A trailer is a wheeled vehicle that doesn’t move on its own but is pulled by a truck or car. It is the opposite of a train, which moves on its own and trails behind the cars or trucks pulling it. The word trailer is also used to refer to a film preview or advertisement that theaters show before a movie starts.

A well-made trailer can create a lot of buzz about a film or TV show, and can help it find financing. But creating a trailer that can explain the story in just a few minutes and excite audiences takes a certain skill. The same storytelling techniques that engage audiences in films and TV shows must be employed in trailers, but the time constraints are much tighter.

Getting an idea for the story you want to tell in your trailer is a good place to start. Then you can think about what type of visuals will be most effective. Some examples are sweeping aerial shots of natural scenery, dramatic action or suspenseful scenes, and a mix of dialog, music and on-screen text (or captions) to convey the main points. Captions can be especially helpful for viewers who don’t have sound turned on or are watching a video while doing something else.

Another way to get ideas for your trailer is to look at other trailers in your genre. Learn what conventions different types of trailers use, and decide when to follow them and when to do things differently. This will allow you to make your trailer stand out from the crowd and draw audience attention to it.

While the term trailer is usually applied to a film preview, it can also be used for short videos designed to promote a book, TV show or other project. For example, many authors produce trailers to accompany the books they have written. They are often designed to be shared on social media and can be used to attract potential readers.

The most effective book trailers are brief and entertaining, with a few key elements. For example, they should include a clear title within the first screen and list out key topics that you cover in the book. They should also feature a few short scenes, a combination of music and text, and a voice-over that tells the story.

To help readers understand what the book is about, a trailer can include quotes from the author. This can be done by recording audio from an interview or by using stock footage of people interacting in a setting. It’s important that the quotes match the tone and subject of the book, so editors may use a technique called match cutting to pair the audio with the appropriate visual.

A great book trailer will build suspense for the climax. It can be done by increasing the tension and using a slow reveal of the main character, the plot and the theme. It can also be done by introducing the main conflict and how it will be resolved.