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Eterna: Watch the Most Epic Movie Trailer Ever (For a Movie That Doesn't Exist)

08.5.13 @ 10:30PM Tags : , , , , , ,

ETERNAOne of the great boons of the digital age of filmmaking has been that everyone with a copy of non-linear editing software can download and tweak their favorite movies to their heart’s content, whether to amuse themselves, for educational purposes, or to create mind-bendingly awesome mashups. Belarusian video editor Vadzim Khudabets, 24, has really raised the bar with his 6-minute trailer for the most epic movie of all time — a compilation of trailers from other epic movies. Click below to watch this amazing viral phenomenon!

Recutting trailers has been going on for a long time, and I can remember watching The Shining for the first time in 2007, when it was recut to look like a family comedy. I’m sure you’ve probably seen it, but it doesn’t hurt to watch again:

With Eterna, Khudabets has done every trailer mashup artist one better by taking 99 trailers (some movies are repeated, and the full list is here) and cutting them together to make one 6-minute trailer for a film that doesn’t exist (but it really should.) He had previously received some attention for his first effort, Trailer Cut-Volume 1: 

But this time he wanted to give the piece a theme, so he chose the title Eterna, explaining to Time magazine:

This time Khudabets tried to find repeating shots and patterns that would match the music he used, to give meaning to the trailer. He also decided to give his imaginary mega-movie a plot – Eterna would be about the eternal struggle between good and evil, which is what he believes all the movies included end up focusing on. Despite the time invested and the pain of the technical work required, he says it was worth it to fulfill the goal. “It was one of the works that you are doing for the soul, not for the client,” he says. “Favorite music, favorite movies — what could be better?”

Check out Khudabets epic trailer below:

What do you think? Have you ever cut together movies for your own purposes, and do you think it’s a good educational tool? What are some of your favorite trailer mashups? Let us know in the comments!


[via The Verge]


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • I’m sorry,
    The Shinning and Darth Vader being Childish are wonderful examples of the power of editing.

    A long ass trailer of every movie I’ve seen equals a long ass trailer of movies I’ve already seen.

    Yes it was a good edit – but it does not have the emotional transformation of other examples.

    • Agree, that was more of a supplement for all of the blockbusters I saved money by not seeing.

    • I don’t get the point, why is everyone on the internet acting like it’s a big deal? It doesn’t manage to make it look like a coherent story, it’s not clever, it’s too long. Sure the guy obviously spent a lot of time doing it, but so what?

  • Funny. Your typical Russian TV or feature film still suffers from the long takes of the old “socialist realism” era.

  • Copying and mashing someone’s work that has already been edited with cinematic Hollywood sound does not make one a great editor nor film maker. These works have already been cut many times before making it out to the public it is like taking an original Michael Angelo and Rembrandt paintings cutting them up and gluing them back together and calling it a master piece.

  • If you have ever edited together a “sizzle reel”, you can plainly see the skill involved. Say what you will but this guy could pull any trailer house/editing job he wants with this as his reel.

    • Buffaluffasaurus on 08.6.13 @ 2:32AM

      Ehhh… kinda. I worked as a broadcast editor for over 13 years and so many of the next generation of editors have the same kind of skills on display as this guy – a good understanding of the technical aspects kinetic motion and match-cutting, but no real grasp of story or context.

      This trailer is largely incomprehensible from a storytelling point of view, save for generic repetitions of the same kinds of shots over and over. It’s less editing and more just list-making. Editing is more about storytelling and contextualising imagery and emotion from shot to shot, rather than making things “look cool”. I fear the latter is mostly what people care about these days.

      What made those trailer recuts like ‘The Shining” one above so brilliant is that they played entirely on how editing can completely re-contexualise things and give old material new meaning. All this guy has done is put the shots of a bunch of different trailers in a different order. The meaning and intent hasn’t changed though… they’re still largely just epic CGI shots looking epic for the sake of their own epicness.

      • I didn’t say it was good Editing or my style, I just think it does require talent and skill (actually I know it does) AND it’s what is “hot” in trailers right now. So either way, he would have no problem getting a job at a trailer house since this is exactly what they do in trailers now.

      • Totally agree.

      • Exactly — I was going to say something similar, but you’ve nailed it. Great skill at editing the trailer together, but good trailers tell a story (usually a synopsis or preview of the film), and this one falls flat in that regard. If more time had been spent with half the material, it might have been really good.

        • Exactly what story were you expecting this to tell ? It’s an editing demo, no a trailer. It’s “in the style” of a trailer, but were you expecting this guy to actually create a fake story to sell ?

      • It was epically too long

      • Well said!

    • While I don’t agree with what HW said above, I still wouldn’t say this guy would get work with this reel.

      For HW: even if the material is edited before, it is only edited material if you copy-paste longer sequences with the old cuts kept intact. If you treat material that was edited before as a new source material, editing is as much art as it would be when editing real raw footage. Of course the advantage is that you don’t need to spend time to go through dozens of failed takes. Disadvantage is that you don’t have any tails on any pictures which makes editing harder.

      For Luke (and as my general opinion of this trailer):
      When people from different movies in the trailer were looking up to the sky, even in space.. I had the feeling this could be something cool.. but it quickly fell apart with a shot of Hitler as it is so out of place compared to the previous shots. Then it became just an incomprehensible mess. I’m not denying this took awfully lot of work to do this but he used way too many movies and looks like there was no real concept… or the concept was just cool shots, bang bang, explosion. Where is the story? It’s not hard to combine bunch of similar shots from movies, it just take lots of time. I really hoped I could have seen a trailer that hints a new story. Trailer that would trick me believing this is a real movie with a real story I’d like to go see. It would be way better to choose movies that are same genre or look like they could be and happen in the same world in same era (unless you edit it look like it is multigenerational or time-travel story). I really hoped to see dialog and actions cut together so that it gives new meanings. With the amount of movies made, I’m sure this would be possible. Take actor X from movie Y doing something, bit later u have another scene of actor X from movie Z and you have a completely new story as long as you can make it look like they could be from the same movie.. I remember there was a song that started with words “Welcome to Rivendel… Mr Anderson” as the line from LOTR and Matrix are said by same actor.. when these two lines of dialog were edited together, it really sounded like it was one line from one movie. That’s the true art and magic of editing… giving new meanings existing things

      • It has the technical proficiency and pacing of a Hollywood trailer and that is something that requires…talent. This is like watching a 15 year old kid on YouTube play some famous guitar solo. It doesn’t take an ounce of “songwriting skill” but the kid is talented on the guitar.

        Full knowledge of his NLE and a natural Editing rhythm (yup…rhythm) are on full display. I think talking about the story is missing the entire point. The “story” gets an F because there is none. The Editing gets an A+.

        • Buffaluffasaurus on 08.6.13 @ 7:11AM

          But I think the point he and I are trying to make is that the fundamental point of editing is to tell a story. Every successive cut is meant to add to the overall meaning of the piece. Here each cut is meaningless except for pure visceral effect. There is some skill in that, as you suggest, but I think even most trailer houses value the skill of being able to communicate story, character and tone over random montages.

          He’s definitely got talent, but I think what this video displays is to me the most simplistic elements of editing. Being able to turn this into something more meaningful or coherent would’ve demonstrated much greater ability in my opinion.

        • I aggree with Luke, it’s not the achievement of a lifetime but it shows great skill, and I think it will open some nice doors for him

  • John Wilton on 08.6.13 @ 1:25AM

    Oh wait i get it, this is art. -1

  • Ruslan Randzhabar on 08.6.13 @ 2:27AM

    Really great editing! Reminds me of this cool mashup made from 250 greatest movies according to (russian analog of IMDB).

  • VillageBoi on 08.6.13 @ 3:21AM

    Oh well… some people are just going to be grumpy no matter what!

  • pablopablo on 08.6.13 @ 4:26AM


  • my favourite one is Mrs Doubtfire recut as a horror. its hillarious! :

  • I found it awful and boring. Absolutely pointless.

  • I said that this wasn’t particularly creative on Vimeo and some people tried to shoot me down for it. Technically it has some merit but I agree that there is no story here. If he had taken shots and created an entirely different and fresh story then that might have been fun, to get characters react to each other even though they are from different films. That would have been skillful.

  • I thought it was great – a little long perhaps but still very well done. And for those ‘there’s no story’ complainers…don’t look with your eyes, listen with your ears. The story is in every beat and riding on every wave of the musical score.

  • Crap in, crap out, what can you do…

  • Eterna huh? How about Vision 3? huehuehue

  • If being “epic” means lots of explosions, then…um…yeah, i guess?

  • That’s a very long 6 minutes. Hard to sustain that length without a story. For the action/adventure/sci-fi movies used…that specific cutting style is effective for a 1:30 – 2:00 minute trailer (max) because the goal is to assault the viewer and tease the movie. It became too overwhelming for me as there was no storyline to follow. As an editing exercise in cutting billions of dollars of movies together coherently…goal accomplished.

    I appreciate the time and effort Vadzim put into separating/amassing shots and splitting them up by theme…but the overall effect was numbing and repetitive to me. Because I was familiar with the movies used…I ended playing “name the movie” with each shot instead of getting caught up in the spectacle.

  • As far as movie mashups go, I was always quite fond of this one, which I think rises above the other movie quotes mashups in that it’s actually edited around a unifying concept and it all comes together as a single piece that tells a story. The intro is brilliant too:

  • Horribly boring… I think “Everybody wants to kill Bruce” is a much berree example of putting together existing movie footage.

  • Miranda Q Plumb on 08.9.13 @ 8:15AM

    A litany of pointless, boring special effects like a sledge hammer to the head. Really this is just a bunch of CGI clips from pre-sold franchises strung together with no coherent narrative thread (despite the growl-y catch phrases continually uttered with utmost seriousness). This is terrible at best, a total void of creativity at worst.

  • What movies are played here?

  • could be a good teaching tool. show students how to have a broader look upon things.

  • Reminds me mostly of those promo’s that movie-tv-channels tend to put together in regular intervals to show off the films you can watch. Cinema-chains and video rental houses also do this. While it wasn’t as bad as some here say. It really does lack narrative beyond being just a trailer mashup.

    The Shining romantic comedy showed originality, humor and narrative talent.

    The master of the trailer medium, in my opinion, would be Hideo Kojima. His event-trailers being regularly over 6 minutes long (favorite is Zone of Enders 2) and I have yet to see anyone top some of those in sheer making me wanna see the rest. But I’m getting a bit off topic so I’ll stop it right there.

  • Also. I have been tinkering with a script for an animated feature length 3 part sci-fi story with the working title Eterna. So I got a little bit worried reading the title of this blog post. Luckily, the content doesn’t match in the slightest. So I think I’m safe, for now. :P