The Construction of Expectation

18 July 2007 at 9:16 am Leave a comment

The cinematic release of the trailer for the as yet un-named (working-title: Cloverfield) JJ Abrams film (see the trailer below), I have been pondering the construction of expectation.

When patrons went to see Transformers recently the last trailer before the feature didn’t have the usual title screens etc, but created a massive amount of expectation, it left the viewers wanting more but not knowing where to go to get more. They didn’t even have a title to search on or ask about. (watch the trailer below to see what I am talking about)

It is a true teaser trailer, just enough to leave you wanting more. It has created a huge following, with lots of questions being asked, if you search on the tag cloverfield in YouTube there is currently over 344 video’s of speculation, analysis and related stuff, let alone blogs etc which are overflowing with suspenseful expectation. Already it is being touted as the big release of 2008, and people don’t even know what it is called or what it is about!

JJ Abrams is a master of this, we have seen his work skilfully developed in the TV series Lost which leaves us wanting more each week.

Our culture is thriving on the unknown, the mystery, the suspense. In an age where we can obtain virtually every bit of information we want whenever we want, wherever we are, the excitement of expectation and the use of masterful suspense is satiating a human desire to seek the unknown.

Companies like Apple know this all too well. The recent release of the iPhone was heralded by much rumour and speculation. Once it was officially announced people were scouring for information and anyone who had one prior to it’s official release was mobbed wherever they went.

How can we as professional educators construct this expectation and excitement into our teaching and the resources we develop? Can we become the masters of suspense that makes the students want to come back for more and to seek more information? Can we? What do you think?


Entry filed under: Media, pedagogy.

Mark Pesce on Truth Wars Daily Lit

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