A trailer is a short form of entertainment or commercial advertisement that gives an audience a glimpse into a film, television show, video game or other project. A well-executed trailer can make people want to watch a movie or support a crowdfunding campaign for a new project. However, creating a trailer that engages audiences and generates excitement can be difficult. The same storytelling elements that engage audiences in films and shows must be adapted to the shorter format of a trailer.

To help filmmakers create better trailers, Nick Willoughby from Filmmaking For Kids and Film Future outlines some of the key things to keep in mind when making one. He recommends that filmmakers start with a clear idea of what they want to accomplish and then plan how they can achieve their goal within the constraints of time and money.

It is also important to remember that viewers of trailers often have very little time to give the project they are watching a chance. In many cases, trailers are watched while scrolling through social media feeds, so a trailer needs to be captivating enough to grab and hold viewer attention for the few seconds it will have before the call-to-action buttons appear. For that reason, a trailer should be as concise as possible without leaving out key moments or giving too much away.

When planning a trailer, it is also important to consider the types of visuals that will work best and then find ways to incorporate them into the trailer in creative ways. For example, if you are making a documentary about a famous location or event, it can be very effective to use the actual footage of that place to create a sense of place for the viewer. This will add a lot of authenticity to the trailer and also be very compelling for viewers who have already visited the location or experienced the event firsthand.

Other types of visuals that are commonly used in trailers include close-ups and establishing shots. While these may seem like basic cinematography concepts, it is important to keep in mind that when creating a trailer, every shot must be carefully selected to convey the best possible story about your project.

Another element that is often forgotten when creating a trailer is the importance of dialogue. In most trailers, short lines of dialogue are included to provide context for the action taking place. This allows the viewer to figure out what type of story they are watching and can help them connect with the characters.

Finally, the music in a trailer is often very important. It can set the tone for the film and can be used to build suspense and tension. It is also common to include music on a trailer that does not appear on the film soundtrack, as this gives it a distinct and separate feel.