A trailer is a short segment of film or video displaying exciting parts of a film. They are usually used as advertising or promotional tools. There are several different types of trailers, including teasers, teaser trailers, and TV spots.

Trailers were first introduced in the early 1900s. Early versions of the trailer consisted of a long, wheeled vehicle with no engine. These trailers were sometimes referred to as towable trailers. In modern times, trailers are often used for self-promotion or other online content.

The term trailer is also applied to other advertising materials, including the coming attraction, a short movie preview. In general, a movie trailer is designed to draw in a large audience. It is an opportunity to demonstrate a movie’s scenes and mood. However, some critics have called trailers misleading, citing the use of deleted scenes or footage that was not included in the final film.

Trailers are typically edited to create a three-act structure. The beginning and end of the trailer serve to introduce the setting and premise of the film, while the middle contains the action and the climax. Most trailers conclude with a billing block, a list of the principal cast and director.

Trailers are generally created a few months after the film has been filmed. They are often used to promote the film or to introduce the next episode of a series. Often, they are edited to show the film’s action or special effects. Sometimes, they include musical cues that sync with specific moments in the film.

Trailers have come a long way since their inception. Today, they are highly polished pieces of advertising, presenting even poorly executed movies in an appealing light. Trailers can be found in a number of places, including websites, DVDs, and television programs. Several companies specialize in creating and editing trailers, especially in New York City and Los Angeles.

Historically, trailers trailed feature films. During the late 1940s, Paramount Pictures became the first studio to utilize a studio logo at the beginning of a trailer. Film distributors reacted with apathy to this announcement. Some cinemas still show trailer trash programs. But the trailer format has become a major promotional tool, and has been adopted by other media. Featurettes are now routinely incorporated into the websites of many television shows.

Teasers are shorter than trailers. These are usually between one and two minutes long, and contain a brief summary of the film. Many trailers also feature signature music, which is a well-known song. For example, a recognizable pop song may be used for romantic comedies, or a powerful orchestral piece for a drama.

Trailers are created with the help of storyboards. These outline the film’s action and transitions, guiding the trailer editor in making changes and choosing shots. Trailers may also feature elements not included in the final film, such as behind-the-scenes footage.

Until the late 1970s, trailers were printed on the trailing portion of feature print stock. Trailers were usually paired with the main feature, but today, trailers can be found in both 35 mm and digital formats.