Music, Sound, and the Moving Image

A Laugh a Second?

Music and Sound in Comedy Trailers

Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (2014), 8, (2), 121–140.

Abstract

The research project ‘(Re-)Framing Film: Trailers, Music and Meaning in the Digital Age’, hosted by Carleton University, has undertaken the first comprehensive study of music and sound in cinematic trailers. Close analysis of the aural dimension of over 125 trailer texts has revealed that comedy trailers present a unique soundscape within the world of cinematic previews, as dictated by genre. Pre-composed music (especially popular songs), structurally deployed synch points, special aural treatment of punchlines, and multilayered elements of irony (e.g. generic ambiguity through music) conspire to create a compelling audiovisual experience for trailer consumers. The previews for Ted, Pineapple Express, and The Hangover franchise serve as case studies to illustrate the observations about genre-based uses of music and sound.

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Deaville, James

Malkinson, Agnes