More on Trailers
last night i spent some quality time in the studio with Suede working on the score for the intro of the show. we’re going to keep on working on it tonight and as many evenings as we can to get it ready for it’s deadline.
we’re supposed to do a cast and crew screening the night of the 23rd and it’s supposed to start going up on the Youtube on the 26th. i’m not sure we have enough road to get up to 88, but we usually overcome all obstacles, so here’s hoping we still have a little of that magic up our sleeves.
So I post these videos on our Youtube channel on Sundays, and most of the comments I receive come in over the following 24 hours. Here’s what I discovered:
A majority of people are fed up with trailers. They feel like too many plot points and surprises are revealed in them, so by the time they get to the movie there aren’t any story revelations left for them to uncover. Fair enough.
One way around this would be to cut a teaser trailer like the one for “Garden State.” It was one of the most intriguing trailers I’ve ever seen. There was no dialogue in it at all, simply a series of striking images from the movie with critical acclaim and festival laurels superimposed over them accompanied by “Let Go” from Frou Frou. It told you NOTHING. And somehow, at the end of this trailer that contains no expository information, you feel one of those catharsis chills. Absolutely brilliant. It was one of those trailers where I forgot what feature I was there to see, and then when I remembered I was disappointed it wasn’t “Garden State,” and I had never even heard of it before that.
They also nailed the trailer for “Iron Man.” The way that they got around revealing too much was by focusing strictly on act one. That was where you learned everything you needed to know to want to see the movie: Robert Downey Jr. is hilarious, he builds a big robot suit, and it’s an action movie. Ticket…sold. They also used footage from act 2 and act 3, but it was in a flash montage so quick that you couldn’t see much more than random movement with a subtle aftertaste of awesome-ness. Then they used a bit of act two to show you that he’s faster than military jets, but again, no big story reveals there. People had to buy a ticket to find out more. Great stuff. And it totally paid off.
The biggest complaints people had were about comedies frontloading all of their best material into the trailer so that there was nothing left to laugh at in the theater. That makes marketing comedies a somewhat trickier proposition.
The most mystifying trailers to me are where you see the ENTIRE THROUGHLINE OF THE MOVIE in the trailer. Why does somebody need to go see it then? The first and largest repeat offender here are the trailers for the “Free Willy” movies. First of all, the movie itself is called “Free Willy” so you already know what the objective is, problem solved, you barely even need a trailer. And then at the end of the trailer you see Willy jumping over that kid. You SEE Willy get freed IN THE TRAILER! What the hell? Why do I need to go see this movie? Not only do I already know that Willy is in the clear but I’ve seen THE METHOD IN WHICH HE MAKES GOOD HIS ESCAPE! There is no mystery left. And then they slapped the image of Willy freeing himself on the poster. The only way I can think to justify this is that whoever oversaw the marketing was relying on kids to have no memories and they wanted to reassure parents that everything would end up okay. Then again, this movie did well enough to get 2 sequels, so maybe it doesn’t matter that much.
I guess all I’m trying to convey is that according to the 400+ commenters I had this week, they said they prefer to have more than a little mystery left when they get into the theater. A lot of them won’t even read the back of books before diving in. They want to fly completely blind.
On another subject, it’s about a week and a half until I finally start uploading episode 4 of the Platoon of Power Squadron. It’s been six months of hard work and long hours for just one of the many no-budget dayjob-cowboys, but it’s finally going to go out. Here’s the trailer for it…
Thanks for reading, all y’all.