A trailer is a wheeled vehicle attached to the back of a car, truck or other powered vehicle that is designed to haul something. It can be an open flatbed trailer or one that is enclosed and features shelving units or specialty equipment. Trailers are used for a variety of reasons, such as hauling landscaping or construction materials, livestock or machinery and equipment. They are also a reliable way to transport cars or other expensive vehicles that can’t be driven on the road without a trailer.

The trailer was conceived in 1913 when Nils Granlund, the advertising manager for Marcus Loew theaters, spliced rehearsal footage from The Pleasure Seekers into a mini promotional montage that would trail after films shown at the theater. It was the first attempt at creating a form of movie advertisement that was specifically targeted to theater audiences and able to highlight the film’s plot and stars.

In order to be effective, a trailer has to tell the entire story of a film in a short amount of time. It must introduce the audience to the film’s characters, set up the central conflict and then leave them wondering how the film will resolve the issue. A good trailer will also zig where the film zags, making it even more mysterious and intriguing to see how the film will ultimately play out.

Most trailers are a combination of scenes from the movie and original footage shot to promote it. The most successful trailers are usually no more than a minute long and include dialogue, music and a visual style that is appropriate for the film. They are often synchronized to the rhythm of the music or a spoken monologue and can be seen in advance of theatrical releases as well as at movie festivals.

Oftentimes, trailers have been accused of giving viewers a false representation of a film. This is especially true when it comes to action movies, where a trailer may use music and editing to imply that a film is more exciting than it actually is. In addition, some trailers feature shots or lines of dialogue that are not present in the film. This can lead to confusion for the viewer and is sometimes done intentionally as part of a marketing campaign.

Some trailers have also been used for satirical effect. For example, trailers for Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedian and Tenacious D’s The Pick of Destiny featured voice over cliches such as “Colossal!” or “Stupendous!” as part of a parody of Hollywood film promotion. This practice has become more common as film makers have shifted away from the standard promotional format and have created trailers that are less traditional. This has spawned a new genre of trailer, the teaser, which is typically shorter than a full-length film trailer and often includes scenes from the actual movie.