This is a draft of an audio-visual essay I've been trying to make sense of over the last few months. Initially inspired by reading Tom Brown's book Breaking the Fourth Wall: Direct Address in the Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, 2012), I began to think that the trailer is the perfect riposte to claims that direct address isn't that prevalent within cinema: every trailer features some form of direct address - whether that is the more bombastic 'You will SEE...' titles of the 1930s and 1940s, to the 'In a world' voiceover style, even to the current preference for titles and the 'knowing' cutting together of dialogue to create a separate narrative.
But trying to get all that into an AV essay was trickier than I expected, so I opted to narrow my focus a little - moving on to examples of Direct Address where a specific individual actually addresses the audience as part of the sales message. The acknowledged King of this technique remains Alfred Hitchcock, but I found some other well-known and more-obscure options, and tried to identify the main conventions that arise in this style of film trailer.
This remains a draft, so I'm happy to receive comments or suggestions below...