November 14, 2019

5 Things You Need to Make a Great Movie Trailer

Movie trailer expert Jessica Fox explains what the five styles are and how they can be used to make a trailer successful.

Movie trailers are the first taste a studio gives you of the filmmakers' hard work. 

They want them to hook you right away and get you into theaters. So, think about your favorite movie trailers of all time. What works in them? What made you want to see those movies? 

Jessica Fox, a movie trailer expert, says that trailers are tools used to convey story, spectacle, star power, and style. But how can you jam all that into two and a half minutes without feeling too crowded or completely confusing?  

The answer is in the style of trailers and how they work. Check out this video from Vanity Fair and let's talk after the break! 

What Are The 5 Styles of Movie Trailers? 

1. In a World...

The classic movie trailer uses voiceover narration to set the scene of the story. Many of them contain the words "In a world," or some variation on that phraseology. They might even use graphics to depict this message. Whatever the case, these kinds of trailers are trying to get the movie's logline across to the viewer. 

2. Aerial Shots That Reveal the World

Another kind of trailer is the one that uses wide shots and aerial shots to establish where and when we are, quite literally enveloping you in the world of the story. These sweeping shots tell you everything you need to know about what would happen if you saw it in the theater.  

3. Preview Pulse 

I don't know how to describe this one without just saying Inception.

It's part of the action, suspense, and thriller genres where you get a deep or pulsing sound that brings you into the story. It's those loud music cues that carry the trailer and focus on the score.  

4. Repetition of Sound 

Not to be confused with the pulse, this is the repetition of a sound over and over to score the bottom of the trailer. Think of the excellent trailer for A Serious Man that's underscored by his head-banging against a wall. Or the American Sniper trailer that's all about a heart beating under the edits. Or think the Alien trailer, that used a high-pitched (and scary) screech sound. 

A repetition is almost a form of hypnosis that lures us in. 

5. Bumpers 

This final trailer trope or style is brand new. We've seen them arise over the past couple years and I personally find them incredibly annoying.

They are the ten-second bumpers -- mostly seen online or on social -- that happen before a trailer even begins to give you flashes of what will happen in the trailer. 

I don't mind it when they are a cast intro or a scene played for laughs, but these bumpers are a direct result of digital marketing. Since the onset of the internet attention spans are down. These try to hook you to get you to sit for the additional few minutes. 

What's next? Learn how to become a filmmaker

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Being a filmmaker/starting a career in filmmaking is not for the faint of heart. 

Let us take you through the steps and show you the ways.      

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