Horror and Sci-fi in the 1950's

Posted by Elly Thursday, September 23, 2010 Labels: ,

This project for my group, without writing an entire script, is clearly going to be centred around horror and/or sci-fi.

'The Day Of The...' already brings to mind the works of George. A. Romero and Lucio Fulci, which is horror. 'Chainsaw' immediately evokes a reaction in my mind personally, of horror or gore. Because of this, I would be more likely to lean towards Horror than Sci-fi, however using traits from both could be beneficial.

The 1950's gave birth to some of the most recognised Horror/Sci-Fi titles of our time including:

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
The Werewolf
The Blob
The Mummy
Plus many more

As you can see, these are some well known movies, even by today's standards. By looking at some of these 50's trailers of successful movies, this will surely give us an insight into what we should be aiming for.

The sound is so much different compared to what I see in a cinematic trailer today. It is dramatic from the offset and there is no dip or let, in it's pulse. there are no moments where the music cuts out for a particular reason, and it is well suited to its genre, it is genuinely spooky.

As well as this, i can notice the transition of scenes are few and far between compared to today's standards, and the actual sweeping transitions are non existent, it literally just moves into the next clip.

It is also very text heavy, again compared to today's standards, and the text itself is in a particular font.

Although the musical score isn't brought in immediately like The Mummy trailer, when it does come in, it is necessary and dramatic. Even though it isn't brought in straight away, the dialogue gets straight to the point. This is the opposite to today's kind of trailers, which leave you guessing right until the last minute.

Once again, a strong yet sterile voice over is telling the story, almost an entire synopsis of the movie is given in the trailer, all the mystery is gone. Also in this trailer (and many of the others I've viewed but not posted) the text is arranged and fonted in a particular way, and is used often.

The actors are again introduced as a big part of the movie, to draw in the crowd (how the hell Steve McQueen is playing a teenager when he looks about 37 I'll never know) and are given their own portion of the trailer.

These things mentioned, are the same in pretty much most of the trailers i viewed, there is a 'formula' so to speak, in what makes a successful 50's trailer.

The score, the font, the voice over, the transitions of clips, and introduction of characters/cast, and the pacing of the drama and suspense are all different to what you would see in a trailer today, yet were considered successful in the 50's.


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