A trailer is a wheeled vehicle that can’t move on its own but is attached to a moving vehicle such as a car or truck. Some parents tow their young children in bicycle trailers. The word trailer can also mean a film preview or advertisement that theaters show before a movie starts.

A movie trailer can include a cast run and a studio production logo, which are usually displayed at the beginning of the trailer. It may also contain a brief synopsis or premise, as well as the movie’s rating. Then, a series of short clips from the film are shown.

These clip scenes, called shots, are often filmed at different locations and times of day so that the finished trailer will have a variety of visual styles and moods. Shots that feature a wide variety of camera angles and lighting are especially important. In some cases, the shots are also sped up or slowed down so that viewers can see more of the action in less time.

The editing process is where a trailer really blossoms. Most trailers follow a three-act structure similar to a full-length film. The first act lays out the main characters and premise. The second act drives the story forward and the third acts usually concludes with a dramatic or emotional climax. The ending of the trailer is often accompanied by a powerful piece of “signature music,” which can be either a popular song or an orchestral score.

When constructing a trailer, try to avoid giving away too much information about the movie. Ideally, you want to create a teaser that makes people want to watch the movie. One way to do this is by using beautiful scenic shots to set the tone and a snippet of the story without revealing too much.

Another method is to use sound effects and edit techniques to heighten the tension or drama in a scene, or to add humor. For example, adding fast cuts and a fast-paced score will heighten suspense in a thriller. On the other hand, a lighthearted pop song can be used to make a comedy more likable.

To keep a trailer from becoming boring, it’s good to include some slow or static shots in the video as well. These can help to establish the location and time period of the story and give the viewer a break from all of the action.

If the trailer is for a documentary, it’s helpful to interview your subjects and film them in their natural surroundings. This will give the viewer a sense of what it’s like to actually be there. Similarly, if the movie is about an event that happened in history, it’s helpful to get participants to walk through key events in their actual location.

In addition, trailers can be made more visually interesting by adding a variety of cutting techniques such as quick cuts, fading in and out of scenes, modulation, and the use of music to set the mood. Creating a trailer is an excellent opportunity for students to practice these editing skills and learn how they can be used to enhance a film project.