How To Make a Bad Movie Trailer

October 30, 2007 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

How To Make a Bad Movie TrailerThe people who cut our movie trailers are some funny folk. They can make us laugh, thrill us, anger us, cause us to sneer or make us physically sick, and all within a minute and a half. They cut together teasers or trailers to the point that they are like mini-movies. After careful review, I’ve decided these people are morally ambiguous, like the Others on Lost. They’re kind of like mercenaries. You hope they are just sharing your enthusiasm for film a lot of the time. Hey guys, doesn’t this movie look fun? We sure think so! At the same time, you wouldn’t be surprised if they’re really just trying to rip you off. We are blowing your mind and showing you all of the good stuff in the movie, suckers! I have no idea who these people are but I know they exist. I see their markings every time I go to see a movie. They show the future. Sometimes the future looks bright. Sometimes it looks action-packed. Sometimes it looks dull. You never know what you’re going to get from these fortunetellers. One thing I do know, however, is sometimes the Others are good at making trailers and sometimes they really, really aren’t. Either way, I’m almost always having fun with movie trailers.

Here are but a few of the odd methods the marketing folks have trotted out over the years:

1.) Show the beginning, middle and end of the movie.
It’s extremely important that you show the entire movie before I actually pay to see it. Revealing key plot points that signify the basic premise, the basic rising action, and the basic resolution is essential to my avoidance. If you simply tease me, I might make the mistake of throwing down money for the ticket. You don’t want that (obviously), so steer clear of anything resembling the vague. Don’t hold back. I want to see everything, especially the best parts. If I actually end up seeing the movie, I will be very disappointed if I don’t know ahead of time every step the movie will take.

2.) Milk the actors’ Oscar history for all it’s worth.
Look, if an actor’s been nominated six times, I want to know it. If someone else in your movie was nominated four times, that is also important information (please see the Lions for Lambs teaser at your convenience). It tells me right away, “Okay, this guy wasn’t nominated as many times as the other guy, but he’s still pretty damn good. After all, he’s been nominated.”

And nominations are like the actor’s equivalent to sainthood. That makes Meryl Streep Mother-flippin-Teresa. It is also relevant to point out which actor has been nominated, versus which actor has actually won. This is a further outline of the caste system that I find valuable as an audience member. But if you really want to get on my good side, throw in a couple actors who won, at least one actor who’s been given a nod but never brought one home and finally, the one actor in the cast who hasn’t even been nominated… ever. I love seeing these people humiliated on screen. And the older the actor, the funnier it is. “Haha, you’re time is running out and you still have nothing!”

3.) I got a fever… and the only prescription… is more VOICE-OVER Guy.
This summer, in a world of taste gone awry, in the year’s most EXPLOSIVE film, one man will learn how to make everything on screen appear super duper lame with the simple sound of his sometimes gravelly, sometimes soft, but always self-important VOICE! MGM Pictures in association with Tig Productions in association with Imagine Entertainment in association with Happy Madison bring you a Stephen Sommers film that you will not (queue heightened music) … soon … (even more heightened please) FORGET!!!! (make heads explode with magnificent volume increase).



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