Movie trailers and I have a great love/hate relationship. I really enjoy watching them as they seem to make any movie interesting. That is what I love about them. However the point of the movie trailer is to suck the audience in and get them interested in the movie. So how is this done? They can not market a movie with boring footage from the film. So on some occasions, the movie is ruined for me because all the funny, intense, and entertaining parts of the movie are all in the trailer, thus ruining the movie.
I give the movie crew a lot of credit these days with the effort put into movie trailers. It is the premiere way they market their movie and make their movie unique from the other 3 coming out every Friday. Some parts are standard across trailers, such as the average length. Depending on whether it is the shorter cut or the original version, they seem to run 1:20 (shorter) and around 2:30 for the standard version. The time is perfect for the short attention spans of Americans as well as being long enough to get the point of the movie across. Another detail similar in most trailers was the lack of typography (maybe it was just the ones I watched). The only time there was type on the screen was with the date the movie comes out, the directors/actors, and the title at the end.
A significant difference throughout the trailers was the use of voice overs and narration. In the trailer for Anchorman 2, the first half of the short ad is the narrator from the first Anchorman. It is a funnier, typical movie voice. The trailer also goes on with funny lines from all the characters without telling or showing the audience anything about the movie. Narrators for the film seemed to be more prevalent in older films, like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Their voices are synchronized with their lips in all the trailers except for The Great Gatsby. Leonardo DiCaprio’s voice is played from lines in the movie while other scenes are being shown.
How the story is told was the most diverse among the trailers without surprise. Whether it was a thriller, comedy, or serious film, the way they advertise their movie is always unique. In the new movie coming out November 2, Flight, the trailer goes step by step through the movie playing key scenes or key lines that help the audience understand the timeline of the film. The same type of style is used in the trailer for the new James Bond movie Skyfall. Finally, one of the key ingredients for the trailer is the music. Every trailer had its own unique music that went along with the genre and what the overall tone of the movie is. The original Iron Man has one of the best soundtracks and soundtracks to a trailer I have ever seen (Iron Man movies are awesome). The music starts with rock music to make Robert Downey Jr. seem like the cool guy he’s playing, then turns into hard rock when he’s in the suit. Then there are movies like Anchorman 2 where the music is “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble”, a funny, catchy song.
I never really thought about analyzing trailers before, but now that I have looked at them in depth, I don’t think I will be able to see another the same again. Watching different ones and watching them over and over makes it easier to see those unique differences that suck the viewers in.
Trailers: Iron Man 3, Iron Man, Flight, Anchorman 2, The Great Gatsby, Skyfall, Dumb and Dumber, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Recut: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – Recut Trailer, Dumb & Dumber – Inception Style, Ghostbusters Recut Trailer