotional and intensity building up to the break point.

The noose goes up. Ezio throws down. It’s just awesome. And ending with him not giving up.  I am so pumped for this game!

FINAL ANALYSIS:  5/5
Great use of music and sound
Fantastic animation
Good narrative that doesn’t give anything away
Emotionally intense and stimulating
Good work Ubisoft Montreal.  I will be there waiting for it.

So there you go!  Again sorry it took so long to post.  If you haven’t already, check out my review of Assassin’s Creed on the soontobeangel blog.  Also, you can expect this format (sunday ramble, tuesday review on stba, friday AotT review) in the future.  Speaking of which, I leave you with these clues to my next post on Sunday:

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The Art of the Trailer – Origins

Here you go! This is the post that started it all, and I want to start off this blog with it. Enjoy and please let me know what you think!

Something that is quickly becoming a major passion of mine is the creation, construction, stylisms, and impact of a trailer.

……….no

I mean the short video promos that sells to you the product, be it movie or video game.  I have even seen them for books. They are the first impression makers, the only thing that makes me even think about caring about your production.  Trailers are an invaluable part of how a film or game gets big…and yet to most people they are just bothersome fodder between them and the movie they came to see.

For me this is an incredible tragedy.  In the space of 2 minutes or less you have to convey what your story is about AND make it look worth my time AND make it look fun.  This is not a task for the faint of heart, nor for the perfectionist. It’s not easy, and thus we often get junk, but once every long while we get a great one that stands out as the amazing work of art that it really is.

It seems to me to often we end up seeing the whole movie in the short preview.  There is no wonder. There is no mystery. There is no draw. I may be a film major, but it doesn’t take any sort of real brain-power to see the entire plot of the story from the trailer; they give it to you on a silver platter.  Take almost any modern trailer, say….oh…how about…Everything Must Go. Check out the trailer and come back for my thoughts.

Right off the bat the tone is set by the music – this is a comedy. This is confirmed by the opening image of Will Ferrell as Nick. However they quickly show us that it is a bit more serious than most of his other stuff….until 0:25 in, when he falls right back into his old schtick.  The next thirty seconds details the entire Act 1 – he gets kicked out and decides to live on his lawn, trying to hold onto his old life.  The First Turn is at 1:08 when he finds out that he can’t stay this way for much longer.  His struggle is between letting his past go and moving forward versus keeping his old life.  MAJOR CONFLICT DEFINED.
Immediately following that we get “the sidekick” (and a bit more confirmation of Ferrell’s humor).  Then, comes my friend Ryan‘s favorite part – THE INDIE MUSIC!!! (that tells us that it’s going to be a “quirky, yet serious drama about ‘real’ people and ‘real’ life”. Yippie.)
***1:42 – Blatant stating of the moral of the story by female friend/mentor. (Then the music gets hopeful…).  We get a nice little montage and at 1:51 we see the Second Turn – he gets rid of his stuff, thus proving he is learning the lesson.
And you might be saying “wait! that seems more like the ending than the end of Act II.”  And you’d be right, because at 2:17 we see the hero’s low point (the real Turn 2). Clearly he falls into depression towards the end of his borrowed time and is lifted out of it by what really matters – his friends. Aww.

End on some jokes to remind us that it’s funny and that’s it. The story mostly laid out in the trailer.  Why should I pay $11.50 to see in 2 and a half hours what I got in 2 minutes and paid nothing for? Seriously.

To be honest, what really sparked this dissertation was the recent slew of trailers and news from the E3 conference.  Video Game trailers have inspired me far more than most of those for movies.  What I truly love about video game trailers is that they understand that they can create something totally off-story to sell it.  Doesn’t make much sense when I say it but check out the announcement trailer for Dead Island and I think you’ll see what I mean.

I LOVE THIS TRAILER!!!  The music fits so well to what they are doing there, and this is exactly what I mean.  It shows absolutely zero gameplay, zero story, and honestly zero characters from the video game.  Yet, this alone enticed me enough back in February for me to have followed it all the way here into June.  I love how it focuses on the emotional impact of the zombie invasion, something often left out in favor of “killin’ them damn zambies!” But the true beauty of the promo is the mixing of the story, both forwards and in reverse, so that at the end he leaves his daughter behind.  That was a beautifully tragic moment that incredibly re-imagined a classic scene into something new and amazing!  This is far more interesting than them telling me the whole story and hoping I’ll buy it anyway.

Ultimately I could go on forever about this (and I probably will do a follow-up post sometime) but this post is epicly long enough already.  However, as promised to my friends on Facebook, below I am posting a list of great trailers along with my comments on each.  They are broken up into three sections – Classics, Friend Recommendations, and My Own Personal Favorites. Enjoy, Comment, Subscribe, and please let me know what you think about my opinions.  I am passionate about this and would love to hear your comments. If this is your first time here, thanks for checking me out (yeah!) and please feel free to comment below! A-Dios!

CLASSICS:

–>Psycho
[All-time classic; Hitchcock creates a neat documentary style which makes the film seem all the scarier because of the potential reality of it; though his acting sucks, the audiences of the 1960’s would have been totally freaked out by this sort of gimmick]

–>Cloverfield
[A more recent classic, it really sells the major feature of the movie – the handy-cam-esque style of the film; Also note: they don’t even name the film in this preview…fascinating J.J. Fascinating]

–>Wall•E
[Surely you remember this one, a classic that focuses on it being the last Pixar original (early) idea; really works well for selling it to older audiences who will in turn excite the younger generations; Cool way of marketing this]

–>Scary Mary
[I am putting this under Classics because this really shows how important a trailer is and how much impact it can have on the expectations of a movie or game. Also because it is bleeping scary!]

—————————-

YOURS:

–>Green Lantern
[Never been crazy about this; It shows way to much of the movie; I like the motto at the end except that Batman does the final line]

–>Star Wars: The Old Republic
[1:11 is the teaser; 2:02 is the second teaser; the rest is the trailer; It is super long but works I guess.  More of a short than a trailer]

–>Girl with Dragon Tattoo
[I have no idea what this is about; the only reason it works is because most people have read the books or seen the foriegn movie and know sort of what is going on; an insider’s trailer – not good for outsiders like me]

–>Battle: Los Angeles
[I like the ramp from the metallic somber song to the near-scream; also this one doesn’t say title just like Cloverfield; However, they are still showing us a lot of the movie]

–>Transformers: Dark of the Moon
[I remember I really loved this the first time I saw it; great mixing of past and future; I am looking forward to it; doesn’t tell us much but just enough to make me interested]

–>Another Earth
[Perfect example of a trailer that shows too much; I know most of the story and am left with only a little mystery left. Also they don’t clarify the mood – it starts as a dark sci-fi then becomes a typical indie depressed drama; I am interested in the story but the only thing the trailer did for that was tell me the name]

–>Green With Envy
[Please watch it first then read the rest of this! ||  Love it!  Great misdirect and beautiful parody of every RomCom trailer ever :) Segel is really making me believe that this won’t suck! In fact I am really looking forward to this!]

–>Gears of War 3
[Really just “meh”; good use of song but really doesn’t make itself stand out; Only really good part was the “Let’s finish it” line and the “Brothers to the End” – that seems interesting but otherwise really a letdown from GW3]

–>X-Men: First Class
[Great trailer; starts off with emotional build up of the music which really invites you in; Great blending of the old and new (in many ways); Doesn’t show to much and still enough to make me think this might be worth my time; Good use of a different title scheme rather than typical text]

–>Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
[Should have ended right after 0:56; we see far too much; just like the movie you keep thinking “when is this going to be over?”; Again a trailer that really only works because the audience has already seen movies 1 and 2 and is chomping at the bit for the final installment; really not that good of a stand-alone trailer]

—————————-

MINE:

–>Assassin’s Creed Revelations
[By far my favorite trailer right now; sick song that hits deeply and emotionally – amazing graphics in the cinematic – tells me everything I need to know (protag, setting, style, and part of plot) – and is FREAKING SICK!!! Please check this one out now and see what I mean]

–>Halo 4
[Very cool reintroduction of the series; I like that it takes only 20 secs to figure out what we are seeing, yet the payoff still is really fantastic]

–>Inception
[Almost put this in classics, but I want you to try to watch this how you first saw it – see everything new and remember what it was like to not understand it then (not like how you don’t understand it now :) ]

–>Sly Cooper 4
[I have always been a fan of the series, and the trailer plays right into what I love about it with a great payoff at the end]

–>Dead Island
[Worthy of being mentioned again; great re-engineering of a scene to make an intended mood]

–>Legend of the Guardians
[This is the trailer that got me into studying trailers; PLEASE watch in HD; really showcases the visuals which are phenomenal (and totally Snyder-esque) and the song was well selected and used to drive in the emotional impact]

–>Ghost Recon Future Soldier
[I like the “carousel”-esque effect that really works to make itself standout from Battlefield or COD, which is what this needed to do to muster any support]

–>Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
[Just to prove that books get trailers :) but really this is a great promo for what looks to be an awesome book]

–>10 Things I Hate About Commandments
[I end on another parody that again showcases how important a trailer can be in making the mood, tone, and direction of film (or game) go and how well it can reach the target audience]

NO…DAMN IT!!!! Gah……..

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Getting Started!

Hello World!
Whether you are joining me from my soontobeangel blog or are a new viewer, welcome to my new series!

This blog will be the official site for The Art of the Trailer, a weekly analysis of trailers and teasers for both movies and video games.  I will be exploring what makes them work, what makes them good and how they impact the average consumer.  This is a huge passion of mine and I look forward to sharing this joy with you.

The format of this series is still under construction but I can say that, as of now, the plan is for one post every Friday around 4pm Pacific Time (7pm Eastern).  I will be reviewing both recent and old trailers, both movies and video games, and commenting on them.  I will break them down beat by beat to see what makes them tick and tick well or poorly.  Also, I am checking into the possibility of including a video blog with this, but that is still a ways away.

So there you are! I plan to start this Friday with a breakdown of the most recent “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2” trailer, examine how being a sequel effects the trailer, and a surprise bonus trailer analysis you’ll just have to be there to see. Check out my reviews and ramblings at soontobeangel, and please comment below and subscribe!