Tag Archives: Hans Zimmer

Jaws – Fan Trailer

Or should that be fin trailer?

Whilst studying film and television at university at the latter part of the 20th Century I decided to try and hone some of my editing skills by putting together a contemporary trailer for my all time favourite film, Jaws.

With its re release at cinemas earlier this year it was granted a new trailer which got my thinking about the one I produced back in that edit suite, I still had a copy of it somewhere knocking around on VHS so decided to hunt it out.

If memory serves I put it together at some point in 1997 and used a piece of Hans Zimmer music from Crimson Tide, a submarine thriller from late Director Tony Scott. That score though is perhaps most famous for being used on one of the greatest trailers of the 90s, Independence Day, or ID4 as it was known in some quarters. I hear that the film itself is being released in 3D sometime next year.

In my Jaws trailer I went for setting the scene in Amity and then slowly building a sense of dread and foreboding before finally revealing the shark. Of course there was a mixture of the classic scenes, such as that first attack, and some of the classic lines,that are just so iconic.

All in all I was still pleased with what I produced all those years ago, I especially liked the juxtaposition between Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) during the autopsy and the first victim he is looking, which worked rather well in the section where he splashes water on his face which seems to mimic poor Chrissie making her way through the ocean at night.

My trailer is perhaps a tad long but the stand out moment for me is the bit where Quint (Robert Shaw) delivers his “too many captains on this island” talk to the whole town and Chief Brody (Roy Scheider). I love it where the music begins to swell up again just as the camera is moving in on him.

The widescreen really shows off some of the wonderful framing and beauty of the film, including the sweeping light shot on the boat at night, Spielberg loves his light and it really shows here acting almost as a pre-cursor to Close Encounters.

Both my trailer and the re release one share many of the same key characteristics and shots (which of course they would,they are from the same film) so I was pleased that in marketing terms I seemed to be hitting the same kind of notes as the boys at Universal.

Jaws is released on Bluray for the first on Monday 3rd September.

Without further ado, here is my Jaws trailer:

And here is the re release one:

Independence Day

It’s over an astounding 15 years since giant shadows cascaded across our cinema screens and Independence Day was unleashed upon the world. In that time it’s been easy to deride this sci-fi epic but as alien invasions go they have never looked so stunning. In fact, it’s fair to say that any alien invasion movie since (or before for that matter) cannot fail to be compared.

Essentially it’s very much War of the Worlds meets Irvin Allen-esque menagerie of characters – mostly cardboard – but played by a host of recognisable actors. So far so Earthquake or The Towering Inferno with aliens, and like those films the main leads are oh so engaging, in this case Bill, Will and Jeff (essentially the same character as he played in Jurassic Park). But, to be fair, as witty as we find Mr Smith exclaiming he is going to “whoop ETs ass”, what we’ve really paid our money for is to see the wanton death and destruction.

And boy, does it deliver that in spades, especially with perhaps the most iconic shot of 90s cinema, the obliteration of the White House. Of course, shots such as that and the destruction of several other buildings take on a whole new meaning in this post 9/11 world.

ID4 was uber American gung ho. It was a different time with a different President. Post Iraq and post 9/11 it’s a world that, rather ironically, looks completely alien. It’s as if it was a much simpler time ‘back then’. And although some of the dialogue (thank you Mr Smith) was trite in places you can’t deny the power and force of the President’s speech before the final (Star Wars-esque) run at one of the saucers.

Sure, we had seen giant saucers before, most notably in V some 12 years earlier, but never with such foreboding and with such aplomb, what with the giant clouds and those introductory shadows, Emmerich doing for UFOs what Spielberg did for sharks and not showing the audience until he absolutely had to, ramping up that alien fear factor to 11. The music is a bravo score by David Arnold, in his pre Bond days and hot off scoring duties from another Emmerich sci-fi epic, Stargate.

Just like those 70s disaster movies that it so perfectly emulates, the film also has that nice old skool Hollywood feel to it as the special effects were still very much in the early days of digital effects so many of the memorable moments, such as the White House exploding and fire raging through the city were done as practical effects so look real because, well, they were.

Far from a perfect film, with its clichés galore and film lore of dog evading certain death (that leap in the tunnel is great though) it is pretty much the perfect example of a summer blockbuster. It’s dumb, but dumb with style, but plenty of fun. Certainly compared to some of the efforts we’ve seen in recent years it could even be argued it’s not even that dumb.

Some of the characters are weak in places but there are so many of them, or they are snuffed out so soon, that it doesn’t really matter. Some of the jumps in logic defy, well logic, but it all works together, it all gels and above all else it makes you come out of a screening feeling that little bit more alive. No pun intended, but even after all these years, and numerous films filled with digital pokery, the film is still, rather fittingly, a huge visual feast of a blast that provides plenty of bang(s) for your buck.

Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich tried pretty much the same trick with Godzilla a couple of years later, but this time round the lightning in the bottle just couldn’t be recaptured, so it was certainly more than about hurling cash at the screen in the form of impressive special effects.

The marketing campaign was also something of a masterstroke, almost preparing us as if there were an actual alien invasion, with great posters and trailer campaign (with great use of Hans Zimmer’s score from Crimson Tide), complete with the destruction of the White House first being unleashed on an unsuspecting audience during the Super Bowl. Now, that’s how to grab attention!

There’s long been a mooted ID42 and post Iraq, post 9/11, post Transformers and Emmerich’s other disaster epics, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, it would certainly be interesting to see what they did next and if any of the original characters were involved. Certainly it would need a return from Smith, Paxton (as President obviously now retired) and Goldblum.

The sequel might not be invading theatres anytime soon but the 3D version of Independence Day (duck at that fire truck rolling through the air) is scheduled to set the world – along with box office tills – on fire sometime next year. Technically that’s ID43D then!

Sherlock, stock and two smoking actors

With Sherlock Holmes about to hit Bluray in the US (following in the UK sometime in May), now is the perfect time to revisit the reimagining of Baker Street’s finest.

Robert Downey Jr has been flying high since he blasted back onto screens as Iron Man where he excelled as wealthy 21st century James Bond-esque playboy Tony Stark so it seemed only fitting that he would have a stab at a 19thcentury version in the guise of Sherlock Holmes.

We all know that Downey Jr can excel in all things decidedly English and Victorian-esque with his fantastic turn as Charlie Chaplin in the Richard Attenborough biopic. The sets and costumes are sumptuous and the film can only be described as looking two thirds From Hell and one third Harry Potter. There are perhaps those who might be a tad nervous seeing that this film is from Guy Ritchie but thankfully with Madonna out of his system he seems to be back on form with some truly lovely visuals that we haven’t really seen since we first got excited about him with Lock, Stock.

The story centres around the dark arts and Lord Blackwood, Stardust villain Mark Strong in another fine bad guy turn, who is thwarted by Holmes and Watson in their final case together. He is hanged but seemingly appears back from the dead to wreak revenge and change across the British Empire. Its dark themes echo some of those featured in an earlier Holmes incarnation, Young Sherlock Holmes and the Pyramid of Fear, which also featured some wonderfully dark undertones.

The movie is fairly breathless in its editing and pacing but lingers long enough for us to enjoy the characters, their dialogue and the lovingly recreated locations, including a part completed Tower Bridge. It is lovingly created throughout, with a memorably fun score by Hans Zimmer, and canters along like a proper boys own adventure in the same zest, style and fun as Michael Crichton’s The First Great Train Robbery did back in the late 70s. In fact you could almost have seen Dustin Hoffman taking on the part of Holmes if it had been made during that period.

The films greatest assets though are their leads and both Downey Jr and a surprisingly watchable Jude Law really relish in their roles and make you really believe they are the sleuthing duo. Much of the dialogue is fantastically crisp with the pair zinging off each other in the same lovingly jolly romp manner as Newman and Redford did as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. And that is the great thing about this film, its Da Vinci Code style plot of murders and people in high places is fun and engaging but we’d follow this pair anywhere and with the film neatly setting up its follow up potential in an enticing way.

One can only hope the sequel is afoot as this has to be one of the most unabashedly entertaining films of the year and somehow just feels the perfect post-Christmas film.