Audition • Audition (1999) is a Japanese horror movie based on a novel, the film was directed by Takashi Miike, it was rated UK 18 by the BBFC. It was rated an 18 due to the BBFC’s guidelines for film classification. • The name of the movie is not very suggestive as to what the movie will be about, this means that the trailer has to convince the audience to watch it but also hint to what genre the movie belongs to. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhsrsWcEspc
Audience Expectations • Watching the trailer it becomes clear to the viewer that the movie belongs to the genre of Horror. This means that the audience can expect the movie to contain blood and gore and to contain shocking and horrific scenes. It is also clear this is a world cinema film; this is hinted by the use of music, the ethnicity of the characters shown in the trailer and the directors name. The audience, if perceptive, may also be able to figure out that the main female character has had a turbulent past with men and that is why she tortures them. • The audience would not be able to come to these conclusions without key aspects of the trailer: the use of codes and conventions from horror movies, different camera shots/angles/movements, sound and the overall feeling that the trailer gives the viewer.
Codes and Conventions • Typical codes and conventions of a horror movie are: Death, blood/ gore, violence, low key lighting/ shadows, an antagonist and the movies usually make people jump. These codes and conventions would be what to look for when identifying a horror movie. • Within the first second of the trailer we see a woman sat in low key lighting, she is alone and appears to be sat in a submissive position (her head bowed and her legs crossed), hinting to the audience that she is a weak character in this movie
As the trailer progresses it becomes more and more clear that this movie is a horror movie. There is violence and gore and we learn that this woman is infact the antagonist of the movie A finger that has been removed from someone is dropped into a jar. This indicates to the audience there is some kind of violence, perhaps even a killing that has happened. This is expected of a movie that belongs to the genre of horror. The main character is an antagonist. It is made clear throughout the trailer that she is the person torturing these men and killing them (such as her holding a syringe in this shot). This is typical of a movie belonging to the genre of horror.
Target Audience • The target audience for this movie is 18+, not only because of the age rating of the movie but horror movies are almost always aimed at adults due to the content and ideologies behind the movies. • A stereotypical viewer for this type of movie would be anyone from the lower class up to middle class. These types of movies are never aimed at upper class as there is a belief that they would not watch a horror movie due to stereotypes that they have been labelled with. • The movie is also explicitly aimed at a Japanese audience; this is made clear through the music in the trailer, the use of Japanese actors and the film having a Japanese director
Techniques Used to Engage the Audience • Editing: The trailer starts of with a series of slow shots (0:00-0:40) that show the main character in a room with low key lighting. Her phone begins to ring and continues to ring as she raises her head. All of these shots are very slow, even the transitions between the shots are slow. Then there is a pivotal change when a body bag moves unexpectedly. • As this was unexpected the audience will probably be curious to find out more about this character.
After the body bag moves the editing becomes fast paced and shows a series of clips that indicate towards violence and torture (0:41-0:47). And all of sudden there is a change in the pace of the trailer again when a young girl appears on the screen • The fact that this clip and the following clips completely juxtapose the genre of movie (and the previous clips) makes the viewer question why these clips are being shown and what the purpose of it is.
Having these clips breaking up the torture and violence engages the viewer as they find out that there is a reason behind this woman’s torturous ways. This is engaging as the viewer can begin to piece together the storyline, but not too much of the narrative is revealed so people will still want to see it.
Camera Shots, Angles and Movement • The first camera shot we see is a medium shot of a girl sitting in a dimly lit room sitting in a submissive position, hinting to the audience that she is a weak character. There is slight camera shake as the shot progresses in time, this slight camera shake makes the atmosphere of the room feel uneasy. The feeling the camera shake creates is typical of a horror movie as horror movies are meant to make the audience feel uneasy.
This is a close up shot of what appears to be a decapitated finger being dropped into a jar. It is not clear to us whether the main character cut this finger off and who it belongs to, but it looks like it has been freshly cut off meaning that the person was alive at the time. This confirms that the movie belongs to the horror genre as there is torture and violence present in the movie, such as this scene.
But there are several clips thrown into to confuse the viewer, the clips juxtapose all expectation of the film • This close up shot is a shot we would expect to see in a romantic movie, so it being placed in the middle of a horror trailer seems highly odd. • The use of blue lighting suggests to the audience that there is calmness between these two characters and that they are at peace with one another. Again another highly odd thing to include in a horror trailer. This shot would usually not be found in a horror trailer, and if it is there must be a good reason behind it, this clip was intended to reveal why the antagonist is acting torturing people (especially men).
There is a clear juxtaposition between the previous shot and this one, There is the use of red/ orange lighting and this connotates danger and pain. • This close up shows a man in pain because of her, this is where the audience could begin to piece together the narrative. I think that she had a bad experience with a man and that she is now taking her revenge on him or other males around her. • The fact that this is a birds eye shot shows that the male character is inferior to the female character who is torturing him. Stereotypically we would expect the male to be superior as they are seen as the physically stronger sex. However this clip inverts that and makes the viewer question how this male character ended up with no power.
This is the final shot in the trailer. There is a 180 degree spin around the character showing her dancing. • Everything about the composition of this frame connotates innocence and purity. The shot consists mainly of the colour white, a colour with the connotations of purity. This girl is doing ballet and is moving gracefully throughout the shot, again connotating her innocence. And the use of ambient lighting, instead of filters (the red and blue shots), makes the image feel cleaner and brighter. The sun is gleaming off of everything white and is making the room look open and tranquil. • This is a continuing shot, but the shot fades to black and fades in again 3 times, this disrupts the graceful flow of her dancing. This disruption makes it seem as if the innocence this girl is radiating is just a façade, and that she does have dark periods of time in her life where she is not innocent at all.
Sound • In the opening shot there is the use of diegetic sound to enhance the ambience of the scene. Here is a howling wind outside of the room and this makes the scene seem a lot more eerie due to pathetic fallacy (the use of weather to reflect the mood of the character). The wind is not raging, but it sounds as if it is building up to a storm. This (along with the low key lighting and camera shake) makes the viewer feel uneasy. • Also in this scene her phone begins to ring (diegetic sound), it is the tone of an old phone. The phone rings for about 30 seconds and this builds up the tension and suspense of the scene. • There is also the use of non-diegetic sound in this trailer that hints to the place of origin of this movie. Traditional Japanese music is played in the background. This music juxtaposes the genre of the movie as it is calming and soothing music. • There is also the use of synchronous sound when the series of quick cuts show the various liquids. The sounds of the liquids are emphasized to indicate their/ the scene’s importance in the film.
Speed/ Tempo • The speed of the trailer varies: the trailer starts off slow, then increases when the action starts, and then slows down again. The variation of speeds in this trailer is what will engage the audience, it is not so fast that they can’t make out what is going on, but it is not so slow that the viewer finds in boring. • The speed of the trailer also reflects the shots being shown at the time. The slow clip at the beginning has hardly any action in it whatsoever and this is reflected by the slow cuts and transitions. • When the action begins the speed of the trailer increases significantly, there are fast cuts and several clips shown in a few seconds. • The trailer then slows down again and this is reflected in the clips and editing slowing down.
How Does It Tease and Tempt You To Watch The Film? Does It Work? • What works well about this trailer is that it shows the narrative, like most good trailers do, but it did not reveal so much of the narrative that it would be pointless watching it. The viewer is left with a sense of mystery and curiosity that would make anyone want to watch the movie. Also the trailer shows the audience that there is a thicker plot than just bloody massacre, we can figure this out from the trailer. • I feel it is an effective trailer also because there is no dialogue, this further adds to the mystery of the trailer. If there was dialogue in the trailer it would more than likely be in Japanese. This might have deterred certain viewers as they would not know what the characters were saying in the trailer. Having no dialogue means it can appeal to anyone in any country. • I would personally watch this movie as I feel there is a god plot behind this movie, but I do not know so much about the movie that watching it would be pointless. This trailer has convinced me to watch the movie, so I would say it is an effective trailer.