Basically a trailer is a promotional vehicle used to sell a film. It is typically made up of scenes from the film it is promoting and is intended to appeal to a wide audience. It may be a series of clips from the movie or may include footage from the film, as well as material not included in the film itself.
The National Association of Theatre Owners has issued an industry guideline that asks film distributors to supply trailers no longer than two minutes. It also allows for limited exceptions. In addition to being an efficient promotional tool, trailers have become highly polished pieces of advertising. They can be used to present even a poor movie in a positive light, giving viewers a taste of what is to come.
Typically, trailers are edited in a three-act structure, with the beginning introducing the premise and setting of the film, the middle illustrating the main characters and the end displaying a dramatic climax. They are often presented in a similar format to the feature film itself, though in some cases they may be presented in digital format.
There are many companies that specialize in the production of trailers. Many of these companies are based in Los Angeles and New York City. The logos of these companies appear at the beginning and end of trailers, typically with the logo of the film distributor and/or production company.
In the past, trailers were generally printed on a trailing portion of feature print stock. Today, the trailers are normally presented in the same format as the feature film, with the exception of Digital 3D. Some trailers incorporate material not found in the film itself, such as a scene with stereophonic sound.
Many trailers include a signature piece of music, which is typically a lighthearted pop song used in romantic comedies or thrillers. Other trailers include music cues that sync with specific moments in the film.
There are dozens of trailer companies across the country, including some that specialize in the production of trailers for the entertainment industry. Movie trailers may also be produced at film agencies while the film is still being cut. They are also used in conjunction with the promotion of other media, such as television and websites.
The best trailers use the three-act structure to highlight the most important aspects of the film. They are often edited with the use of rushes. For example, the middle act may highlight the action and conflicts of the film, while the end act may contain a visual montage of emotional moments. The trailer may also contain deleted scenes from the film, if they are deemed necessary.
A trailer may also include other items such as a cast run. This is a list of the major players in the film, including the director, the producer, and the principal actors. A trailer may also contain a blooper or out-take, which is a humorous or entertaining moment from the film’s production.