Thursday, August 30, 2012

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

My favorite movie trailer to watch that makes me want to watch the movie every time I see it is the trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Just watching it for this blog gave me chills. I think this trailer really appeals to the pathos and ethos of the audience.
                Many things happen at the beginning of the trailer to make it emotionally charged. First, the music is very dramatic but quiet.  Second, the trailer opens with a scene between Voldemort and Harry. It’s one of the most dramatic scenes in the movie and attracts the audience right away. As the scene unfolds the music continues to build. When the scene reaches its climax so does the music and it switches to a bunch of different scenes from the movie. One reason I think this approach worked so well is because it really appeals to the emotion or pathos of the audience.  In the book, Everything’s an Argument by Andrea Lunsford and John J. Ruszkiewicz, it states: “emotion can add real muscle to arguments” (103).  This really applies to this trailer because it goes straight for the audience’s emotions. The scene used is when Harry goes to meet Voldemort in the dark forest and leaves us right when Voldemort performs the killing curse on Harry. It leaves audience wondering what’s going to happen and also worried for the hero, is he going to live or die? The rest of the scenes shown in the trailer are action scenes; showing the main characters in danger. Fear is a strong emotion and this trailer really plays on that.
                This trailer also uses the strong recognition of its characters. The Deathly Hallows is the 7th installment of the Harry Potter series that has been going on for 10 years; the characters are very recognizable by now. They don’t have to announce the names; just showing their faces brings about the memory. Like I said earlier, it shows all the characters in perilous situations and because they are all household names by now, the audience is already on their side and wants to see them prevail. The trailer doesn’t show the outcome to any of these situations in hopes it will entice the audience to go see the movie.
                This trailer appeals to a lot of the senses. The use of color and music and fonts and words all make the trailer very convincing. In terms of color, all the scenes are very dark and dismal indicating that the mood of this movie is very serious and not a light-hearted comedy.  The only colors used that really stand out are oranges and reds to emphasize fire and wand duels.  In Understanding Movies by Louis Giannetti, he states that “color tends to be a subconscious element in film. It’s strongly emotional in its appeal, expressive and atmospheric rather than intellectual” (22). He later states that “since earliest times, visual artists have used color for symbolic purposes…warm colors (red, yellow, orange) suggest aggressiveness, violence, and stimulation” (Giannetti, 22).  This explains why the makers of this trailer chose to just emphasize the red and orange to indicate the danger and violence present in this movie in addition to using the dark setting of the scenes. 
        The part of the trailer that really speaks to me or convinces me the most is when the words “The Motion Picture Event of a Generation” appear larger than life in that signature Harry Potter font.  Wow, it gives me chills every time I see it. This appeals to emotions mostly because it’s like saying to me “hey, this is your generation! Don’t miss out!” It just really hits home with me because I've read all the books so I already knew how epic the movie was going to be without seeing the trailer, but those words just reiterate what I already knew.  It also speaks to the people that haven’t read the books. That’s a pretty heavy claim so it makes people curious, is this really the motion picture event of my generation? It appeals to the logos of the audience by saying it’s totally reasonable to see this movie, you would be silly to miss out on this. This trailer shows a lot of action and thriller scenes indicating it’s a drama/thriller/action movie. But it also shows glimpses of love scenes appealing to a wider audience than just those interested in the action. 



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