Authorial Intent in Teaser Trailers

The teaser trailer, it is becoming an integral part of movies and is usually the trailer for the trailer. The teaser trailer is aimed at creating a buzz with the audience and usually asks more questions than actually answering any.

So if the aim of a teaser trailer is to tease and leave the audience excited and wanting more, discuss this with children to get them thinking about how this is done.

One of the most exciting teaser trailers this year is the Star Wars Episode VII trailer. Here is the trailer -


To use this in the classroom, children may need a little background about the Star Wars films. I am not suggesting you watch them all, even though the original three should be part of the curriculum but discussing the huge success, a little about the story and the huge expectation of this upcoming film. Here are some questions you could ask about why this is a great example of a teaser trailer. 

At 14 seconds, we hear a voice, ask the children whether they think this is a hero or villain. Why do they think this? 
The voice says 'There has been an awakening have you felt it the dark side and the light' (missing punctuation) ask the children to listen to how it has been spoken and correctly punctuate it. 

At 22 seconds, we meet our first character. Ask the children who he might be? Hero? Villain? Why has the director purposely introduced him first? What effect does this have?
How is he dressed? How is he feeling? What could have happened? Where is he?

At 28 seconds, we see a droid moving really quickly. Show the children a picture of R2D2 and discuss the differences. What does this show us? The new story is in the future as the droid is improved. 

At 33 seconds, we see a set of stormtroopers, do they look positive or negative characters? What is their job? What is about to happen? Make links with the first character we meet as he is wearing the same outfit. What can we infer from this?

At 39 seconds we meet a new character? Who may this be? Look at the background, where is this set? Same planet as the first character, why has the director introduced this character in the same setting as the first one. 

At 50 seconds, we see another character, do we think it is a hero or villain? How do the surroundings determine our thoughts about the character? Why do you think we don't see his face? How does this add to the anticipation? What is different about his weapon? Why has this been included in the trailer?

What role does the music play up to this point? 

At 1:00 we see the return of the Millenium Falcon, the most iconic object from the original film, why have the creators purposely added this into the new trailer? How does the music link with this? 

Does the teaser trailer work? Does it build excitement and leave the audience wanting more? How does it do that? 

If you like these ideas, you maybe interested in an upcoming conference I am leading - 
Here are some details - 



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