Trailer Music Assignment



‘This is the End’

What is the purpose of a film trailer?

Without a trailer, would the final product have any where near as much of an impact as the film had with the trailer? I doubt it.

  • Attract audiences to the film. They offer a snippet of what is to come in the final product.
  • Define the film’s genre. The genre is one thing that the film has to clearly show, otherwise you might go to a film expecting one thing and getting another.
  • Show the the film’s release date
  • Inform you who is in the film. Many people will go to see a film, based upon the reputation of those involved with it.
  • To let the viewers know what the general plot-line of the story is, without spoiling anything.
  • Create buzz or hype. Hype can be a bad thing, because people may have extremely high expectations for something and then be let down by a ‘disappointing’ product.

What do you think makes a good film trailer?

  • From the perspective of the companies involved with the film, it would be to market and sell the film to the public, so that when it is released, many people will want to go and watch it.
  • From the perspective of a viewer, it would be to make the audience feel emotion; laughter, fear, tension, happiness, love, etc. If a film is defined as a comedy, but the comedy doesn’t make you laugh, then it isn’t really going to sell the film to you. The film needs to showcase some of it’s best moments in the trailer, as these are the moment’s when the viewer might say, ‘yeh that looks awesome’ which would be the point when he/she decides that they want to go and see the film. It also needs to clearly tell the viewer what the general plot line of the story is (without spoiling it) Because like books, film’s are a form of art, and you are giving up time and money to go and see the film, so they need to tell you why that money is going to be well spent, and why it was a well spent one/two and a half hours.

What are the characteristics of sound in a film trailer? (regardless of genre)

  • Quick
  • Snappy
  • Loud
  • Overloaded
  • Rising
  • Emotional
  • Section based (the music changes as the soundtrack progresses)
  • Jumpy
  • Toned (matching the character’s/events persona)
  • Believable (They have to make you feel like as if you are in the world of the film)

What is the genre of the two film trailers you have chosen?

Gravity – Sci-Fi

This is the End – Comedy

What sounds do you associate with the two genre’s?


  • Tech(y)
  • Fast
  • Reverb(y)
  • Heart pounding
  • Tense
  • Rising
  • Suspenseful
  • Loud


  • Fun
  • Upbeat
  • Modern
  • ‘Street’
  • Kwerky
  • Overdone
  • Cringy
  • Gangster
  • Contemporary

Who is the target audience for your two clips? – How does this affect sound chosen?


This depends on the specific type of sci-fi. Films such as ‘Alien’ and ‘Oblivion’ are both sci-fi’s but are completely different. But generally adults appreciate sci-fi’s as well, but just not as much as as teenager perhaps, because many more films are fitting into the sci-fi genre that are not as ground breaking and exceptional as old sci-fi’s like ‘Blade Runner’ or ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’

This means that the sounds can be similar and take insporation from older sci-fi’s as oppose to more modern ones.


Teenagers/early adults are the main target audience, but some comedies are mixed with other genre’s and are aimed at several different audiences. For instance ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ is a dark comedy. So it would be better suited for adults than teenagers. But teenagers are the main target audience.

This means that the sound can be overdone and modern.

The trailer that I have chosen to work on the sound for is ‘Gravity’

Planning – What are your intentions?

I don’t want to take a song that I or other people (perhaps a ‘mainstream’ ‘viral’ song) know and place that over my video and work on just the sound effects. I want to work on both the soundtrack and the sound effects. You could if you knew it well enough create original music on ‘Garage Band’ but I don’t know it that well, so I am going to source some soundtrack(y) type music (that is copyright free and eligible to download) off the internet. I may have one or two of these I am not sure, but I am going to play around with them and perhaps dim the sound between the two. The reason I want to source soundtrack(y) type music is because I want not only to make the video seem believable, but I also want to make the audience feel like as if they are their as well. Besides the soundtrack, which I am very sure I will have several different pieces of music for, as the trailer is broken down into sections, I am going to work on the sound effects. Their is a variety of different sound effects that I will need to source for this video (I could record sounds and edit them, but I want them to be really believable, so I am going to download them instead) Some examples are:-

  • Breathing
  • Heartbeat
  • Screaming (fear)
  • Debris
  • Collision sounds (crashing/breaking)

As for the typical trailer type section, I am not sure what I am planning specifically. The music however will be crucial in that section.

Production process – what did you do?

I started off by adding subtitles onto the video, because the dialogue is crucial to understanding the situation of the main character. She is relatable to the audience, because she is extremely scared of the situation and is constantly panicking as oppose to George Clooney’s character, who is managing to stay calm.

The first thing that I did was I looked at sounds related to suspense, that I could use. This was mainly for sound effects. I only searched for a bit, before I started to look for soundtrack)y) type music instead. One thing however that I did find was the sound of a generator or something similar. This is the same sound as the one that you hear in the trailer, when it is in the trailer type section as oppose to clip sections. I did a bit of editing on that, to increase the sound and reverb as well perhaps.

Once I did that, I started sourcing some soundtrack(y) type music. I downloaded several different songs and tried using them at various different parts of the video. In the end I used about four different soundtrack(y) songs in their, because the trailer isn’t really a typical styled trailer; it is broken down into several parts (like most other trailers) but two of the sections in the trailer are long length clips from the film. And so essentially, I am editing clips up to the back end of the trailer, where it is a more typical styled trailer, with lots of quick cuts, which build up towards something large, creating tension.

I used some of the soundtrack(y) music that I downloaded, at the beginning of the video, because their are introduction credits. The credits just tell you what everyone presumably already knows, saying ‘nothing to carry sound’, ‘no air pressure’, ‘no oxygen’. I used some of the music to create an ambience. This means that from the start the audience are engaged in the situation and are not given any time to breath before it kicks off. Then I start to throw them into the situation by using something that sounds quite horror(y) actually. It works though, and as I was discussing previously, this film is more than one genre as well, it is mostly sci-fi, but it is kind of a horror film as well, because it is all about survival and facing the overwhelming odds against you.

Once that finishes, the chaos starts to begin, and along with chaotic events, I used some of the soundtrack(y) music that I downloaded. This one lasted for a while. I made sure to make it nice and loud. It is quick and suspenseful. The music really makes you feel like as if you are in that very same situation.

I also placed lots of sounds of debris and explosions on as well, as like I was saying, I am effectively editing a clip; so that means that soundtrack, sound effects and foley need editing. I faded out certain sounds because you could see that the object in the clip, that was responsible for such sound, was moving further away. I also used female vocals. These were things like panicking, trembling noises. It was harder to find screams. So you can here her breath more than you can here her scream.

On one of the sounds, I had to edit the original clip (with some assistance) because the sound only came out of the left headphone. So I copied the clip, added another layer and changed the sound settings on that sound layer to mono. This meant that the sound came out of both headphone sides. And as well, it wasn’t as if you would have bass from one and treble from the other. It was equal on both sides.

The first time you here her voice (in a panicky way) it is quite annoying, because she screams and then suddenly she goes quiet again. She screams because she is spiralling out of control, whilst stuck on a machine, and the machine spins around towards the camera, this is when you hear her scream. With her vocals, it was a quite annoying throughout the video because I was using either of the same three or four vocals all the way through. So their may be points, where you say, I have heard that scream before.

Once the soundtrack at the start of the video starts to quiet down, more focus becomes put on her voice. You can see that she is breathing constantly, so the breathing carries that specific part of the video. Certain sounds start to disappear/fade out. When she ejects herself, I wanted to use an echoe type sound. However I struggled to do this and so the scream is both less impactful and long as I had hoped.

Once she starts to float away into empty space, the music stops. Then the Warner Bros logo appears for a short time. While the logo appears, new music is playing. The logo then disappears in a flash, meaning another sudden change in music as the shot changes. It changes to lots of quick shots that you cannot really make out. When I say quick shots, they are on screen for less than a second. So what I did their was that I used a static noise, because it is loud and unpleasant. All of the shots in the static area, are shots where something bad has happened.

After this shot, in returns to another clip. this one taking place pretty much just after the last one ended. Ryan is still floating in space. This time around, seeing as all of the debris has gone and she isn’t colliding with various things, the emphasis is more on Ryan and how she feels as oppose to what is going on around her.

Their is different music at this point, which I think works really well. However my problem with this section is the second half of it. For the first half it is fine, but then in the second half, you can see her mouth move. And since their is breathing, it makes no sense have her continue breathing as she would need to pause to speak. So to try and combat this, I started stripping the sound and leaving the audience with just Ryan’s heartbeat. I do like this, although looking back, I think I would have proffered to have left just the breathing instead. I had originally tried to sync the breathing, and it was ‘ok’ That was the reason why I decided to strip the sound, so I could kind of get away with not syncing the breathing. But also in the second half of that section, the last few shots are important. I like what I did with the sound, because at that point all of the sound was non existent, I had faded out the breathing, and then I complemented the close ups which mean offer of emotion in the shots, with emotional(ish) music. It is more personal and makes you feel for Ryan. I think this works really well, but then their is a gap in shots where I spread the existing shots away from each other, without removing any, in order to make room for the music that complimented Ryan’s close up’s, as I felt that the music worked really well, and I didn’t want to fade it out all of a sudden after only being heard for about three seconds.

After this, the more typical trailer styled section is introduced. So I didn’t have to worry about putting in the sound effects so much. So instead, I have just used a two pieces of sound and that is it. One of which is a generator type sound that I downloaded and tweaked a bit using Audacity, and the other is just a simple rise of tension. I can’t remember specifically what sound this was, it may have been a something that I downloaded and edited, downloaded and not edited, or even just the same piece of tense sound that I used in my horror sound project.

I think that these sounds work fairly well. It would have been nicer if they had synched up to the video clips though. However if I altered the sound then it would be off the beat, and I would need to cut each clip into it’s own piece of media and not keep it as one long trailer. And then I would trim the clips to make them match the sound. Which wouldn’t have been to hard. But it is still good to have the original trailer’s footage as much as possible. The generator sound is a strange one because the level of it’s volume will differ depending what you watch it on and which headphones you use if any. Sometimes it sounds fine, but other times it sounds to high, but that depends on the sound quality of your headphones/pc.

All of these clips build up to the very last section of the trailer (besides the credits). With the tension rising, a brought in another ‘dum’ I think that this definately works but could be possibly louder. In the last section of the trailer, Ryan is holding on to a shuttle as masses of large and small debris head towards her and the shuttle. For this, it was editing another clip, but this time a much shorter one. I used several sound effects such as screaming and debris explosions. But one of the most important parts about this section is the music. I have several different layers of music on their. It was strange because I had originally found a piece of music that worked well and then found another one which worked equally well, but only it took me longer than expected to realise that they were the same piece of music. only with a little more tension and climatic effect on one than the other. So I used the more tense of the two. When the clip finishes, it quickly cuts into the credits. The credits display ‘Gravity’ in big bold letters. At this point, I use the same ‘thud’ as I used when Ryan detaches. It was originally used with this clip, but I ended up using it on the other clip as well. I think the sound works works really well with the credits. I had tried using another piece of music alongside it to fade it out, but I decided not to use it.

Final Edit

Evaluation – What worked well? – What could you improve on?


  • I think that the choice of music was good for each section
  • I think that the screaming/panicking vocals were fairly believable
  • I think that besides the fact that there is no sound in space, the debris/explosions were quite good.
  • I think that the final sound of the trailer (as the credits title) appears works really well
  • The use of breathing and heartbeats
  • The sound on the introduction credits
  • The static white noise, after the ‘Warner Bros’ logo
  • I think it captures the audience’s attention and makes you feel connected


  • I didn’t use that ‘dum’ noise after she detaches
  • I downloaded more vocals
  • I attempted to sync up the breathing
  • I had a louder and more dramatic ‘dum’ when the debris hits, just before the end section of the video
  • I downloaded more debris noises (other than shattering glass)
  • I used some cool reverb type sounds near the beginning of the video (when the ship spins about)
  • I worked a bit more on breathing and heartbeats
  • I made the scream echo as she detaches
  • I included some more shots/shot in the blank space
  • I synched up the generator noise with the shots, because roughly each shot lasts the same amount of time. So if I cut down each shot to make it match with the generator noise (which is later does, for a time)
  • I paid more attention to the part where the introductory credits say ‘There is nothing to carry sound’ and I made it scientifically accurate

Re-edit checklist

  • Synch breathing
  • Attempt to cut video to synch it to audio near end
  • Alter the sound levels for screaming/breathing
  • Get a better ‘dum’ towards the end

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