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Article – What Happened To The Film Trailer?


Posted December 6, 2014 by

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What Happened To The Film Trailer?

You’d sit in the cinema. Sat back in your chair, arching forward as the lights drew down and the music started to echo through the theatre complex. Bright lights burst on the screen and the trailers begin. Sometimes after the film you’d be talking about that film trailer you saw for the sequel of the best film ever rather than talk about the actual film you just watched. So what ever happened to the traditional film trailer and where the hell is the world traveling to with the way trailer are featured now with the likes of the Internet.


So trailers used to be seen at the cinema first. That’s the way it has always been until recent years. I remember seeing a trailer for the next big blockbuster and getting so excited just by that. Now it’s a totally different world. You’ll come across the rumour of a trailer being released first. That’s the starting point. Weird isn’t it. To find a rumour of a film trailer rather than see the trailer. It’s even gotten to the point now that the outline and details of the trailer get released first. You’ll usually get a teaser nowadays for the trailer. So basically a trailer for a trailer similar to the latest being Jurassic World which had a couple of teasers released followed by the full trailer a few days later.


These days the trailers are even getting leaked. It’s usually by someone in the studio who’s recording a lower quality version and uploading it to that world wide Web we all hear so often about. A few years ago the studios would probably just bat it off and carry forward with their trailer release date but now in 2014 you can probably guarantee after being leaked the trailer will be out in a few days time if not a few hours.


I remember the days of being really wowed. Weather it be from seeing the trailer at the cinema or on the TV, it was really exciting to run into a room not to miss it. To see it once and talk about it none stop until you see it again. Now it’s a click and press of a button to see it revealed and it loses some of that magic. It loses some of that ability to wow. Some trailers still do like Avengers: Age of Ultron but after being able to see it numerous times already it loses the wow factor. Then we cross into the whole too many trailers area where the editors sit in their little booths cutting and moving around clips in the trailer adding in maybe one or two extra scenes and thus we clearly have a brand new trailer. This sort of diminishes the film a bit for me. I want to see one trailer and one trailer only. Not 20 different trailers which show off one new clip each time.


Plot details revealed, thrown out the window and spoiler alert it’s on the trailer. Trailers now have a weak structure of not really teasing anything out. They’ll tease the action sequences for sure in the latest Batman trailer but they don’t do much else besides reveal very important scenes key to the plot or what I hate the most, showing the final scene in the actual trailer. For reasons the studios do this, we’ll never know but they do. The worst example of this I’ve witnessed was the god awful Amazing Spiderman 2 which literally had 3 clips in the trailer plucked straight from the film itself. Comedies are a stickler for this sort of revealing too much. Too many times I’ve sat watching a comedy film to not actually laugh at all. Why is this? Because all the good jokes are riveted throughout the trailer.


It’s a very odd world we now live in where wed rather Ruin a plot for a move than see the actual film itself (although we still do that to) It doesn’t look like the industry is going to change at all so probably expect more teasers for trailers for trailers of trailers and so on and so on.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 22.37.10

Matthew Reay
Freelance Contributor


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