Friday, September 16, 2011

Coming soon...Part one

Watching the trailers is one of my favorite things about going to the movies. I love that almost as much as I do the movies themselves. There is something wonderful about seeing sneak peeks of films that are coming out. The anticipation of a film is almost as fun as watching them.

There is an art to making a good trailer. A good trailer can get people into a bad movie while a bad trailer can drive people away from a good movie. I understand that the film makers themselves usually don’t have any input as to what gets put into the trailer. That is handled by the production company. The person who edits the trailers can’t even be held accountable because it’s going to be the group of people holding the money that has the final say. Also to be clear I am going to focus on trailers not teaser trailers. Teasers are a whole other IMHO article.

I want to show you a good trailer first, one that sells just the right elements of a movie and gets you interested in what is going to be comming. Then we will break them down from there.

This was a great composite of action and intrigue and it gave nothing away as far as any of the subplots in the film. What do we know from this trailer? We know the following… Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Tia Carrere and Action, action, action. There were three underlying subplots to this movie that we get to enjoy as we watch the movie. Nothing was given away but we did get a good idea of what is being sold.

You knew going into the movie this is a horror film about the ghost of his mistress coming back to haunt him. This ruins the build up and reveal to the fact that Harrison Ford’s character had an affair. The first half of the movie has a huge red herring subplot on who the ghost is. This story line is pointless if we already know it's not really whats going on. The over share on the trailer is where I think this movie’s failure was.

This had me up until the end. My journey of interest kind of goes like this… I was mildly interested, more interested, hey this might be cool, wow, this might work, HELL YEAH I WANT TO SEE THIS KICK ASS FIL….he is peeing fire, really? I have so many off color jokes about this being an ad for safe sex right now that I will just set the trailer down and back away.

That last little bit throws so many doubts as to the quality of the film. For me it overshadows the rest of the really cool things and the only thing I am left with is a pee joke.

Movie making is a collaborative process, the people who make the choices about the content of the trailers needs to keep that in mind. The trick to putting bums in seats is to entice them with a great hook that is a great trailer. This is where I am going to leave off for now; I am going to call this part one. Part two will go over the edits they do in a trailer to make sure that it gets a green band rating.

What are some of your favorite trailers? Good or bad your choice.

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