Thursday, December 05, 2013

Trailer trash

One of the chief reasons opening weekends for movies fail is poorly crafted trailers. Time and time again I am faced with trailers that show me the entire movie, thus removing my desire to see it.  You see the only ten jokes, or you see a plot point—and instead of a trailer, it’s a spoiler.

A great example of how to craft a trailer is Disney's Frozen. John Lassiter and Company created A wholly independent animated piece that, as it turns out, never shows up in the film yet captures one sentiment of the film perfectly. It is a piece where a snowman loses his carrot nose. I kept waiting for that segment to arrive, and it never did! As a wink to the audience, there is a carrot/Snowman moment, but it is only that–a wink to the trailer. Genius!

As the rollout of the film drew closer humans started showing up in the trailers–and one realized there was more to the film then snowman and reindeer. But still, the trailer gave nothing away.

Now, Disney has a massive hit on its hands–because it made a terrific animated movie. But add to that it didn't spoil the movie by creating a trailer that gave us a two minute encapsulated version of it. Bravo! Brava!

I wish more studios would take a cue from this!



  1. Ridley, I'd like your opinion on book trailers. Have you seen any good ones? Worth it?

  2. Paul Levine here: I object to both the length and number of trailers that precede the movie I have paid to see. Thankfully, it's screener season, so I'm getting DVD's of most of the new releases courtesy of WGA. I guess I'm just old and curmudgeonly, but I don't like going to the theater anymore. (On the other hand, I enjoyed seeing "Gravity" at the Imax in 3-D. Couldn't do that at home). Paul