Safety Not Guaranteed Trailer

Audience and Institution

  • Year of Release: 2012
  • Country: USA
  • Certificate: 15
  • Director: Colin Trevorrow
  • Top Billing: Aubrey Plaza
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Awards: Won 8/16
  • Production Company: Big Beach
  • Distribution Company: FilmDistrict
  • Budget: $750,000
  • Revenue: $4,007,792
  • Length of Trailer: 2 minutes 31 seconds



  • MPAA green screen rated R
  • Film District and Big Beach logo screens
  • “Wanted someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.” When the title of the film is read in the text the text screen zooms in to emphasise the film title to the audience
  • “From the producers of Little Miss Sunshine”
  • “Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award 2012 Sundance Film Festival”
  • “This summer”
  • “Take the trip”
  • “And believe”
  • “Safety Not Guaranteed” with a red box around it
  • “[original time travel ad] This summer; Are you in?;” This final text is surrounded by critic reviews and reminders of the production and distribution companies as well as the director and writer


  • Initial shot of the Seattle skyline superimposes to a shot of the outside of a building that has a plague saying ‘Seattle magazine’
  • A group shot blurs from the interns behind to the journalist in front as he chooses them to join him on his team
  • Conversations are largely framed as over-the-shoulder shots
  • General mix of shots, with most filmed at either mid or close distances


  • The trailer begins with a voice over from the production company logo screens to becoming normal dialogue as the scene shots begin. The voice over/dialogue, “Does anybody have an idea? For a story”, “How about, er, this time travel ad?”, leads to a voice over reading the article which is highlighted on-screen as the words are read
  • The journalist uses the dialogue “Alright, give me the lesbian and the Indian and I got a story”
  • Sound effects are used, e.g. a ‘whoosh’ sound is used for the text of the time travel ad as it transitions on and off the screen
  • The soundtrack stops and starts with different tones of music each time, with tones including slightly dramatic, happy, and thoughtful

Mis-en Scene:

  • All the text appears in the form of newspaper ads, with the articles surrounding the text referring to event present in the trailer or film, or to a character, including an article in one of the beginning text screens referring to evasive driving lessons and shaking a tail at 15mph, a scene shown in the second half of the trailer
  • The use of high-key lighting lifts the overall atmosphere of the trailer, perhaps enhancing the comedic mood?
  • The costumes appear to be everyday casual clothes of the 2010s, with practical changes, e.g. workout clothes for running and camouflage when doing shooting practice. The only contrast is the suits of the ones following the time travel man, highlighting their main antagonist positions
  • The cast is not particularly well-known within the film industry, e.g. the journalist is one of the main cast of sitcom ‘New Girl’


  • Standard shot-reverse-shots are used for conversations
  • Scene montages are split by text ‘ads’
  • Parallel editing is used to present the female intern’s interaction with the man who advertised the time travel ad, and the journalist with the interns arc. Generally dialogue links the two together in the trailer, with the man making a judgemental statement followed by the journalist and interns being shown to present the behaviour/actions the man was talking about
  • The transition used most often is cuts, with the text transitions sometimes including superimposing
  • The use of normally fast paced editing increases the effect caused when a longer take is used, e.g. for comedic effect a long take is used when presenting the action of trying to lose a car tail at 15mph

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