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MOVIE BLURBS

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					 MOVIE
 BLURBS

Anna Lucia Aprile
Valeria Carlucci
Immacolata Lazzari
Maria Francesca Toma
WHAT IS A BLURB?

    A blurb is a short summary or some
     words of praise accompanying a
     creative work, usually referring to the
     words on the back of books but also
     commonly seen on DVD and video
     cases, web portals and news
     websites. It is usually a summary
     which     attempts    to    get     the
     reader/spectator interested.
     MORE SPECIFICALLY…
 …a blurb on a book or a film
  can be any combination of
  quotes from the work, the
  author/ film director, the
  publisher, reviewers, or fans, a
  summary of the plot, a
  biography of the author or
  simply claims about the
  importance of the work.
          WHILE...
 …on the Web, a blurb is a
  line or short paragraph (20-
  50 words) that evaluates (or
  at least summarizes) what
  the reader will find at the
  other end of a link.
OUR ANALYSIS…
•   100 texts (blurbs)
                                             BLURBS
•A wide range of cinematic genres:
comedy,     drama,     fantasy,      adventure,   action,
animation/cartoons, thriller, Christmas.


            •   various data sources:
            DVD cases
            DVD store websites:
             http://dvd.bigpondmovies.com
             http://www.flicksandpopcorn.co.uk
             http://cdcovers.cc
LEXIS
                                 Vocabulary
Interestingly, blurbs show two parallel tendencies.

 The usage of general vocabulary, relevant to movie themes and
   scripts:
Friends, love (comedy), government, weapon (thriller/action), life (drama), destiny
   (adventure), to discover (important event)…

 The usage of specialized vocabulary concerning cinema at different
   levels:
Movie genres: (romantic) comedy, thriller,adventure, saga, comedy adventure,
   animation/animated film, action, romance, drama, action-thriller, epic
Movie staff: actor, director, filmmaker, creator, cast, studio, theatre
Plot: character, hero/heroine
Related verbs: to play, to star, to co-star, to come, to direct, to reteam, to adapt, to base
   to award
Movie features: special-effects, animation, music, soundtrack, performance, scene, CGI
   (computer generated imagery)
Movie type: screen adaptation, blockbuster, box-office hit, motion picture
Prizes: Academy Award, winner, Oscar, nomination, nominee
Real names: Paramount Pictures, Marvel Studios, Disney Pixar
                           Frequent Collocations
                                                               PHRASES
WORDS IN PAIRS

                                           Opening lines :
      Movie genres:
                                              From + director/creator + of
           “hilarious comedy”
                                               + his/ her previous movie +
         (17 tokens)                           COMES + blurbed movie
          “romantic comedy”                 (23 tokens)
         (10 tokens)                          In the style of + previous
          “outrageous comedy”                 movie +COMES +blurbed
         (9 tokens)                            movie
          “action-packed                    (8 tokens)
           adventure/hit”                     Name of actor(s) +
         (7 tokens)                            STAR(S) in + blurbed
          “all-star cast”                     movie
        (13 tokens)                          (14 tokens)



    Corpus analysis by Textstat
                         Some examples

 “From the creators of Old School and Road Trip comes the hilarious
  comedy based on the popular 1970s TV series.” STARSKY AND HUTCH

 “In the style of Shakespeare In Love comes the deliciously rousing
  romantic comedy Casanova.” CASANOVA

 “From the makers of Notting Hill and Bridget Jones's Diary comes the
  ultimate romantic comedy. This blockbuster film includes a fantastic all-
  star cast and an outstanding soundtrack.” LOVE ACTUALLY

 “This explosive, action-packed adventure….” THE INCREDIBLE HULK


 “Academy Award Winner Matt Damon stars in this explosive, action-packed
  hit filled with incredible fight sequences.” THE BOURNE IDENTITY
                                   Semantic fields

     They are usually related to a specific movie genre, as they are key to
      creating a particular kind of storyline and atmosphere.

1.    RELATIONS in … COMEDIES:
“Best friends and fellow fire-fighters”, I PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY
“two mismatched strangers”, WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS
“still suffering from a high school crush on Mary…”, THERE‟S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY
“a just-divorced couple”, FOOL‟S GOLD
“after five or six years of vanilla “wedded bliss””, MR AND MRS SMITH
 “For Too Long, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) had been looking for love in all the wrong
        places...” SEX AND THE CITY-THE MOVIE
“How far would an ordinary father go to spend more time with his children?”. MRS DOUBTFIRE

2.    FIGHT and DANGER in… ACTION MOVIES and THRILLERS:

“He is undeterred by the barrage of bullets from a new generation of highly-trained killers, tracking his
      every move and who will stop at nothing to prevent him from learning his true identity.” THE
      BOURNE IDENTITY
“They are both coolly lethal, highly paid assassins working for rival organisations……they're each
       other's next target…” MR AND MRS SMITH
After UN interpreter Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) overhears a plot to assassinate an African head of
       state, the US Secret Service is brought in to investigate,…” THE INTERPRETER
 “Jane plays Frank Castle, an FBI agent whose family is brutally murdered in retaliation when an
       undercover operation goes wrong……and remakes himself as The Punisher -a heavily armed,
       one-man killing machine” THE PUNISHER




3. GOOD AND EVIL in … FANTASY:



“But their short period of peace is once again shattered as a new enemy begins to emerge….
       Inuyasha, Kagome, Miroku, Sango and Shippo must once again unite to face the new threat.”
       INUYASHA
“With the help of a courageous fellowship of friends and allies, Frodo embarks on a perilous mission to
       destroy the legendary One Ring…Hunting Frodo are servants of the Dark Lord, Sauron, the
       Ring's evil creator…This epic tale of good versus evil will transport you..” THE LORD OF THE
       RINGS, I
“Aided by the wise and magnificent lion Aslan, the children lead Narnia into a spectacular, climactic
       battle to be free of the Witch's glacial powers forever!” THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE
       LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE
SYNTAX
                                      Use of verbs
There is significant presence of verbal forms, which are key to building up the plot
     and describing how events will unfold in the movie.
Both active and passive forms are identifiable:

     Active vbs: mainly chosen to describe a series of dynamic actions; usually linked to
      the main characters‟ active and high participation in the story (heros/villains). Very
      often, they create a thread through the entire plot.

“Unable to sleep, Bob and Charlotte cross paths by chance and soon strike up a surprising
     friendship. They venture together through Tokyo's nightlife, having often hilarious encounters
     with its citizens, and ultimately discover a new belief in life's possibilities.” LOST IN
     TRANSLATION


     Passive vbs: less frequent. Particularly used to highlight –ve actions which affect
      the movie hero.

“Stiller is Derek Zoolander, an intellectually challenged but bone structure-blessed male model who's
        despondent after being eclipsed in popularity by an equally vacuous rival, Hansel (Owen
        Wilson). Upon his reluctant retirement, Derek is invited to a day spa by previously standoffish
        fashion designer Jacobim Mugatu (Will Ferrell), where the befuddled model is brainwashed by
        the mysterious Katinka (Milla Jovovich) into assassinating the prime minister of Malaysia.”
        ZOOLANDER
                      Verb tenses
The most used ones…

    SIMPLE PRESENT: it‟s the quintessential tense of narration. It
     constantly occurs throughout plots, giving a fresh and immediate
     idea of the story.
    GERUND and PAST PARTICIPLE: they are used in implicit
     clauses and help establish a chronological order (gerund),
     relations, or describe a status (past participle).

But also…

    “WILL/TO BE GOING TO” FUTURE: when blurbs give hints
     about movie endings or interesting developments along the story.
     “Will” can also express promises to the public.
     PAST TENSES: rarely found. It can be used in “unconventional”
     structures:
“Once upon a time in a castle high on a hill lived an inventor whose greatest
     creation was named Edward” EDWARD SCISSORHANDS
“Once upon a Christmas Eve, an orphan baby crawled into Santa's bag of gifts
     and was taken to the North Pole “. ELF
                        Syntactical structure
•Blurbs are made up of complex sentences rich in subordinate
and coordinate clauses.
•Subordinate clauses are sometimes implicit
(spatial/temporal/relative) and placed at the beninning of the
sentence.
“Engaging in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, both Rowena and Hill begin to
realise [that] things may not be what they seem and that some people will go to
great lengths to protect their secrets...even if it means risking everything.” PERFECT
STRANGER
“Trapped on a sea of sand in Davy Jones' Locker, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is
the last of the nine Pirate Lords of the Brethren Court who must unite in one last stand
to preserve the freedom-loving pirates' way of life.” PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 3

This hypotactical choices are in contrast with the typical English
KISSY style, but has its roots in the need for conciseness: few
words, little space and little time for prospective spectators to read.
                                  Noun phrases
NPs are one of the core elements of blurb syntax and also stick to
  the “conciseness” rule. They allow blurb authors to squeeze
  massive information in…

 Attributes and/or appositions: placed either before or after the
  noun involved, sometimes accompanied by modifiers (adverbs)
“an on-the-job* nervous breakdown” THE LOVE GURU

“…Adso, aide to the sleuthing cleric and a youth on the verge of sexual and intellectual
  awakening” THE NAME OF THE ROSE

“Salt-of the-earth* widower Larry” I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY

“This is a refreshingly old-fashioned and gentle tale of a mustang stallion” SPIRIT


*Adjectives are usually the result of composition, which may put
  together terms corresponding to different parts of speech or rely
  on entire phrases
“heart-stopping action, death-defying stunts and white-knuckle excitement.
   N+V                     N+V                        A+N
                                   Ellipsis…
 … means cutting parts of the sentence and leaving things unsaid. It is often
  used in blurbs to place stress on specific information. It is rendered through
  DOTS.

 “As Chuck struggles to survive, he finds that his own personal journey has only just
  begun... “ CAST AWAY



                          ...and pronouns
 • Two different levels:
 1. Fictional- pronouns referring to the characters
 “Will Smith portrays That lone survivor in I Am Legend…..But he is not alone…. But
    he knows he is outnumbered” I AM LEGEND
 “They are immortals, destined to live forever. They must duel down the ages until one
    remains….. , a mystical tale of the struggle…between the Highlander, Connor
    Macleod, and his eternal enemy, The Kurgan.” HIGHLANDER
2. Non-fictional – pronouns matched with the target public:

“Based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook is at once
   heartwarming and heartbreaking and will capture you in its sweeping and emotional
   force.” THE NOTEBOOK
“Ratatouille is a treat you'll want to enjoy again and again.” RATATOUILLE



                           Use of modals

  •Epistemic modality conveyed by modal WILL in promises to
  the public:


  •“It's a delightful story the whole family will * love!” BABE
  •“CASPER and his uncles, the GHOSTLY TRIO, star in a haunted Christmas
  story that will * warm your heart and make you laugh.”

  •*will= certainty (that is for sure!)
STYLE
                    Stylistic devices and
                     figures of speech
•ENUMERATION
e.g. “Vain, vacuous airheads” (ZOOLANDER)
     “Unstoppable, incurable virus” (I AM LEGEND)
     “Super-charged, thrill-a-minute spectacular” (THE BOURNE IDENTITY)
     “Davey stone has a bad temper, a bad attitude and a serious dislike of
         the holiday season” (ADAM SANDLER‟S 8 CRAZY NIGHTS)

•ONOMATOPOEIA
e.g. “When his frog-in-law suddenly croaks […]”, which
       is also a case of euphemism, although an
       original, never heard one, to say “dies” (SHREK
       THE THIRD)
• ALLITERATION
e.g. “[…] with the help of sleek, street, snitch Huggy Bear” (STARSKY &
        HUTCH)

    “Fresh, funny, fabulous masterpiece” (THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA)

    “Fellow fire-fighters Chuck and Larry[…]” (I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU
        CHUCK AND LARRY)

• CLIMAX
e.g. “These covert lives cross, double-cross and collide”
        (THE DEPARTED)

• METONYMY
e.g. “Airheads” = stupid people (ZOOLANDER)

    “Determined to win her hand” = marrying her
       (THERE‟S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY)
• HYPOPHORA (usually at the beginning of a blurb, since the author
has to answer the question)
e.g. “How far would an ordinary father go to spend more time with his
        children?” (MRS DOUBTFIRE)
    “What wonders await you in Willy Wonka‟s factory?”        (CHARLIE AND THE
       CHOCOLATE FACTORY)

• QUESTIONS, used to attract readers‟ attention, often at the end of a
      blurb
e.g. “Mistaken identity?What connects the threads?” (THE WRONG MAN)
    “Will Pitka‟s comic karmic intervention be enough to turn his losing
        team into champions?” (THE LOVE GURU)
    “What if you had a remote control that not only gave you power over
      machines, but your life and carreer as well?”(at the beginning of
      the blurb, but its function is still to attract readers‟ attention) (CLICK)
•REPETITION
e.g. “Get up, get on and get ready for the ride of your
        life” (THE POLAR EXPRESS)

• ANTITHESIS
e.g. “This small budget comedy with a big ethnic
        heart” (MY BIG, FAT, GREEK WEDDING)

 “[…] nothing is forbidden and everything is possible”
        (MOULIN ROUGE)
• ALLUSION
e.g. “[…] is your Golden Ticket to a world […]” = reference to the “Golden
        Ticket” created by Roald Dahl, used in the movie (CHARLIE AND THE
        CHOCOLATE FACTORY)

     “But he‟s playing the most dangerous game” = what comes to mind is “The
        most dangerous game” by Richard Connel, but at the same time it can
        be considered as a metaphor (MATCH POINT)

     “Behind every great love is a great story” = allusion to the saying “behind
        every great man is a great woman” (THE NOTEBOOK)
• PARALLELISM = parallel sentences make it easier for the reader to
               focus on the message
e.g. “[…] Whoa. Mind-warp stunts. Techno-slammin‟ visuals. Mega-kick
        action.” (THE MATRIX)
    “You‟ll see wonders. And you‟ll believe.” (THE POLAR EXPRESS)
    “An ex-mercenary turned smuggler. A Mendre fisherman.[…]”       (THE
       DEPARTED)

• METAPHOR
e.g. “30-million dollar weapon”, referred to Jason Bourne    (THE BOURNE
       IDENTITY)

    “With the face of an angel, the locks of a god, and the brain of a
        single cell amoeba […]” (ZOOLANDER)

• SIMILE
e.g. “An adventure as sweet and satisfying as a Wonka Whipple-
       crumptious Fudgemallow Delight bar” (CHARLIE AND THE
       CHOCOLATE FACTORY)
• HYPERBOLE, mostly used to enhance the features of a specific
        DVD, in order to make people choose that one among a
        wide range
e.g. “Your jaw will drop, your eyes will pop” (drop-pop = rhyme,
        homoioteleuton) (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 3)
     “The coolest adventure of all time” (ICE AGE 2)
     “A job that a million girls would die for”
        (THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA)

•INVERSION, just a few examples, mostly
      used in a “fairytale style”
e.g. “Once upon a time, in a castle high on a
        hill lived an inventor […]” (EDWARD
       SCISSORHANDS)

• PERSONIFICATION
e.g. “A tale brought to life by visionary
       filmmaker Roman Polanski” (THE
       PIANIST)
• IDIOMS = are used to conjure a vivid share mental image that
       sums up a situation under discussion:

e.g. “The wacky Farrelly Brothers have pushed the envelope again”
        = they have done sth to the maximum possible, going over
        their limits (THERE‟S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY)

    “[...] finds himself head over heels in love” =
         completely, totally, especially when you
         talk about being in love (THERE‟S
       SOMETHING ABOUT MARY)

    “Chris Wilton was used to falling just short
       in his life”= not reaching a standard
       (MATCH POINT)

    “A story that will keep you on the edge of your seat”
       = a very exciting story that makes you want
       to know what is going to happen next (GOTHIKA)
•PARTICULAR CHOICE OF WORDS: content must be taken into consideration
e.g. “That‟s the comedy „kick‟ you are looking for!” (THE LONGEST YARD,
        comedy based on football)
    “You won‟t want to miss a delicious moment!” (CHARLIE AND THE
       CHOCOLATE FACTORY)
    “You will love watching the next great hero take a big bite out of crime”
       (UNDERDOG)
    “It‟s time to dive into Finding Nemo” (FINDING NEMO)
    “The action heats-up” (ICE AGE 2: THE MELTDOWN)
    “To avoid a flood of troubles” (ICE AGE 2: THE MELTDOWN)
    “A female woolly mammoth who melts Manny‟s heart”
       (ICE AGE 2: THE MELTDOWN)
     “A comedy adventure you‟ll go wild for again and
       again” (MADAGASCAR)
•PLAY OF WORDS
e.g. “Everyone lives happily ever laughter!” (SHREK THE THIRD)
•SUSPENSE: some sentences are used at the end of a blurb to create
      suspense in the readers and make them want to know more
e.g. “Prepare to enter in a world where nothing is forbidden and everything
        is possible…” (MOULIN ROUGE)
     “Their behaviour now leads magically to rather startling consequences”
        (THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA)

     “If only she can survive long enough to get someone to believe her”
        (THE INTERPRETER)

     “[…]to rescue his son, before it‟s too late” (THE MUMMY- RETURNS)
     “[…]to protect their secrets… even if it means risking everything”
        (PERFECT STRANGER)

     “Because he knows he is outnumbered… and quickly running out of
        time” (I AM LEGEND)
VISUAL TEXT
•LAYOUT: no particular layout. All the blurbs analysed have the following
layout:


Title of the movie

   Catchy
   phrase



   Plot




Reviews
•ATTENTION-GRABBING SENTENCES, that often preceed the blurb.
They:
- often give a sort of concise summary of the whole movie;
- in some cases are reviews;
- make readers want to know more, thus convincing them to watch the
       dvd;
- are often written in bold font, different colour and bigger size.

"CHUCK HAS JUST FOUND THE PERFECT GIRL. TOO BAD HE'S AGREED
TO MARRY HIS BEST FRIEND.” (I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY)
"A COMEDY ABOUT GETTING DUMPED AND TAKING IT LIKE A MAN”
(FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL)
"A THRILLING TREASURE HUNT. ROMANTIC INTRIGUE. EXOTIC
LOCALES. IS THIS ANY WAY TO SAVE A DIVORCE?” (FOOL‟S GOLD)
“IN A WORD: BRILLIANT” (THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA)
•TYPOGRAPHY. As for blurbs, there is no particular typography. In
some cases, the font chosen for the title has a specific meaning, often
linked to the movie genre or its content:



The typed font used here makes us think about (action)thrillers,
dossiers, in a “Murder-she-wrote style”.



The “S” reminds us of the head of an ogre, and the green colour is the
colour of Shrek.


                           The Moulin Rouge is a cabaret, and the title
                           of the movie has the features of a nightclub‟s
                           sign.
• IMAGES are of vital importance and a main feature on a dvd cover. They
don‟t show salient scenes of the movie. They are pictures of starring
actors/characters (depending on the genre: action scenes and special
effects).




Special effects




                                                                Main actors
 Action scenes
SETTING
You find a movie blurb on the back cover of a dvd case, always
surrounded by scenes of the movie or pictures of the main
actors/characters.
PARTICIPANTS
              Contextomy (By Milton Mayer)
             Practice of quoting out of context
 Contextomy refers to the selective excerpting of words from their
  original linguistic context in a way that distorts the source‟s intended
  meaning.

 One of the most familiar examples of contextomy is the ubiquitous
  “review blurb” in film advertising. To create these blurbs, studio
  promoters analyse multiple reviews of a film and then select the most
  positive comments for use in advertisements. The lure of media
  exposure associated with being “blurbed” by a major studio
  undoubtedly encourages some critics to write positive reviews of
  mediocre movies. However, even when a review is negative overall,
  studios have few reservations about excerpting it in a way that
  misrepresents the critic‟s opinion.
This sort of text should be produced by:

                             Copywriters:
 employees within organizations such as advertising agencies, public
  relations firms,web developers, company advertising departments,
  large stores, broadcasters and cable providers, newspapers and
  magazines.
 freelance copywriters



someone who really read the book or watched the dvd

        A dvd blurb could be read by anybody and
             above all by any potential buyer
 Movies classification and ratings
               Ratings system is administered by the

 UK British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)

 USA Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)

 AUSTRALIA Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC)

A motion picture rating system categorizes films with regard to
  suitability for audiences in terms of issues such as sex, violence,
  substance abuse, profanity, impudence or other types of mature
  content. A particular issued rating is called a certification.

                         Rating = visto censura
              Uk rating system
    Universal children (especially children under 7)
    All ages admitted
     Parental guidance
    12 Accompanied. Suitable for those aged 12 and
    over accompanied by an adult
    12 and over
    15 and over
    18 and over
    Suitable for those aged 18 and over. May only be
    shown at licensed cinemas
                          Ratings system
         (Office of Film and Literature Classification)

   general, suitable for all ages

   parental guidance recommended for persons under 15
        years

   mature,recommended for mature audiences 15 years an
    over
   mature accompanied (restrictions apply to persons under
         15)


    people under 18 may not buy, rent or exhibit these films



     restricted to adults 18 years and over
ENDS
 attract people interest, sometimes making promises




                  Promotional purposes

 grab the reader's attention in order to persuade him to buy the
  product
 (huge influence on whether the casual buyer will spend his money on
  it or not)




                  MARKETING REASONS
 Highly adressee-oriented             prevailing conative function
 Imperative tense



Your favourite sub-zero heroes are back for another incredible
adventure in the super-cool sequel to the global hit comedy Ice Age!
(Ice Age 2: The meltdown 2006)

Prepare to enter a world where nothing is forbidden and everything
is possible... (Moulin Rouge! 2001)

Get up, get on, and get ready for the ride of your
life. (The Polar Express,2004)
“Blurbs are both descriptive and evaluative texts, which convey factual,
carefully chosen, positive information” (Gesuato)
e.g. “The Punisher delivers blistering action and all the big-screen
        excitement you're looking for”
    “Prince Caspian is a triumph of imagination, courage, love, joy and
        humour your whole family will want to watch again and again”
    “Chaotic, uproarious and exuberant, this is one big, fat Greek
       wedding you just can't miss”
ACTS
      ABOUT THEIR STRUCTURE …
It is possible to identify some surface features:

    A number of parts corresponding to well-defined
     units of content.
    A flexible order.
    Fixed elements vs optional details.
    Structural differences even between two or more
     blurbs regarding the same movie, according to:
a.   Country of release (Anglo-saxon market)
b.   Target public
c.   Date of release (premiere, re-edition, collector‟s edition, etc).
d.   The media involved (web/DVD case).
INSIDE PLOTS…
A sort of internal structure is used, but many models are possible by sorting a
   wide range of information…
EITHER AT THE BEGINNING OR AT THE END OF THE BLURB:
1. REFERENCE TO SOME CINEMATIC BACKGROUND (movie genre, actors
   and their career, producers, theme- or genre-related movies and special
   effects)
“From the makers of Notting Hill and Bridget Jones's Diary comes the ultimate romantic comedy. This
    blockbuster film includes a fantastic all-star cast and an outstanding soundtrack.” LOVE
    ACTUALLY
“Jessica Biel, Bing Rhames and Dan Aycroyd co-star in this hilarious comedy” I NOW PRONOUNCE
    YOU CHUCK AND LARRY
“Academy-Award Winner Matt Damon is on the run again as Jason Bourne.” THE BOURNE
    SUPREMACY (three-chapter saga)
“In the style of “Shakespeare in love” comes the deliciously rousing romantic comedy Casanova”
     CASANOVA

2. REFERENCE TO SOME CONNECTION WITH LITERATURE OR HISTORY:
“Inspired by real events, Munich reveals the intense story of the secret Israeli squad...” MUNICH
“This dazzling film adapted from Roald Dahl‟s classic children‟s novel….”CHARLIE AND THE
    CHOCOLATE FACTORY
3. HOOK SENTENCES : a powerful or atmospheric opening/closing statement
    which aims to draw the reader into the story.
“It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a frog...no, it's Disney's Underdog ” UNDERDOG

“It's bolder. Riskier. The most dazzling heist yet.” OCEAN‟S THIRTEEN

“You'll see wonders. And you'll believe. All aboooooard!” POLAR EXPRESS

“Starsky ( Stiller) and Hutch ( Wilson) are in hot pursuit of a dealer who invents a non-detectable illegal
      drug. Can you dig it?” STARSKY AND HUTCH


4. REVIEW-LIKE COMMENTS AND                             QUOTATIONS TAKEN FORM THE
    MOVIE:
“The wacky Farrelly Brothers (Dumb & Dumber, Kingpin) have pushed the envelope again, creating
     another outrageous movie experience guaranteed to make you laugh and keep you coming
     back for more.” THERE‟S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY
“…then don't miss this sophisticated new thriller that's rife with suspense and rich in atmosphere.”
     GOTHIKA
“From the studio that brought you "Shrek" comes the 'must see' motion picture adventure critics are
     applauding as "the best animated story since the Lion King" (Reel Source News) and "an instant
     classic" (Clay Smith from Access Hollywood).” SPIRIT, STALLION OF THE CIMARRON

“It's the work of the Devil. That's what some say when a bizarre series of deaths strikes a 14th-century
        monastery. “ THE NAME OF THE ROSE
“Because if you look hard enough you will find love actually is all around.” LOVE ACTUALLY
AND FINALLY…
 THE PLOT, which can also be the only component of a blurb;
 BRACKETS containing information about non-fictional aspects (real
  name of actors and dubbers)

    “A wicked chain of events finds the corpse of the mummy Imhotep
   resurrected in a British Museum, ready to walk the earth once more
     and determined to fulfil his quest for immortality. But this time, a
  duelling force of evil has also been set loose in the world...even more
                           powerful than Imhotep.
    When these two forces clash, the fate of the world will hang in the
     balance, sending Rich and Evie O'Connell (Brendan Fraser and
        Rachel Weisz) on a desperate race to save the world from
       unspeakable evil, and rescue their son, before it's too late. “
                         THE MUMMY RETURNS
STATEMENTS = the very plot

 Narrative sentences


  Accidentally left behind when his family rushes
  off on a Christmas vacation, Kevin gets busy
  decorating the house for the holidays. (Home
  Alone)

 Comment sentences
   A drama about ambition and obsession, the
  seduction of wealth, and the often discordant
  relationship between love and sexual passion.
  (Match Point)
 Question and exclamation marks.

  “It‟s a delightful story the whole family will love!”
  (Babe,1995)
  “WALL-E is a film your family will want to enjoy
  over and over again!”
  “The Love Guru is "one big laugh from beginning to
  end!"                                                   Written in bold and
                                                          in a bigger size
 attention-grabbing words and phrases.
   “ Remember everything… forgive nothing.”
  (The Bourne Ultimatum,2007)
   “How often do you find the right person?”
    (Once,2006)
    “Where toys come to life”
    (Mr Magorium‟s Wonder Emporium,2007)
    •PROMISES: since a blurb must convince someone to buy that DVD, it
            contains some sentences that ensure you will like/enjoy it, you
            will laugh, you will want to watch it again and again -Commissive
e.g. “Ratatouille is a treat you‟ll want to enjoy again
        and again” (RATATOUILLE)
    “The Meltdown is a laugh-out-loud fun for the
       whole family!” (ICE AGE 2)
    “This magical fairytale like no other will make you
       laugh out loud and believe in love again.”
        (STARDUST)

     “That‟s the comedy „kick‟ you‟re looking for!”
        (THE LONGEST YARD)

     “A comedy adventure that you‟ll go wild for
       again and again!” (MADAGASCAR)
     “This is one big, fat, Greek wedding you can‟t
       just miss.” (MY BIG, FAT, GREEK WEDDING)
     “WALL-E is a film your family will want to enjoy
       over and over again!” (WALL-E)
 presence of superlatives            Highlighting qualities
   the greatest fairytale never told continues with a whole new
  hilarious comedy of royal proportions. (Shrek the third, 2003)
   From the creators of Shrek and Madagascar comes the funniest
  movie of the year! Prepare for awesomeness with Dream Works
  Animation's KUNG FU PANDA.
   (Kung Fu Panda,2008)




                       -ness is added to adjectives to form nouns
                       which often refer to a state or quality,
                       Awesomeness is the quality of being awesome.
KEY
WHAT TONE IS ASSOCIATED WITH
THIS GENRE?
 Blurb text-type cannot be associated with one only
  tone.




                  Tone depends on the film genre
                  we are dealing with
FIRST FILM GENRE: COMEDY
 “Comedy film is a genre of film in which the main
   emphasis is on humour”




The tone is to be found in those parts of
the text which reflect the aim of this film
genre. We analysed...
   adjectives;
   informal expressions;
   comic expressions;
   titles of other famous comedies
WHAT WE FOUND…
ADJECTIVES…
 the use of hilarious (21 occurences)

“..creators of Old School and Road Trip comes the hilarious comedy
   based on..” (Starsky & Hutch)
“Ben Stiller leads an all-star cast including Robin Williams in this
   hilarious blockbuster hit..” (Night at the Museum)
“The hilarious Love Actually explores the ups and downs of
   relationships in the weeks..” (Love Actually)
INFORMAL EXPRESSIONS..
“..Two guy’s guys always side-by-side and..” (I Now Pronounce You Chuck and
    Larry)
“..at their comic best as undercover cops..” (Starsky & Hutch)
“..And he knows he’s a shoo-in this year..” (Zoolander)
“..It’s side-splitting laughs meet..” (The Longest Yard)
“..big laughs are just a click away..” (Click)
“..finds himself head over heels in love..”
    (There‟s something about Mary)
 presence of direct questions
“..Will Pitka’s comic karmic intervention be enough to turn this losing team into
    champions?..” (The Love Guru)
“..How far would an ordinary father go to spend more time with his children?” (Mrs
    Doubtfire)
“Why for she don’t go to Greece and find a nice Greek husband?..” (My Big Fat
  Greek Wedding)
COMIC EXPRESSIONS
“..With the face of an angel, the locks of a god, and the brain of an amoeba..”
“.. A hot new contender (..) – Hansel. One name, no brain..”
  (Zoolander)
“..non-stop action and high-tech weaponry that gives an all-new meaning to “till death do us
    part!”..” (Mr & Mrs Smith)
“..handsome, intelligent, kind...and about as Greek as apricot chicken..” (My Big Fat Greek
    Wedding)



PRESENCE OF OTHER COMEDIES’
TITLES
“..From The Producers Of The 40-Year-Old Virgin And
Knocked Up..” (Forgetting Sarah Marshall)
“..From the makers of Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’s
Diary..” (Love Actually)
“..Imagine the love-child of Jim Carrey’s Dumb and Dumber
character..” (Zoolander)
                     ANOTHER FILM GENRE..
                     ANIMATION/CARTOONS
WE ANALYSED 13 CARTOONS AND WE
             FOUND..
 Great use of adjectives...
“..a noodle slurping dreamer who must embrace..” (Kung Fu Panda)
“..a flying, talking, canine caped crusader!..” (Underdog)
“..stunningly, realistic special effects..” (The Chronicles of Narnia)


 ..and presence of alliterations..
“..Manfred, a moody woolly mammoth and..” (Ice Age)
“..Your favourite sub-zero heroes are back..” (Ice Age 2)
“..his truly self – fuzzy flaws and all..” (Kung Fu Panda)
 Presence of the noun family (7 occurences)

The last part of most of these blurbs has been written by
  using some expressions which contain this words.
“..Prince Caspian is a triumph of imagination, courage, love, joy
   and humour your whole family will want to watch again..” (The
   Chronicles of Narnia)

“..WALL-E is a film your family will want to enjoy over and over..”
   (Wall-E)

“..Ice Age: The Meltdown is laugh-out-loud fun for the whole
    family!” (The Ice Age2)

As we can see, all the nouns and adjectives which follow or
  preceed the noun family are all to create a sense of
  happiness and joy in the reader.
 Presence of coherent nouns such as
     Magic
     World

“..with more magic and a brand-new hero..”
   (The Chronicles of Narnia)
“..Transport yourself to a fascinating new world..”
   (Wall-E)
“..Enter an extraordinary world filled with magic
    and wonder!” (The Nightmare Before Christmas)

               These words contribute to create a sense of curiosity,
                   something which is beautiful and unknown.

TITLES OF OTHER SUCCESSFUL CARTOONS..
“..From the creators of Cars and The Incredibles..” (Ratatouille)
“..From the creators of Shrek and Madagascar..” (Kung Fu Panda)
“..From the studio that brought you Shrek..” (Spirit: Stallion of The Cimarron)
AND NOW… ACTION!
Action movies are a film genre where action sequences, such as fights, shootouts,
   stunts, car chases or explosions either take precedence or, in finer examples of
       the genre, are used as a form of exposition and character development

Tune devices are…
 (obviously).. adjectives..
“..all the full-on, undead mayhem that..”
   (Resident Evil – Extinction)
“..and suspenseful action-thriller..”
   (The Bourne Supremacy)
“..and breathless action-packed..”
(The Bourne Supremacy)

..in particular explosive (5 occurences)
“..in the explosive, action-packed third installment..” (Resident Evil)
“..This explosive, action-packed adventure..” (The Incredible Hulk)
“..a spicy, explosive mix of wicked..” (Mr & Mrs Smith)
..and the collocation action-packed (6 occurences)
“..and breathless action-packed thrillers..” (The Bourne Supremacy)
“.. in the explosive, action-packed third installment..” (Resident Evil)
“..This explosive, action-packed adventure..” (The Incredible Hulk)
2




 Colloquial and slang expressions
“..as ass-kicking heroine Alice..” (Resident Evil)
“..for a split-second caper..” (Ocean‟s Thirteen)
“..so no rough stuff..” (Ocean‟s Thirteen)
“..the movie flat-out rocks..” (The Matrix)



 Short sentences
“..Whoa/Mind-warp stunts/Techno-slammin' visuals/Mega-kick action/” (The
    Matrix)
“..It's bolder/Riskier/The most dazzling heist yet/” (Ocean‟s Thirteen)
INSTRUMENTALITIES
As we said before, a blurb can accompany different
  kinds of creative works.
Instrumentalities change according to what kind of
  them we deal with. That is…


  BOOKS                         DVD &
                                VIDEO TAPES

           WEB PORTALS &
           WEBSITES NEWS
This creative works are this way
mediated..

  BOOKS                PRINTED

WEB PORTALS &       ELECTRONICALLY
WEBSITES NEWS          MEDIATED


DVD & VIDEO            PRINTED
TAPES
        Every medium has the

    aim to convey to the readers
all the information contained by the
                 blurb.
   In order to serve this purpose
   all the media are specific for
    each kind of creative work.
For this reason, different medium or
  re-mediation are not possible.
   NORMS of
INTERPRETATION
WHAT ARE THEY?
    “NORMS of INTERPRETATION refer to all
      that cultural knowledge needed to fully
       understand a communicative event.
   They usually constitute a frame of reference,
     some kind of background knowledge (…)”
     BLURBS MUST BE UNDERSTOOD
           BY EVERYONE...



They‟re not addressed to a Texts are written in a
 particular community..     simple language



..but to a general public
CONCLUSIONS
DVD BLURBS HAVE TO…
  Be short in length.
  Use attention-grabbing words and
   phrases.
  Preferably    use question and
   exclamation marks.
  Create suspence.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD BLURB?
    1) A hook - something to draw the reader into the story.

     2) A powerful or atmospheric opening statement, as
     people browsing in DVD shops often hold a title in their
     hands for a mere handful of seconds and if you fail to
     grab their attention in those seconds, you've lost them.
     3) Emotion, whether it be suspense, tension, sadness,
     love,  lust,  joy,    laughter,  hate,    fear   etc.
     4) A pay off or intrigue - a promise. This basically
     means leaving the buyer wanting to know more. It's a
     contract between blurb and reader.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR
   “ATTENTION”!

				
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posted:7/26/2011
language:English
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