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Task 4

Film Trailers

A film trailer is a persuasive and a narrative text. A story told over two hours is compressed into a two-minute advert that summarises the story and provides a glimpse of the best bits without giving too much away. The music and sound effects used in a trailer are just as important as the moving images, the voiceover or the words on screen. Together, all these elements create a trailer that can be funny, intriguing, thrilling, or frightening.

When watching a trailer, discuss the following questions:

  • When and why does the music change pace?
  • Which emotions does each piece of music provoke?
  • What does the music tell us about the characters and settings?
  • How do sound effects and silence add to the mood?


1. A Boy Called Dad

2. Prince Caspian

3. The Fox and the Child

4. The Secret of Moonacre

Task: Develop a trailer storyboard for a story you know well. Take notes on what music and sound you would use at different points. Why not animate or film your trailer and compose the soundtrack using instruments or software samples. It could be a film adaptation of a book you have read or a sequel to it.

Recommended viewing: Watch the trailer for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian in the video player.

Listen to a 30-second radio trailer made by some Year 5 pupils: