Why is a trailer called a "trailer"?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Nick Pudar, May 18, 2002.

  1. Nick Pudar

    Nick Pudar Agent

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    Interesting question that I never thought to ask before. I receive a newsletter that explores the linguistic origins of words and phrases, and this appeared in the Q&A section today:

     
  2. Kelly W

    Kelly W Second Unit

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    I think that's the right explanation. I knew it had to do with the fact that they used to come AFTER the feature (I never really thought about whether the film was "supporting" or whatever).
    Even on old VHS cassettes, the previews came after the movie. And I don't mean that there was a screen that said, "Stay tuned after the movie for such and such." It was just standard practice that when the movie credits were over, the previews began (they "trailed" the feature). But I suspect that by now, any tapes that old have deteriorated too far to be watchable. [​IMG]
    -Kelly
     
  3. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Yes, in the older days of cinema the previews came after the feature. The name just stuck.
     
  4. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Entertaining. I'm waiting for guests, and I am going to start the evening with ... trailers.
     
  6. andrew markworthy

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    I always thought it made linguistic sense! I thought it meant that the trailers were 'trailed' (i.e. pulled along by) the main feature. However, the explanation offered seems far more sensible.

    It depresses me I can remember double features being the norm when I was a kid, and then it degenerated into the main feature preceded by a short film which was so dire that nobody wanted to see it (my 'favourite' was a documentary on the Isle of Man motorcyle race which succeded in making the sport look dull, even from the on-bike camera views). This persisted until about 15-20 years ago, at least in the UK. Anyone remember that the animated half hour film 'The Snowman' (the perennial favourite of UK Christmas TV schedules) was originally intended as the short film accompanying ET? If I remember correctly, it got pulled because it was felt the plots were a bit too similar in feel.
     
  7. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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