Whether it’s on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram, trailers use powerful visuals and music to create a sense of anticipation and excitement for the film they advertise. They also feature key moments from the film that pique the audience’s interest in the characters, storyline and production quality. By creating a strong emotional connection, the trailer will make audiences want to see the film in the theater.

The trailer’s first act lays out the premise of the movie and establishes how it will unfold. This usually includes the main characters and a glimpse of the film’s genre. For example, the iconic trailer for Steven Spielberg’s Jaws used a montage of underwater shots with eerie music to build suspense and then revealed the shark attack at the end to heighten the tension.

Act 2 of the trailer builds on the premise laid out in act 1 by showing more key scenes from the movie. The trailer may also include a voice over or on-screen text to provide information about the film’s cast and crew members. This part of the trailer may also contain a “cast run” if the actors featured in the film are well-known or have previously been featured in other films. Act 2 of a movie trailer often concludes with a studio production logo and tagline.

Filmmakers rely on human psychology and emotion to shape the storyline of a trailer, so that the audience will feel the emotions they are selling the film as having. They want to entice the viewer into the movie theater and leave them wanting more of that feeling of awe, fear or love.

As the digital landscape evolves, so too do the challenges of making impactful trailers. Social media emergence has transformed how trailers are distributed, requiring new strategies that capitalize on viral marketing and user-generated content (UGC). Globalization demands localization and cultural resonance. And emerging technology has introduced new possibilities for immersive, virtual reality trailer experiences.

The best trailers deliver a unique perspective on the film, while still staying true to its genre and core themes. They do this by utilizing an effective mix of cinematography and editing techniques, as well as by enticing the viewer through a compelling narrative that is supported by strong character development, a clear storyline and an engaging soundtrack.

Movie-goers have short attention spans, so the most successful trailers get to the point quickly. They are often short and contain a catchy tagline that sticks in the viewer’s mind. They also utilize a call to action to drive viewers to the movie’s website, social media page or mailing list sign-up. The key to creating a successful trailer is to test out different versions and see what works best for the film it is advertising. A cliffhanger at the end of the trailer is another great way to keep people talking about the movie for a long time after the trailer has ended. And finally, don’t give away too much of the plot!