We joke about “the formula” that makes movie trailers look so much alike, but those are mainly for big blockbuster action films, the ones with familiar characters and existing fan bases. Hollywood cranks out tons of movies of all kinds every year, and they all need promotion. For that, there exists several specialized businesses that only produce movie trailers. The work is definitely specialized- their labor begins long before the movie is finished.
While everyone generally agrees it can be easier to craft trailers for good movies, Bill Neil, an editor at Buddha Jones, suggests that since he’s looking at elements rather than a completed work, it’s difficult to judge the ultimate merits of a film. “We try to discover the best stuff about each movie,” says Neil. “What’s exciting about the movie, what’s the best possible version of it, because it’s not fully formed yet. We get inspired by that idea, and that’s what we work off. When the movie comes out and it’s not so great, well, we gave it our best shot.”
As producers and editors are toiling, copywriters are hiding in their offices, taking dozens of stabs at six-word taglines and crafting splashy narration for trailers and TV. “It’s abstract art,” says Weir. “Sometimes, I would just write the most offensive, absurd, and completely tonally off thing and just bury it in there just to see if anyone was reading. More often than not, that would end up being a contender.”
There are even times that a trailer, or an idea for a trailer, influences the movie itself. Read about the work of trailer producers and learn some of their secrets at The Ringer. -via Digg
(Image credit: Flickr user Thomas Hawk)