We've discussed pitch/sizzel reels and mood/tone films a few times on No Film School before, but it's interesting that so many of them are now finding their way online. Rian Johnson -- writer/director of Brick and The Brothers Bloom -- with the help of his good friend Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who stars in the just-released film), put together a fake trailer for his new film Looper long before production on the movie began. Check out both videos below.
For comparison, here is the final trailer for the film:
Here is what Ryan said about the making of this fake trailer:
This is a strange curiosity I thought might be interesting - just after I finished the script for Looper but before we began preproduction I asked Joe to record some voice-over, and with help from my friend Ronen Verbit constructed this "fake trailer" using clips from other movies. This is a fairly common thing to do when you're trying to get a movie off the ground, but it was the first time I tried it. It was meant to show more some of the film's tone, and to show how the odd concept could be presented in a clear and compelling way in the marketing. Zach Johnson did the sketches. Note that we hadn't begun the casting process yet, and the clips were chosen just based on their visuals and not by who is in them.
This is the first pitch reel I've personally seen for a big Hollywood project that has used somewhat crude animation to help tell the story (though I'm sure it's far from the first that has done it). It's basically a storyboard animatic, but in this case they've replaced the background with a real-life photo (which I think helps tremendously). I already mentioned in a previous post that I think voiceovers are very difficult to get right for an entire piece, but I think it worked well for this pitch reel. Of course, it helps to have an A-list actor, but in my opinion it works very well either way.
I know some people have mentioned they have a hard time watching these since they almost always feature clips from other films, but I'm curious to know if people feel differently about this one because of the animation? I think at the very least, it's clear that the tone of the pitch reel matches the tone of the trailer perfectly, and that's a testament to Rian Johnson's skills as a writer and as a director.
What do you guys think? Do you think the animation helps make this more original?