Secondary research – Trailer analysis –


The final stage of my secondary research included searching for a trailer which had already been analysed by another person. Again, similarly to my magazine front cover secondary research, i chose to investigate web 2.0 based website the link is shared above. A media students evaluation and analysis of the hot blockbuster movie ‘I AM LEGEND’ .


“The teaser trailer begins a rotating zoom into an unnamed character curled up in a bath  with an alsation. This is very striking image that immediately wins the audiences attention. The character is recognisable as played by high profile box office star Will Smith.”


The student begins their analysation with the camera work, and elaborates on the reason behind it by bringing it the audience reaction, reminding readers such as myself that the aim for trailers is for the image being portrayed to appeal to the audience. The technical wording such as ‘rotating zoom’ shows the students aptitude and knowledge for the camera angles. However, to portray an even more increase in knowledge, i personally would have stated ‘establishing shot’ instead of ‘begins with’, simply because it is a more adequate media term, appropriate for the explanation given.


“Loud choir-type vocals are added to the soundtrack, given it an epic feeling”


The most dominant attribute of the ‘I am Legend’ trailer explored within this students work is possibly the soundtrack and how it is synchronous with the action, and the effect this evidently has on the audience. An example of this is when the student explains how an explosion and destruction of a bridge creates a feeling of urgency within the audience. The student successfully takes full advantage of the music key terms and technical vocabulary, by mentioning diegetic and non diegetic sound, which is what i had done when explaining the soundtrack of the trailers i was analysing.


“Another black title screen, same font and capitalisation as before, this time the words are “mankind’s struggle for survival’ this raises immediate questions for the audience, especially in the context of the shots of people feeling and their prior knowledge of disaster/invasion sub genre of films.”


The impact of ancillary narrative, emerging as texts to explain the story wasn’t that important within the trailers i analysed, as none of them were in theory a dramatic thriller,  and for most of them the images flashing on the screen told the story, however for a trailer such as ‘I am Legend’ it is necessary to include this narrative voiceover and texts appearing, due to the confusing theme of what the actual plot is. The student has successfully made a recognition of this, and thoroughly explains the impact of the ancillary texts on the audience.


“The first movement we see for 10 seconds are deer galloping through an abandoned street”


This process of explaining the step by step projection of images which appear on the screen, is what this student does. Despite, the clarity and profound detail of the actions which occurring and their effect on the audience, it could be argued that perhaps its unnecessary. And despite the technical camera angles placed in such as panned and zoom, the student fails to put in more media terms such as the verisimilitude and its effect, what it does and how it does it.


In conclusion, it could be argued that the students analysation of ‘I AM LEGEND’ is extremely profound in detail as they go through every scene which is portrayed as an image on the trailer, they illustrate this via taking screenshots, which evidently makes it easier for them to analyse. This in reference to my analysis could be useful, as it would have been a good idea to take screen shots whilst watching the trailers, instead of posting the trailers on our blogs then analysing in one paragraph as a clump. However, There are many similarities between our method of analysation as we both focus profoundly on soundtrack and its effect on the audience, as this is possibly one of the most important factors, as its the selling point of our product.



Secondary research – Magazine front cover –


Secondary research – Magazine front covers – Scribd media student.- 2010


After having completed the comparison between Media Magazine’s analysation of posters and my own, I had to research an analysed front cover in order to go through the same process of comparison with my own front cover analysis. The one I discovered was from the blog of another media student analysing the same factors as me, I thought this would be very useful, as their interpretation could be very similar to mine, and if anything new was presented It would be something useful to learn and include in further analysations.


“The masthead of the magazine is presented in large, capitalized red font, which makes it very eye-catching against the pale blue and black background. The feature photograph on the front cover is also covering up some letters of the masthead, suggesting that the publishers are confident that the magazine’s popularity will overcome this.”


This style of analysation is very similar to mine, they deconstruct the magazine, and concentrate on every minor detail. Such as the colour scheme, and its meaning, and the way it stands out from the pale background. To go on to say that it’s possibly the editors intention to have it so the title would stand out more. This is exactly how I analysed mine, however I also included the connotation the colour red may have, such as blood, violence, gore or romance, passion and love.


“The headline for the main article within the magazine is situated over the top of the feature photograph and in the centre of the page where is will be most likely to capture the audience’s attention. The title of the featured film “Sherlock Holmes” has been capitalized, again making it more eye- catching. The name of the actor playing this starring role (Robert Downey Jr) is located above this main headline. If the audience are fans of this particular actor, this line plus the feature photograph will persuade them to buy the magazine.”


The person does accentuate on the right aspects of the headline, however when he/she is discussing the main article and feature photograph being in the centre of the page, they fail to include the keyword which illustrates the audience eye sight theory, being the rule of thirds. The rule can be defined as “an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections” this is what I would have placed within the portrayal and de-construction part of the main image and headline. However, they righteously comment on the well known actor being the main image, and similarly to me suggest that the fans of this actor would be more provoked to purchase the magazine.


“The colours used within the front cover are also iconic of the feature films action genre. The dark blacks and blues create a sense of suspense and mystery. The bright red connotes action and blood, whilst the metallic silvers can be linked to weaponry. Therefore this issue will be particularly attractive to audience’s who enjoy films of this genre.”


Commenting on the colours is useful for denotation as well as connotation, as being able to explain and suggests reasons for why a particular colour scheme was used, and what it illustrates shows that one is able to depict symbolism and meaning behind images really well. Although, if I were to add anything onto this analysation, it would be the way the colours compliment each other and create a fusion. I would also prossibly comment on the idea that all magazine front covers are particularly cautious about the amount of colours that they use, due to cluttering and confusion, general untidy look, most magazines ensure only 3 main colours are used within each front cover. For this issue of empire I would have mentioned this and highlighted that those 3 colours are red, grey and blue.


“Another conventional feature of this magazine front cover is the use of plugs to give the audience an insight into what other articles can be found within the magazine. These snippets will persuade the audience to buy the magazine to find out more about these other articles. The plugs are also laid out conventionally around the edge of the page so they do not obstruct the feature photograph. The sub-headings accompanying these plugs have been backed onto a plain white background so that they deliver maximum impact against the darker background.”


The explanation of plugs, impressed me immensely, as I paid no such attention to the plugs of the magazine I was analysing. Not only does the person portray the how the plugs promote the magazine, and the tactics on the ancillary texts are able to capture the audience’s attention. But they are able to depict how the colour scheme provoked the information being shown stand out and give a bold effect. Producing plug ins is possibly now something I will consider creating on the final magazine front cover I will be constructing, because evidently it has worked very well .

Secondary research – Posters – Media Magazine.

Secondary Research . – posters – Media Magazine. February 2008 issue.

After having completed the primary step towards our research, and gaining a better perspective of how posters are constructed and analysing the posters ourselves commenting the different attributes such as colour schemes, layout, denotation, connotation and symbolism. Secondary research demanded we find posters that have already been analysed and we compare our finding and depiction to the ones that others have made. A useful source we used to conduct our research was Media Magazine,  the February 2008 issue.

“Composition, lighting, framing

“The photographer didn’t just point-and-shoot. Those images have been thought about, sketched, discussed, changed, sketched again. They have been shot a hundred times then reviewed by many people. The lighting levels may have been changed or imperfections touched up in Photoshop. They almost invariably will have been cropped. Because it is these elements – composition, lighting, framing – that make as much meaning for an audience as the subject itself. And that is before the image gets put together with copy, slogans, logos and pack shots.”

Firstly, They commented on composition which is something we always analysed during our primary research of posters. The mention of Photoshop altering lighting levels, is something we can relate to have mentioned during our analysis, however unlike this section of the article, we failed to go into the detail of the amount of times, one has to capture the same image over and over again when creating a poster.  We discussed the actual lighting and composition, whilst this article discusses the ideology and construction behind composition and lighting.

“The rule of thirds

Proponents of the rule of thirds think that the most aesthetic visual composition places the main features of the image along one of four equally spaced intersecting lines, two of which are horizontal, and two of which are vertical. Instead of placing the subject of the photo in the middle of the frame, positioning it at a third from the left, right, top or bottom makes a more interesting shot, with more visual power. A horizon, therefore, should be a third from the bottom or a third from the top, and a tree a third from the left or a third from the right.”

Similarly to our one, they refer to the ‘rule of thirds’ theory and go into profound focus, they are able to illustrate an image in the readers mind, exactly how the rule works, by using exact technicality of where the vertical and horizontal lines cross, they ensure the reader has a clear grasp of what the rule of thirds is. In comparison to our analysis Media Magazine are able to go into much further detail, perhaps this is because they would like to explain the rule of thirds, whereas, we merely wanted refer to it and portray its effect. To portray its effect Media Magazine used an example.

“The designer of our hypothetical ads, therefore, may have been very well aware of the rule of thirds when composing the shots. The car is speeding along the right-hand third, the open sky taking up a little more than the top third to connote freedom. The woman in a mid-shot in the shower has her golden shiny tresses falling down the left third, her exuberant expression on the top third.”

This is a brilliant example of denotation and connotation, the idea that open sky is a symbol for freedom is strategically outlined, this is similar to our deconstruction of images and their possible meanings when we were breaking down the posters for ‘Freedom Writers’ and came to a conclusion that the yellow font is a symbol for hope and the de-saturated face for a main image was a connotation/foreshadowing of mystery. They also comment on the ‘golden shiny dress’ which is possibly a tool used to reflect the product they are promoting, if it’s a luxurious car, then the luxurious dress would be mirrored, to make the audience crave that lifestyle.

Use of White Space

“(a.k.a. negative space): white space is not merely empty space, that the designer didn’t get round to filling up. Space not used by other visual elements becomes a visual element in itself. Most designs try to use some white space as it stops an image looking overly busy or cluttered. Conversely, leaving a lot

of white space creates a particular aesthetic. In this case, used alongside a close up of a child’s face, the use of white space draws the eye to the image. It also emphasises the isolation

of the subject, making him seem totally alone. But reading left to right, after the expanse of white space, we finish the print narrative at the Barnardo’s logo, the charity that is there to help him.”

The attention Media magazine draws to white space, is very useful for us, despite the posters we analysed not having a white space, Media Magazine, are commenting on an aspect that can be used to both support the features of having empty space on a poster as well as criticize it. The idea that having what space is a metaphor for isolation and the Barnardo’s print symbolizes that within this isolation they are present to help. This is crucial when creating a poster as we have learnt by having white space fused with the rule of thirds, in actuality one is emphasizing the message they are trying to convey or accentuating the product they are trying to promote. Thus even though in comparison to our analysation we never commented on the white space, it is something we plan to do for our final product.

Furthermore,  further down there is an article entitled “Reading A Film Poster”, which includes all the elements denotation/connotation, technical codes, anchorage, intertextual references, purpose/message, tone & register, target audience, representation, and finally effect & effectiveness. Within our research accentuating connotation and denotation is portrayed rather thoroughly. Anchorage refers to the presence of texts within an image which we will not be covering as it does not apply to us. However, the similarity of our analysation emerges when discussing intertextual referencing, our one included “get birdseed or die cluckin'” a parody reference to rapper 50 cents ” Get rich or die tryin’ album”, we went into extreme detail when summerising that strap line, which is what media magazine have done, both of our aims is probably the same, and that to highlight the comic factor within our posters. Ours however, is specifically placed within due to our target audience being the teenagers, it would have been appropriate to make teenage cultural references in order to satisfy our audience gratification, allowing our audience to be given the opportunity to make interpersonal reference.

Magazine front cover “iWatch” movie Cluckin’Hell



We were impressed with how we were able to construct our poster so easily due to the research and planning we conducted during the period of primary and secondary research, thus thought to use a similar method of development for our magazine. The layout above is a mere template of what we intend to create, the positions of all the features are appropriately placed however the colour scheme is purely to identify the different attributes of the magazine. Our original plan was to call our magazine ‘iWatch’, we chose this name due to the dominance of the ‘Mac’ products in the media industry, varying from iPhones, iPods and iPads,. Due to its notoriety of being the symbol of new age media technologies, many non-Mac products have adopted the ‘I’ which places itself before the product. Unfortunatly we discovered it is not possible to use this name because it is an upcoming product, soon to be released by Apple Mac Inc called the “iWatch” which is a a future product, this coicidently meant that we would have copyright issues to deal with if we had pursued our ‘iWatch’ idea. Thus we searched to find a name that interpreteated into the same meaning, we intended to keep the ‘I’ because of the modern reflection and the well  known status it has amongst the youths of this generation and contemporary society. The name we will be altering it into is ‘iView’ which has virtually the same meaning. The name sounds very modern and catchy, which Is compulsory in the media industry because the media is in constant development and always improving, so a name such as ‘iWatch’ would certainly be attention grabbing within the younger generation.

secondary research evaluation of posters –

Freedom Writers

The layout of this poster is very clever as the main image is in the centre but  only half visible, the protagonists face, the other half is inundated with the words of is assumed to be from the diaries of the ‘Freedom Writer’ as they are clearly hand written this implies a hint of mystery, As the main image is almost overlapping the words, this is visible by the translucent opacity around the main images edges, giving it the mystical effect, in effect enticing the viewer as well as being a denotation. The main image is also dark and dull and de-saturated, which coincidentley is a colour contrast against the yellow title, the contrast connotation implies that it is a drama filled film full of extreme heightened emotions. The title is also an important factor of the poster, the colour yellow is used which could be symbolizing hope. The five characters below the main image our staring directly at the camera, just below the viewers eye point for the principles of the rule of thirds, by breaking the 4th wall, its suggesting that the viewer will be brought profoundly into the storyline, with no barriers and  a small proximity between the viewer and those 5 characters, justifying the tagline” our story, our words”. The billing is small as its probably the least possible way a film will get promoted or recognised, its function is strictly legal. The words “coming soon” are in Big block capitals, to make the viewer aware of the date, to stand out, and possibly to stick In the audiences mind. The layout of having a major character as the main  image and the other characters near it in smaller version, influenced us for our poster, as that’s the structure style we used.



Shaun of the Dead.

‘Shaun of the dead’ was chosen to be analysed for its close relation of themes and genre with our desired product. This poster has elements of both the horror and comedy genre gleaming out of it. Firstly the colours used, for the background are red and black, very gothic colours. Red is the typical and idealistic colour used to suggest/foreshadow gore, blood and violence is to be anticipated. However many will argue it holds a different set of connotations as well such as love, romance and passion. The top & bottom of the poster fade from red into black (or vice versa) in order to draw the viewer’s eye into the light, which is where the main image is situated, once again putting the rule of thirds into practice, the main image is assisted to being bold with the integral lighting. This was constructed extremely well as both themes of horror, comedy are presented equally, the romance is further hinted with the slogan “ ROMANTIC COMEDY. WITH ZOMBIES” the full stop splitting that sentence into 2, emphasising the humour with 2 word sentences.  As well as the pun of ‘romcom’ ( romantic comedy) with the use of “romzom”. We were influenced by creating puns for our poster after seeing how well it worked for theirs. The main image is portraying many pale faced zombies with dead and scary expressions and torn colourless clothing, all compressed against what seems to be a set of doors with the protagonist compressed with them with a bouquet of flowers, looking very ‘normal’, with a concerned expression on his face, illustrating the comical aspect. This main image has the ability to engage both genres within itself.  The comedy aspect is continued further, with the tagline “EVER FELT LIKE YOU WERE SORROUNDED BY ZOMBIES” which is a metaphor but denoted because of the image shown, the character is literally surrounded by zombies. The title is white, standing out from the red background, as well as having bits missing, perhaps suggesting and symbolising the zombies biting their way into the title, the zombie influenced title is accentuated with the zombie fist emerging from the ‘A’ in DEAD.  The dominance  of comedy is also shown through the cinema release line “shuffling into cinemas” contains a comical factor as is unique from the usual “coming into cinemas” as it reflects the theme of the movie being ‘zombies’ who shuffle as their only way of walking very well.

Empire Media Kit

Cosmopolitan Media kit

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