Reel Reading Q4 Benchmark
Ebony Ream, Vaughn Matthews, Luke Risher
When we were thinking about the genre of comedy several characteristics to look for jumped out. First was the storyline should be a light-hearted drama, this would be important for giving the audience space and mindset to laugh at the humor. Also, one thing that we notice was a characteristic of the genre was exaggerating situations to make them seem preposterous to the viewers. A subsection of comedy that we also wanted to focus slightly on was a slapstick comedy. This is a kind of comedy that is less in dialogue and more based in action.
Taking into consideration these factors and guiding points of the genre we set off to make a drastic, but also reasonable shift. We redid the trailer for The Purge to be a comedy. We started with changing the interpretation of the concept to be less violent. Comedy is often not violent so a thriller driven by violence needed to be slightly modified. This would basically change the horror intense drama into a light-hearted drama which achieved the first of our goals of comedy. So we kept the portion of the trailer that included criminal activity but changed the crimes to be less violent. We made the crimes low scale and pranks which made the film more slapstick comedy than a violent thriller. This fit perfectly into the slapstick style we were going for. Also, the idea of The Purge was already kind of exaggerated and unrealistic you could say because it’s not an experience people would normally ever have, so this fit well with the humor theme of over exaggeration.
So when we adopted those changes, the trailer became more comical, but in reviewing it, we still needed to make other alterations. Another large difference in comedy and horror is the soundtrack, the purge trailer soundtrack was very menacing and built suspense so replacing it with an uptempo cheerful soundtrack, this lets the audience know that the vibe of the film was cheerful and fun as opposed to violent and suspenseful.
We also highlighted more of the story of The Purge that was based on the family. In the beginning of the trailer for The Purge, there were scenes of the family being happy and loving life, in the redo of the trailer we tried to bring this out, even more, to give the story a happy and family feel. Some comedy is darker, but for this we wanted The Purge to appear to be accessible to the whole family so we wanted to bring out the lightheartedness and family aspects of the story.
While we were making all these changes we also wanted to make the redo clearly related to the trailer. To do this we used some a main cinematic property of the trailer was sharp cuts and flashes of scenes. This is a feature of horror movies, but with different framing can also fit comedy.
Another Cinematic thing we played with was light, we made the redo of the trailer have more light, especially more natural light. We did this by filming in the day and making sure the subjects were well lit. This took away the suspenseful and frightening element that the darkness added in the original trailer.
Overall we kept the storyline and idea, but slightly changed the severity and intenseness of the concepts to fit the genre of comedy. We put the emphasis on different parts of the story to change the overall tone of the movie. We also changed the cinematic technique of light and audio to also set the mode to be more comedic and less scary. The result was a successful change from horror to comedy.