A trailer is a short video that introduces a film or television show. It combines images and audio to create a powerful visual that will grab the audience’s attention. It also contains a summary of the plot and a call to action, encouraging viewers to purchase tickets or watch the full movie. To make a successful trailer, it’s important to know how to use the right footage and write compelling dialogue.

A good trailer will build suspense by using quick cuts and fast-paced music. It will also highlight the film’s most exciting and emotional moments. To add a sense of mystery, it may include an unidentified voice or voice-over that hints at the main conflict. It will usually end on an exciting cliffhanger that leaves audiences wanting to see more.

When a filmmaker decides to make a trailer, they should look at other trailers in their genre and understand what conventions they use. This helps them determine when to follow convention and when to go their own way. For example, if the film is a thriller, it’s common for a trailer to have a dark and mysterious music track. On the other hand, if the film is a comedy, it’s likely that the trailer will have more upbeat and light-hearted music to match the tone of the movie.

If the film is a documentary, it’s a good idea to interview subjects about their experiences. This can give the viewer a unique perspective on the topic and help set the scene for the rest of the film. It’s also a great idea to get some “wild” lines from the actors for the trailer, as these can make it stand out and increase interest in the project. A few well-timed F-bombs or a misplaced bikini can add some humor and align the film with more anarchic Hollywood comedies.

It’s also a good idea to take the time to shoot establishing shots and aerials before editing the trailer together. This will give you a variety of visuals to choose from when assembling the final product and will make it easier for the editor to match scenes with the appropriate visuals. Creating a log of all the footage will also help when it comes time to edit.

Lastly, it’s a good idea to put together a cast run for the film and highlight any big-name talent that will draw in viewers. A cast run often appears in movie trailers in the final act of the trailer as the film approaches its climax.

It’s a good idea to keep in mind that trailers can be used in the marketing of all sorts of different types of films and television shows. As such, the rules regarding what can and cannot be shown in a trailer are somewhat flexible. The MPAA is particularly sensitive about guns in trailers, for example, and it’s often forbidden to include shots of firearms pointing directly at the camera. This is why it’s important to take the time to make sure that your trailer is as complete as possible before submitting it for review.