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What makes a good Trailer

Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 1:34am

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ssjaaron

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hey guys i want to get your input on what makes a really good trailer. so those of use on Fxhome that need help in making a nice high quality trailer may use these Sugestions. so please give some input on what you think makes a great Trailer or preview.

What i think:
what i think is that you should try avoid Popular tunes so that your audience does not get to distracked by the music and not focus on the trailer its self. although i have seen some people pull it off it is hard to do. wink
find scenes that are the most intertaining and scenes that show most of the main charecters.
make sure you do not reveal your main idea of the movie.
well hope these suggestios help sombady now or in the futare.
peace out smile
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 1:48am

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Brettsta

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tralers should have speedy cuts and lots of angles
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 1:57am

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av11d

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pacing. pacing. pacing.
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 2:00am

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ssjaaron

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i agree with you av11d
and the music must always go inQ with the film
peace out
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 2:12am

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jstow222

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Actually, I prefer to stay away from pop tunes. The only exception to this is comedy. But yes, music connecting with footage is key. That and alot of punch lines.
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 2:13am

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CX3

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edit to the music and soundeffects
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 2:16am

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Brettsta

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make cuts on beats of the music, not random
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 2:22am

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CX3

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thats basically what i meant ha all my trailers are edited that way.
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 3:48am

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Gibs

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Reveal enough about the movie to make people wonder. If you just have a bunch of random action scenes, then it will be cool, but won't make sense.
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 4:01am

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Aculag

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I don't think there's really a set formula for making a good trailer. I for one hate having a lot of scenes cut together with really corny music and such. And I also hate the whole, "Fade in on text that's moving closer or further from the camera" thing, and voiceover of anykind is a no no. IF you ask me. I think you can get people interested in something without attacking them visually. I want to make a trailer someday that's more of a short prologue for a film. Like, one scene that kinda sets it up. That'd be cool.
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 4:14am

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Brettsta

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Dont call me dumb, but whats the difference between a teaser and a trailer?
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 5:38am

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CX3

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a teaser is a trailer (teaser trailer), doesnt show much at all. Then you'll have your final theatrical trailer which shows the most. You'll prob have just a trailer between the two somewhere as well that shows more than the teaser and less than the final theatrical.
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 7:13am

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LtMcMurphy

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I think good trailers should have ONLY voice-over by that guy with the deep voice, tons of words flying at the screen, and the song Let The Bodies Hit The Floor by Drowning Pool. Doesn't matter what genre the trailer is for, Drowning Pool should always be in it.
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 7:38am

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pl

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I guess it really depends on what kind of movie You're doing a trailer for. Your average (or above) actiontrailer should usually contain some of those action shots that makes the movie stand out from the rest, and should generally be fast paced and of course in synch with the movie.
It may or may not reveal much of the story, but something to look out for is if the intention of the trailer is to "mislead" the audience by having the clips in an incorrect order. This can be used as an effect if it's done on purpose, but can be really corny if it's an accident.

For drama or suspense stories it is a bit different IMHO. There You should just reveal enough of the plot and story to catch the audience attention. You can use the "mislead" kind of cuts here as well, but since the plot is often more of a concern in these kind of movies You have to be more careful here...

And then it's the music... Trailer music is very often a mix of various scores and bought in "stock" music (as the X-ray dog music used in parts of quite a lot of huge trailers). This is not a problem for "big" movies, but may be more of a problem for small/no-budget/internet releases, not only for the sake of copyrights and licensing, but also because the music may draw away from the trailer or give "false" impressions of what to expect from the movie.

Regardless of what music is used, it should be used wisely (as already mentioned) and follow the action (or vice and versa), and remember that more than one piece of music can be used (very common!!!)

And don't forget the odd trailer that is something special and will be remebered for that. The teaser for Resident Evil 2 springs to mind. I love it; First You wonder if You got the wrong clip and then You just sit back and smile...

Regards,
Rico
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 7:53am

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b4uask30male

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did u know...

A few years ago the trailer for cliffhanger won awards for best trailer ever.
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 10:10am

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CMBmovies

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Cliffhanger, wow? thats pretty cool!

Trailers generally follow the same 3 act structure.

1: They introduce the characters.

2: They show a little of the plot/ the obstacles they face.

3 They show the situations the characters can get into often ending with a cool shot or line.

There are exceptions to the rule of course. But generally thats what makes a good trailer. Applying it to recent trailers, take a look at Van Helsing. (if you havent seen it, why not? Check it out now at quicktime.com)

It introduces the characters, then the baddies, then shows him fighitng the baddies. Perfect example of the above smile
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 10:17am

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pl

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Well, maybe it did, but it didn't make me more anxious to see the movie. Didn't know what I did expect, but that trailer didn't do it for me confused

For some reason I liked the "Chronicles of Riddick" more (didn't have a clue about what to expect from that movie either before I saw the trailer).

Can't put my finger on why I prefer one before the other though - maybe I got the impression that Van Helsing wanted desperately to show off and be too much like every other action/fighting movie around?

(Okay, I'm in a bad mood today, maybe You should ignore my posts today? smile )

/Rico
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 10:42am

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anonymous

hehe, ok personal preference does come into it.
I think its because i wasn't expecting anything from van helsing - it wasnt even on my radar so all of a sudden BAM heres a fun summer movie i need to see. He fights werewolves, frankenstien and dracula.. cool idea.

what did you think of the first episode 1 trailer? way back in 1999?
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 10:56am

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Simon K Jones

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Trailers should capture the feeling and atmosphere of the movie. If you mislead the audience you could end up with a big problem.

They need to be to the point - some trailers seem to go on forever, telling you everything about characters and story, when you'd rather be watching the movie you've paid to go see.

Trailers should never use Mr Voicever, unless it's for ironic or comedy effect.

Instead, create a voiceover from the film's actual dialogue. Perfect example of this working nicely is in the Lord of the Rings trailers.

'Unusual' trailers often get people's attention. The Eternal Sunshine trailer opens with an advert for the memory-wiping product that features in the film, which immediately makes people sit up, pay attention and go 'wtf'? This means they'll remember the trailer, and hopefully want to see the film.

Do Not Give Away The Plot. So many trailers do this...usually when dealing with bad films though. The best examples of not giving anything away can probably be found in the Lord of the Rings trailers (well, except for Gandalf's return, but like anybody thought he was really dead!). The Fellowship trailer got me salivating for the movie (and I knew nothing about LotR from the books or anything), yet I knew almost nothing about it beyond the main premise of the Ring. The clips were edited together in a way that flowed and made perfect sense, yet were in a totally different context to the movie itself.

Do not use cliched Trailer Music. It just sounds cheap.

If you're trailering an action movie, do not ruin a semi-good trailer by ending it with a staccato music beat and frenetically cut clips that only last about half a second. It's tacky and nasty.
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 11:49am

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pl

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Well, I think that it's also (like with the movies themselves), if the trailer is good, You can get away with almost anything. If the trailer tries to be more than it is, things that works for others won't work for You. One example is the "faster and faster clips", which can be really effective if done right, with the right material. If not it's just, as You say Tarn, tacky and nasty...

Again, about the music, I think that cliché trailer music can work, again depending on how well done it is.

The worse trailer (content wise or other), the more You will react on clichés (music, style and so on)

There are trends in everything, movies, how to do action as well as in how trailers are supposed to be cut. After a while it begins to feel worn out...

BTW, I have to go back in memory (i.e. home to my DVDs) to comment on the Episode 1 trailer... Memory isn't what it used to be... biggrin

Regards,
Rico
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 12:13pm

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Mellifluous

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Best trailer I've seen?

Hmm, NightCast is pretty good. I also like the new Stepford Wives trailer. It has some amazingly unsubtle product placement but Nicole Kidman is fantastic. I was excited about the Passion of Christ Trailer but it seems very cliched even if it is in an ancient dialect.

I prefer simple trailers really, more soundbites rather than the usual voiceover like "He was a boy until he realised...he had to be a man". I'd rather have juicy excerpts from the film maybe accompanied by some text, but that's about it.

I don't think a film needs to convey the whole plot, or anything like it. And I'm not justifying trailers full of random footage. I just don't think a trailer has to digest the whole plot into one little package. A little taster is enough.

I doubt if all people view a trailer and decide to view the film without finding a bit more out about it. I quite like cryptic trailers because they leave you wanting to find out/see the film, and that's the ultimate purpose of a trailer.
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 4:30pm

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CMBmovies

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Anyone else looking forward to 'Walking Tall' ? It's like Roadhouse for this generation! lol

The trailer for Resident Evil 2 is a good example of not showing much, theres a lot of references you'll only get if you played the games.

I can't think of any trailers i really hate. I try to take something good from everything. wait a minute.. Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights

I thought DD2 was a bad idea when i first heard of it and when i saw the trialer.. it pretty much convinced me not to see it.
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 7:21pm

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elementcinema

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I knew that!! i thought it WAS one of the best trailers ever..i have it on my computer. Ill make a post for it sometime tonight..

EDIT: i just found one here at school...

http://www.movie-list.net/classics/cliffhanger.mov
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 8:36pm

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terrytate

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If i hear let the bodies hit the floor once more in a trailer
i'm going to lose it
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 8:40pm

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elementcinema

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lol..word to that
Posted: Wed, 11th Feb 2004, 10:53pm

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LtMcMurphy

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Here's two examples of AWESOME trailers that I watch over and over again. Both are made by the same company for movies that were re-released in select theaters. I think the best part of them both is the music. They have music from the actual movie, which makes the mood just right. This is how trailers should be.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/i_vitelloni/
http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/modern_times/

Oh, and here's the Godzilla re-release. Awesome music, no clips of the movie, nice and subtle.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/godzilla.html
Posted: Thu, 12th Feb 2004, 12:22am

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Aculag

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I think that the Spiderman 2 trailer would be f*cking genius if it ended with a crescendo in the music as it showed Dr. Oc walk up, then just cut and showed us the logo and said "June" or whatever. It's a good trailer anyway, but that would have made it better.
Posted: Thu, 12th Feb 2004, 3:03am

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elementcinema

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There is a new trailer for spiderman being released with hellboy i believe. there is a description of it here:

http://www.superherohype.com/spider-man/index.php?id=813

sounds pretty good..
Posted: Thu, 12th Feb 2004, 3:14am

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Aculag

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Sounds good.
Posted: Thu, 12th Feb 2004, 4:02am

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elementcinema

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not too shabby eh..i like the whole concept of spiderman giving up his dedication to be a superhero..but yeah! cant wait to see it! sounds a little epic if you ask me too!
Posted: Thu, 12th Feb 2004, 4:06am

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elementcinema

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LtMcMurphy wrote:



Oh, and here's the Godzilla re-release. Awesome music, no clips of the movie, nice and subtle.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/godzilla.html
i dunno about this one..it sounds a little campy. godzilla was a big "scary" movie for the japanese back in its day and this music just destroys that. plus i was hoping for some action scenes but oh well..
Posted: Thu, 12th Feb 2004, 4:10am

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JohnCarter

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elementcinema wrote:

not too shabby eh..i like the whole concept of spiderman giving up his dedication to be a superhero..but yeah! cant wait to see it! sounds a little epic if you ask me too!
Sounds like Superman 2...
Posted: Thu, 12th Feb 2004, 5:45pm

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Simon K Jones

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That's just what I was thinking, JC...hopefully it won't be as bad as Supes 2 though...
Posted: Thu, 12th Feb 2004, 5:51pm

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elementcinema

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it is spiderman 2!! lol..i couldve sworn i said that but i guess i didnt..but yeah. i meant spiderman 2. i was just describing the new trailer for spiderman 2. the new trailer is being released with hellboy in april
Posted: Fri, 13th Feb 2004, 2:42am

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Frozenpede

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they should have something funny, something moving (music, speech etc) action, and a final shot and/or line that leaves you wanting more. This way you are likly to get the attention of a wider scale of audience. Its hard to pull all 4 off at the same time.
Posted: Fri, 13th Feb 2004, 2:58am

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Brettsta

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Frozenpede wrote:

they should have something funny.
Not nessecarily
Posted: Fri, 13th Feb 2004, 3:12am

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Frozenpede

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what made PofC a hit was that it appealed to all audience and so you should have something funny even if its just something small like stating the obvious like they did on "The Alamo" trailer with "We're gonna need a lot more men" right after all the intense battle scene's, funny but not out of place or mood wrecking, kind of subtle.
Posted: Sat, 14th Feb 2004, 6:58am

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ssj john

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I think what a trailor needs is to show the audeince what they can expect. Too show them what the movies going to have in store i dont like long trailors that show half the movie. I also think to many trailors say things like" one man One desire" you know with that voice. Show a few clips and putt punch lines in from the movie.