FMP: Looking at IMDB Trailers

Creating a trailer is one of the most important things for your film as it exposes the story to the world it is something unlike your film that can be shown almost everywhere and anywhere.

‘Essentially a trailer is a short montage of the text, audio and visual components of your film that act as an advertisement for the longer format version. This usually means that the most exciting footage is used in condensed format in the hopes of stimulating audience interest in your film.’

Here are a few elements that a trailer should include:

1: Establish what your documentary/film is about. Introduce your theme.
2: Introduce the conflict. You should give a general overview and provide at least 1 specific example
3: Introduce your protagonist.
4: Introduce your antagonist.
5: You need to provide your audience with a sense of your documentary/film’s tonal qualities. Audiences will look at your cinematography (movement, lighting, composition) and listen to your music to see if the artistry of the film is something they would be interested in seeing.
6: You should change your trailers music 3-5 times.

The most important thing of all that your trailer needs to do is ‘immediately grab your audience’s attention, get them acquainted with the production value of your film and introduce your story’ if it does not do this then your film will more than likely not be successful in terms of views.

I have therefore gone on to IMDB to look at some trailers and gain an idea of what makes a good trailer:

Haywire 2011

Starts off slow but then springs into action quite literally, only giving you small snippets of action scenes and small snippets of audio that are key to telling what the film is about. ‘You can tell me why you sold me out, or in ten minutes when my hands are around your throat.’ and right at the end where it is said ‘ I’ve never killed a woman before.’ reply; ‘You shouldn’t think of her as being a woman, that would be a mistake.’ These are all telling clues as well as the writing on the screen and although I feel they may give away too much I feel as if there still may be more to the story.

There are in fact two trailers, both starting off slow and peaceful and then bursting into action. The advantage of having two trailers is that you can show two side of the story, however, you could potentially give too much away both in the visuals and audio.

Killer Elite 2011

This is a trailer aimed at men and those who are fans of Jason Statham, Robert De Niro, and Clive Owen, packed full of action, guns, money, humour and a love interest. It gives away the key elements of the story introducing characters and focusing on the thrill factor of skilful fighting. There are also plenty of establishing shots that show it’s a high budget film. It’s fast paced all the way through which inclines you to think that there is a simple storyline, however, as it is based on a true story there is sure to be more underneath.

Ride Like Hell 2012

This trailer is mainly carried by the soundtrack as I feel without it, it just feels like someone riding a bike really fast away from somebody, which is what it is, however, the music makes it feel more exhilarating  and put together with the images it makes it feel more action packed. It looks as if they use some of the best shots in there to try and incise you into wanting to watch it especially bike fanatics and those who do and learn bike tricks and skills. You can tell that although the storyline is about getting involved in something life threatening, it is more about the bike tricks and skill as this is what you see a lot of even if only a snippet in the background.

The Cold Light of Day 2012

This trailer is quite choppy and switches from one scene to the next, but the action and speech within it intrigues me. The shots are key to parts of the film which draws you in and gives you a taster of what the film is about. Though because the trailer was so fast paced I’m not sure if I want to watch it because I’m confused and want to find out the story or simply because it has Bruce Willis in it.

From what I can see a good trailer gives away some key point of the film in order to grab the attention of the audience, it cannot give away too much but it also cannot give away to little as people may just walk away confused like I have about the one above. You must focus or at least introduce your main character or subject giving a little background, and use audio that will hint at the themes and storyline. Music seems to also be a must in a trailer as it helps set the tone and mood of the film and without it, the film may seem dull.


About gailenepierre

Ambitious and driven but knows how to have funnnn :)

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