A trailer is a wheeled vehicle that can’t move on its own, but is designed to be pulled by another vehicle, typically by being attached to the hitch on a truck. A trailer is often used for transporting goods or equipment, but also can be found on bikes and in many other applications where a towable vehicle is needed.
In the film world, trailer is also a term that means a movie preview or advertisement. The trailer for a movie is typically shown before the film itself, and it is often the first contact that potential audience members will have with the production. The trailer is therefore a critical piece of the marketing puzzle for the film, and it has to be able to convince viewers that it is worth their time (and money) to see the full film.
Creating an effective trailer requires the filmmakers to tell a compelling story in a very condensed form. It needs to introduce the main characters and the central conflict, as well as establish a general plotline that the film will follow. The trailer should build tension and excitement, highlighting key moments that are visually stunning or emotionally impactful. The trailer should also climax and end on a resolution that leaves the audience wanting more.
One of the most important rules to remember when creating a trailer is not to spoil the film. This is one of the biggest mistakes that many moviemakers make, and it can be especially deadly for a horror film. For example, the trailer for the box office failure Mortal Engines features Peter Jackson’s producer credit slapped all over it, as well as scenes from the movie itself that reveal key plot points.
While a good concept and well-shot scenes certainly help, the most important element of any successful trailer is to leave the audience clamoring for more. A good way to do this is to end on a cliffhanger, which can be difficult in a short trailer clip that also has to entice viewers to take action by buying tickets or signing up for the movie’s mailing list.
Another important aspect of a good trailer is to show off the film’s production values. High-quality cinematography and editing are essential, as is a catchy song and interesting visual effects. In addition, a trailer should be as realistic as possible, as this will be more appealing to the audience. For example, if the movie is a thriller, it would be best to include footage of people running in the dark or looking frightened, rather than relying on over-the-top edits and crazy sound effects.