A trailer is a short clip that gives viewers a teaser of the film it is advertising. It is a very effective way to generate interest in the film and make people want to watch it. The same types of storytelling techniques that engage audiences in films and TV shows also work well in movie trailers, but they are especially critical since the viewer is watching every split second under a microscope. A great trailer can help to secure funding for the full film, and it can also get the word out about the film even before it has been released.
There is no single trailer template, but the best ones typically have a strong opening and set up key elements of the story, while leaving major plot points unresolved. They are also very good at establishing a tone and mood. This can be done by using different shots and angles to create the right feel, by including music that matches the emotion of the scene, and by incorporating sound effects that match the genre of the film.
They usually feature key scenes from the film that are edited together into a coherent narrative, with the intention of convincing viewers that it is worth their time to see the full film. They can be as long or as short as the filmmaker desires, but ideally they will be no more than about 2 minutes in length. They can be made with a variety of different software, from the utilitarian standby iMovie to more advanced programs like Adobe Premiere and Avid Media Composer.
As the popularity of online streaming services has increased, so too has the popularity of trailers. They are now often released as standalone clips, and many studios are now releasing “red-band” trailers that are not shown on television in order to reach a wider audience, and making extensive campaigns around them on YouTube and other social networks. This is also allowing for some fascinating recuts of classic trailers, such as turning Mary Poppins into a horror movie or The Shining into a feel-good comedy.
It is a highly competitive world out there for movies, and a great trailer can make all the difference in getting the word out about your project. Creating one takes a lot of thought, creativity, and practice. But the tools are at your fingertips, and once you know how to use them, the possibilities for your trailer are endless. So don’t be afraid to break the mold and try something new!