Ahhh, an article on the beauty and art of movie trailers. We see them everyday: on television, in the theatre, online, before watching a film at home, everywhere. Everyone always gets their hopes up when a new film trailer pops out of nowhere. But, film trailers usually make or break a film. And that is where the movie business gets robbed.
First, there are trailers that show too much. Here is an example:
After watching this trailer, I feel like I have already read the book and watched the film. They detail every event that occurs in the film from start to finish so why bother paying the $12 theatre fee to sit through a plot you feel has already been told? I sure won't be first in line for this film. The film's plot is told so much that I can already write the whole plot summary based on just 3 minutes of scenes.
Not all trailers ruin the film business by showing too much. Here is a fine example of a film that reveals just enough to get the fan excited:
The Jurassic Park trailer shows just enough to make me want to see it. It did not show any major images of the dinosaurs that we know are in the movie. If it showed any dinosaurs, the film would have lost its impact when the T-Rex finally appeared on the screen to the viewers. Nothing gets better about the theatre experience than first seeing what you are waiting for hit you in the face.
Comedies are a different story. Cutting trailers for this genre is particularly hard to do. One point of interest for every comedy trailer: Do not put all of your best jokes into the trailers.
Here is an example of a comedy trailer that shows only certain jokes to get a viewer interested and keeps the best jokes for the actual film:
Bridesmaids was very clever with their trailer. Some of the jokes that were in the trailer were moderately funny and were not even in the final film. The funny scenes that were actually in the film were way funnier than the ones in the trailer and that was a very smart move by the marketing team. I definitely made a trip to the theatre for the film and it shocked me in the best way possible because I had low expectations from the trailer.
Now, on the other side, here is a trailer that only put the good jokes in the trailer:
Watching the Bad Teacher trailer got me extremely ready for the film. I was dying to see this and when I finally did, I left the theatre disappointed. A lot of the jokes in the film were jokes I already saw in the trailer and the leftovers did not make me want to continue watching. Although I still enjoyed the film, I was pissed off by the film's conclusion. It was a huge disappointment thanks to the trailer giving me high hopes.
The most recent trailer on this list, 10 Cloverfield Lane, is a sequel to Cloverfield by name but the trailer leaves fans with mixed emotions after watching it:
This trailer gave fans happy faces when it was announced but many fans of the original were confused after viewing the trailer. Some even believe that this film is just a cash-grab and has nothing to do with the original monster flick. I, for one, will be waiting for the DVD to come out which angers me a little. I really want to see a huge monster flick in theaters but I do not want to pay the $12 if it ends up not being what I want it to be. Tsk tsk...
The A Nightmare on Elm Street remake is one of the most hated remakes out there by horror fans. Although I enjoyed it, I do agree it should have been way better or just not done at all. Watching the trailer, it got me really excited to see another Freddy Kreuger film put on the big screen. However, many of the scenes seem recycled from the original. If you are going to remake a film, make it all remade instead of the same scenes modernized. Thanks Platinum Dunes.
This trailer, on the other hand, did a smart thing. They never show the full villain. You only get a glimpse of Leatherface at the very end of the trailer for only a couple seconds. The trailer also scared the crap out of me when I first saw it. It made me really eager to see the film and I could not wait to experience it. Plus, they added a creepy factor to the trailer and only showed a little bit. Very clever trailer!
Judging everything as a whole, trailers either make or break a film. They either get you excited and keep you excited, get you excited and let you down, or do nothing for you and then either make you pleased or dissatisfied. My favorite theatrical moments are when I do not see a trailer for a film and know nothing about the movie and then I end up loving the movie overall. I think if more people stay away from watching a trailer for a movie they are excited for, there will be more satisfied fans rather than displeased fans.