Who Makes Movie Trailers?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by MichaelBA, May 6, 2006.

  1. MichaelBA

    MichaelBA Supporting Actor

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    Is it typical that a director will also be responsible for creating the trailer to his or her movie? Or does the studio hire somebody else to do that? Since a trailer is a marketing device, is it normally out of the hands of the director? Is this something a director has to insist to have control over, or is it his or her additional project by default? What's the standard practice?

    Also, does anybody know specific examples of directors making their own trailers, and conversely of directors not making their own trailers?

    Finally, a very particular question: was Woody Allen personally responsible for creating the trailer to MATCH POINT? Or did somebody else put that together with little or without any input from Allen?
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    As a general statement, directors are not responsible for the trailers, although there may cases where individual directors have some kind of approval guarantees. However I have no knowledge of specifics, including the Woody Allen film.

    It is more likely that the producer, rather than the director would have the ability to accept or reject trailers.

    Although you did not ask, making trailers is a specific skill and usually farmed out to companies that specialize in this area. And there will usually be several different trailers, often aimed at different audiences. For example, trailers for European countries are usually different than ones produced for the domestic market. TV trailers are often different than those shown in theaters (and may come in 60, 30 and 20 second) varities.

    Directors (even if they have the authority) probably don’t really care to approve or reject all of these different trailers.
     
  3. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    On one of the Back to the Future 2 commentary tracks, there is some discussion of this issue. The director and / or the producer (it has been a while since I watched it) wanted the movie advertised as "the second part of the Back to the Future trilogy", so that people would know coming in that it was going to end with a cliffhanger. But the movie wasn't advertised that way.
     
  4. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    post production houses cut trailers (and commercials and music videos and web content and cellphone content etc) as do in-house post-production sections of some studios (WB).

    Post-production houses are where a lot of graduate students with degrees in film end up instead of becoming directors. Though there are people out there that would like to cut trailers and work at a post house (me).
     
  5. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I was precisely thiniking that. Cutting trailers has got to be a lotta fun. I wouldn't mind doing that for a living... yet the competition must be fierce no? In these days of desktop video editing, everyone and their grandmothers (including me, tho both grannies are long dead) must think they got what it takes.

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    H
     
  6. MichaelBA

    MichaelBA Supporting Actor

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  7. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    the art of filmmaking should extend directors to get final approval on trailers. if the trailers fail to get audiences into the cinema, then the film has failed! =).

    having seen most of the film trailers in the last 6 years, my fav trailer of all time is kingdom of heaven (the first teaser). unfortunately, it didn't get enough people into the cinema =). sometimes the best trailers don't get people interested enough to see the film. another one is fight club. great subversive trailers, but no one went to see the film in the cinema.
     
  8. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    You can't be serious. No one went to see the movie precisely because of that godawful trailer - one of the worse I have ever seen.

    Fight Club's trailer probably comes up more than any other in discussions about bad trailers.

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    H
     
  9. Darcy Hunter

    Darcy Hunter Stunt Coordinator

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    "Fight Club's trailer probably comes up more than any other in discussions about bad trailers."

    I think YiFeng was talking about the unreleased Fight Club PSAs with Ed Norton and Brad Pitt talking about soap or something, then ending off with a totally random comment like "remember, don't let anyone touch you in your bathing suite area", or "did you know you can drink your own urine?". Those were great ads.
     
  10. Kristian

    Kristian Supporting Actor

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    If Zemeckis was the one who said that, he seems to have a thing for spoiling his films in trailers. The Cast Away and What Lies Beneath trailers were horribly revealing and the Polar Express trailer was like a shorter cut of the film.
     
  11. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    I don't really think directors should have control over trailers, input perhaps, their instincts should be taken into consideration, but it might be best to have that valued third party see the movie another way. Marketing for the most part is pretty damn successful at what it does or they go out of business really quick. Authors for the most part get absolutely no say on the covers of their books, and directors rarely get to design trailers or one sheets. The exception is rowling and spielberg, but Rowling's happy with the artists she lucked into and Spielberg took control of his one sheets after the disasterous Sugarland express poster and the success he enjoyed with Jaws.
     
  12. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    nope. though those were nice too.

    the first one was great. i still remember watching the trailer attached to ep1. the trailer was more memorable than the film itself! didn't give the story away, intrigued you enough to watch it, etc. it's pretty close to the top imho.

     
  13. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    That seems to be the ability to give away so much, I don't enjoy watching the actual movie. Of course you never know until you see the whole thing. But this is not a problem for them in the short term; they've just got my $9.50.

    Even in the long term, it's more a burden on me to avoid trailers. I will still go see the movies I want to see. All I can do is despise the hacks that make the trailers.
     
  14. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Well, as long as you're not making any broad generalizations.
     
  15. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    The real problem is that many post houses have guys that have become too formulaic. How many times have you seen this scenario for your token summer action movie?:

    Lead man or sidekick's big monologue in the film over several fade ins/fade outs of random shots or characters. FINAL FADE OUT (lasts a few seconds). Monologue wraps up over black.

    FLASH TO: A very quick montage with a furious piece of music in the background. 5 or 6 minutes worth of shots from the movie with stars names interspersed.
    One long last shot of the climax and then the title's logo/credits/release date.

    I have to say, every time this formula comes on, I cringe. And it's become absurd because it's crossing over into other genres.
     
  16. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    it may be absurd, but it does plant butts in seats. The AI trailer campaign was innovative, but it certainly wasn't effective, the more standard TV spot campaign was definitely what convinced most people to see it.
     
  17. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    wasn't there a film that made fun of trailer conventions? can someone name it? i can't remember which movies.

     
  18. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Probably not what you're talking about but the trailer for the Jerry Seinfeld documentary Comedian made fun of the way that do voice overs on trailers.
     
  19. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    [​IMG]This is opposed to the non-formulaic, summer action movies themselves?
     
  20. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    I remember watching that Sunday Morning Shootout show on AMC and they had two guest on who manufactured trailers. I don't remember what they said though.
     

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