A trailer (also known as a preview, coming attraction or attraction video) is a short promotional film that precedes a feature length movie. It is an integral part of the advertising strategy for a theatrical release and provides a glimpse into the story, acting, cinematography and overall look and feel of the film. Trailers are generally a minute long and are edited with music and a voice over to tell the story of the movie in an entertaining and intriguing way.

The art of making trailers has become an industry unto itself. There are countless companies who make trailers exclusively, take the footage they’re sent from a studio and basic plot outline and re-cut it all together to give potential audiences a taste of what is to come. Sometimes, if they are really good, the studio will ask them to re-cut the entire movie (cough **Suicide Squad** cough**).

Trailers are typically a montage of images from scenes in the film, often set to a song or piece of orchestral music. They usually have a three act structure similar to a feature-length film. The first act lays out the premise, the second acts drives the story further and ends with a dramatic climax. The final act is a visual montage of powerful and emotional moments from the film. Many trailers also include a cast run, which is a list of the main actors and may include celebrity cameos that could help sell the movie.

Sometimes the editing of a trailer can be misleading or inaccurate. This may be intentional or accidental. For example, if a director has made other popular films with recognizable stars and the star’s name is in the title of the film, they might want to be listed as the main actor even though their role is small. Some trailers also use misleading wording, such as describing the film as a “never-before seen thriller” when it is actually a horror movie or using action-packed language to describe a comedy.

A good trailer should focus on a single, captivating moment that will hook viewers and leave them wanting more. It should have a sense of urgency and keep the viewer on edge, whether it’s a dramatic scene from a feature film or a teaser for an upcoming documentary. It should avoid over-indulging in the logos of the film’s distributor or production company, which can detract from the overall impact. It should be quick, snappy and end fairly abruptly to keep people interested in the rest of the film.