In the summer of 2000 a box office hit was released. “Gladiator” was a brilliant action film set in Ancient Rome, which appealed to over 15s from both genders. The film was hugely successful and raked in over $190,000,000 in the U.S box-office and $434,000,000 worldwide.
However the film wouldn’t have been nearly as successful as it was without the help of an exciting and gripping trailer to appeal to the target audience. Trailers are very important in the film industry because it’s the one chance film-makers have to attract their target audience. They try to choose clips which will appeal to their target audience and also makes the film-makers trailer more distinctive by including unique selling points (USPs). In this essay I’m going to look at exactly how the trailer influenced so many people to flock to the cinema to see this historical epic.
A teaser trailer is a short trailer which is used to tease a film’s target audience, so they are left unsatisfied wanting to know how the events unfold.
The “Gladiator” teaser trailer works well because the director, Ridley Scott, chose the right combination of action and romance scenes, and text which helps the audience to understand what’s happening. The trailer encapsulates all the best bits (USPs) in a little under two minutes.
In the trailer the colours change as the story begins to unfold. The first image of Russell Crowe dressed as a general has blue undertones which have been used to signify Germania as a cold and unwelcoming place. The undertones then become oranges and browns to represent Africa and his enslavement. The audience can tell he has been enslaved because the words “who became a slave” follow the shot of Africa. After that the colours change again, and became gold, white and other majestic colours, to represent Rome as a powerful and glorious empire. Some examples are white sand on the coliseum floor, gold and brown coliseum walls, and red rose petals falling around Maximus.
Without this use of colour change the audience would find it more difficult to tell that the hero experienced a radical journey from a general to a slave to a gladiator, then a hero.
As the trailer begins, slow images combined with Written Words are used to give the target audience time to familiarise themselves with the story of Maximus. For example the first few shots are of Russell Crowe as a general, then a slave, then a gladiator. This makes it clear to the audience who the main character is and helps to set the scene. Then the images start to become faster and more exciting. This is achieved by using rapid cuts which increases the viewer’s excitement. For example the viewer now sees images of sword fights, fierce tigers and overturned chariots. A shot of a chariot overturning and the image of a horse jumping through flames have also been included, but slowed down because they are exciting stunts and the director doesn’t want the audience to miss them. Also by...