The trailer is a marketing tool used to promote movies, TV shows, video games and other forms of entertainment. Originally used as a way to advertise feature films before they were screened in theaters, the trailer format has become increasingly popular and is now marketed for a variety of other forms of entertainment.

How to Make a Movie Trailer

A movie trailer tells a story that captures the attention of its audience and entices them to see the film. The best trailers tell a riveting story and use a three-act structure to build a tension that gets the audience emotionally invested. A trailer should introduce the main characters, set up the central conflict of the film, and end on a major cliffhanger.

To make a good movie trailer, start by choosing a single scene that represents the most compelling aspects of your film or TV pilot. Then, plan and execute the shot list and filming for the trailer. The trailer should be a compelling and captivating video, with visuals that are evocative and catchy.


If you’re shooting a film about a specific topic, interview your subject to learn more about their background and interests. You can also use archival footage to bring the subject to life. In either case, be sure to pick up establishing shots and cutaways that you can use in the trailer.

When shooting interviews, keep in mind that visual variation is critical to making a good trailer. The best interview scenes are often dynamic and involve multiple perspectives.

Shooting the interview is a good time to practice your camera work and lighting techniques. Be sure to take notes and record audio so that you can refer to them when editing.


If you are a first-time filmmaker, it’s a good idea to put together a shot list so that you know what you need for each shot. This will help you stay on track while shooting and allow you to make the most of your limited time.

Create a storyboard

A good way to approach the planning of your trailer is to create a storyboard with key scenes and any dialogue you plan on using. This will give you a sense of what the trailer is going to look like and help you figure out how to edit your clips together.

In general, trailers should be edited with a minimum of dialogue and minimal cuts between scenes. This can save time and prevent your trailer from becoming overly long or cluttered with unnecessary elements.

Script the Trailer

To make a great trailer, start by writing a detailed script. This should include all the important scenes and characters from your film. It should also detail your premise and what makes the film special. You should also include a brief synopsis of the film, so that people know what to expect when they watch it.

Adapt the Trailer

If you want to change the story or plot of your film, you may need to adapt your trailer to suit the new version. For example, if you’ve changed the main character or added a new scene to the film, your trailer might need to be more dramatic and exciting.