2. O Sound can make or break a teaser trailer and
determine whether it is a successful and
effective advertisement for a film.
O Sound helps to build tension and create
suspense in moments of action.
O It can also help to tell a narrative and
establish the mood and genre of a film.
O Thriller films are known for intense moments
of suspense and a dark atmosphere; this can
be created in a teaser trailer through the use
O Sound can help to create emotion in an
audience such as feelings of fear and to keep
an audience interested in a film by creating
3. Non – diegetic sound
O Non diegetic sound is used within all teaser trailers and is
the sound that the characters cannot hear, for example a
O The fact the audience can hear what the characters can’t
gives them an advantage as it can tell the audience what is
about to happen or hint that something dramatic is about to
happen. This is important within a teaser trailer.
O In thrillers soundtracks tend to be dramatic rather than
upbeat and happy; they typically create a sense of
desperation and paranoia.
O Thrillers also tend to use fairly repetitive non diegetic sound
as this creates anxiety for the audience which is a key
atmosphere within thriller films as it will scare the audience.
4. Other elements…
O Themes and stings can be used with non diegetic sound and a soundtrack to help
punctuate the action on screen and establish the thriller genre.
O Jumpy and scary music can be named as themes/ stings as they produce different
atmospheres and settings for a thriller film.
O Screeches are also important; they are high pitched sounds also known as orchestral
O For example screeches were used in the thriller film Psycho, directed by Alfred
Hitchcock. They can be heard in the infamous shower scene and add suspense and
thrill to the scene. (click on the image for an example)
O Silence can also be used within a thriller film or teaser trailer as it helps to create
suspense; it also pushes the audience to focus on the action and will make any
sounds scare the audience by making them jump.
O Sound bridges are used to cut to another shot, without the action being interrupted,
this is very important in a thriller as it allows the audience to still feel tension even
when the action is no longer viewable.
O Teaser trailers reveal minimal information about a film and typically will use montage
editing to introduce the narrative, themes, characters and genre of a film. Therefore
the soundtrack needs to connect all the shots used and match the pace of the action.
O The pace in a teaser trailer will gradually build until it reaches a climax by using quick
cuts and short shots, this is mirrored in the sound as it will also speed up.
O There will often be cuts or dips in the soundtrack during teaser trailers, especially for
thrillers as they highlight certain points of the trailer. After this the sound re-enters at
a higher volume and more dramatically.
O The teaser trailer for Inception is a good example of how pace builds in a trailer as
the action becomes more fast paced. The music is very dramatic as punctuating
sounds are used along with the titles; as more sounds are layered together they build
to create suspense before the climax. (click the image below)
6. Voice overs
O Voice overs are a common feature within the sound for a thriller film and
within a teaser trailer.
O They help to give the audience information about the film’s narrative and
explain the action on screen. This is especially useful when montage
editing is used as this does not provide much information about a film.
O Typically a voiceover is from the view of the protagonist and may reveal
their point of view to the story or their emotions and thoughts.
O The teaser trailer for Nerve is a good example of this as they use a voice
over at the beginning to explain a key concept that runs throughout the
film. This helps to inform the audience in a clear way. (click the image
below for the trailer)
7. Ambient sounds
O Ambient sounds are found in almost every teaser and are used to create a realistic
atmosphere. They can be diegetic and non – diegetic.
O They can be added through real life recordings to seem as if they match with the
shot on screen.
O Ambient sounds that are used consistently in thriller teaser trailer are loud bass
noises (non – diegetic), footsteps, a door shutting and a dripping tap (diegetic);
these help to create a sense of realism but are also eerie and create suspense.
O Another example of diegetic sound that can be used within teaser trailers is
dialogue. This can create a tense atmosphere and helps to explain the narrative to
O The Girl on the Train teaser trailer uses dialogue to introduce the characters to the
audience and to hint at the key themes within the film. They also use diegetic sounds
of a train to create realism. (click the image below)
8. My own teaser trailer…
O For my own teaser trailer I know that I should work to
find or create music that fits with the pace of the footage
on screen as this will help to build suspense and
establish the thriller genre. I should also use diegetic
sounds where possible for realism and possibly
punctuating sounds to make it more dramatic.
O If it is necessary I could use a voice over and dialogue
to make the soundscape more complex and effective.
O To make the teaser trailer dramatic I could also use
silence or dip in and out of the soundtrack.