Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Narrative image
This is all about the marketing of a film. The
narrative image is what we think of before we
actually see the film. It is the film’s image or
identity, and how it is branded. It comes from
the direct publicity surrounding a film (ie its
marketing – the poster, trailer, video release etc)
and also from word of mouth. It particularly
draws on the generic qualities of the film. In
other words, the marketing promotes the film’s
genre signifiers in order to exploit the audience’s
desire for familiarity and recognition – this
brands the film and broadens its potential appeal
But the narrative image also centres around
the idea of difference and originality. This
comes in the form of the narrative enigma.
The film’s publicity has to encourage the
audience into asking questions about the
film, and must intrigue the audience enough
to want to know the answers. They will only
be able to do this if they pay to go and see the
film. This is the enigma – the mystery
surrounding the film.
So the narrative image is a promise – a promise to
the audience that the film will deliver the answers.
Often the narrative image is deliberately misleading,
in order to widen the target audience – the core
audience are encouraged to go and see a film that
conforms to expectations, but are shocked by
unexpected breaks with convention that may have
put them off if they had known about it beforehand.
In summary, narrative image combines similarity
and difference and only works if this combination is
finely tuned to target the audience effectively.