A trailer is a short film or television clip that teases a larger story. Trailers provide a preview of the plot and style of a movie or TV show, and they help to generate buzz about the film. A good trailer can help a film or television project get noticed, and it can lead to successful funding. However, creating a trailer that engages audiences and convinces them to support a project can be challenging.

To make a trailer that captures the audience’s attention, the film maker needs to create an effective visual tempo. This is important because the viewer can easily become bored if a trailer feels too repetitive or dull. A filmmaker can avoid this problem by adding variety to the trailer’s visual tempo and by including shots that show different locations or characters.

Some trailers include a “cold open,” a dramatic or action scene that starts the film off strong and grabs the viewer’s attention. This is often done to highlight the main characters in a movie, and it can be used to set up the central conflict of the film. A filmmaker can also use the cold open to give viewers a sense of the movie’s genre, which can be helpful in attracting viewers.

The next part of a trailer is often a voice over, which sets up the main character and the premise of the film. This is often followed by a series of shots that demonstrate the story’s key themes or emotional moments. The narrator may also ask rhetorical questions to give the audience more context about the story.

Although the use of voice-over in trailers has declined since the passing of the famous voice-over artist Don LaFontaine, it can be an effective way to explain a story and add emotion. However, directors should be careful to avoid using voice over cliches in their trailers, which can detract from the cinematic experience.

Most trailers end with a “cast run,” a list of the principal cast and crew members who appear in the movie. This is usually accompanied by the film’s director and producer names, as well as the studio production logos. Many trailers also feature a music track that does not appear on the movie soundtrack. This can help to build tension and mystery, as the audience will not be familiar with the song.

Trailers are usually edited by professionals at production companies, such as The Cimarron Group, MOJO, Aspect Ratio, Flyer Entertainment, or Buddha Jones. They are often based on rushes or dailies of the film and sometimes contain footage that does not appear in the final cut of the film. In addition, the editors may sometimes edit together shots that are filmed separately or from different takes of the same shot. This process is known as “green banding.” Several DVDs have been released that contain nothing but trailers of different films.