Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Problem With Trailers

I dislike movie trailers.

I really do.

I've loved going to the cinema ever since I was a kid. The build up to the 'Feature Presentation' was always part of the spectacle and fun of going. The trailers, in particular, were exciting not just because you got to find out what new films were coming out (obviously), but because you got to see what they were going to be like up there on the big screen.

Now I've come to see trailers for what they really are: a cynical unrepresentative advert designed to manipulate and tease while almost always giving away too much and spoiling it for everyone.

I now have a policy with regard to trailers. If it's a film I want to see, I will avoid as much publicity as possible.

Teaser trailers are fine – generally they don't give too much away. They give enough of an overall picture of the film for me to gauge whether it's something I'd be interested in.

What I dislike is the full trailer which seems to be the entire film reduced to its core elements in a nice 3 minute package. Honestly, I've seen some trailers which have negated the need for me to see the film because I've seen all the important bits and all the funny and/or meaningful dialogue.

It seems Hollywood is hell-bent on doing multiple trailer versions (with different footage for different countries which everyone sees anyway thanks to the internet), TV spots and exclusive internet trailers. Good grief, they've even done trailers for trailers (Cowboys and Aliens). What next? A trailer for a trailer for a trailer???

Also, most trailers seem to be edited by the same person. They all follow pretty much the same pattern that sort of goes like this:

- Quiet intro, usually showing a bit from the beginning of the film
- Gravelly voice over begins to fill you in on what this film is ABOUT (optional)
- Titles come up to set the story (optional)
- Then, the music starts and we see the protagonist, and probably the antagonist too
- Action builds ... tension is rising
- Wait ... here comes the FUNNY PART!
- More action
- Faster and faster edits!
- STOP! .... it's another FUNNY!
- Then the music reaches it's climax with more and more fast cuts with someone probably screaming 'nooooooooo!' in slow motion.
- TITLES! (accompanied by whoosh! or ching! sound effect)
- Gravelly voice over (optional)
- End

Dear Trailer editing guy. Please try and do something original. At the very least, avoid giving away everything about the film. Thanks.

No comments:

Post a Comment