Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by amoergosum, Apr 22, 2014.
Great clip...especially the part about movie trailers which show too much.
Siskel & Ebert did a show about this 25 years ago.
Personally, I've never seen the movie "Titanic" because I know how it ends.
No spoilers please.
In a world where movies are crap, there's only thing you can count on: ...
(inception horn) (strobe lights) (spoilers) (rising note) (fade to black)
... the movie trailers will be even crappier.
That is a very funny bit. The truth is that the marketing departments of studios are responsible for the trailers, and often the directors and producers have no control over what's put in the trailers. What's interesting is that over the last 10 years, what's been happening in LA is that the studios farm out X number of scenes to different specialized trailer companies and have a "bake off," essentially asking the companies to cut together trailers for free. They watch them all and then pick one to do the specific campaign. The leftover companies get bupkiss.
In the rare case of an extremely powerful director (I'm thinking of Michael Bay or Jim Cameron or Spielberg), they have the clout to call up the head of the studio and complain, and then and only then does the trailer get changed. And I've worked on a few trailers where the director does come in -- sometimes with the DP -- to supervise and approve the color of the trailer and the clips used on talk shows. I've also worked on projects where the studio decided to make the color of the trailer completely different from the color in the final film, sometimes to much sorrow and pain behind the scenes.
And then there are the trailers that had several major scenes not in the movie! In fairness to the trailer makers, sometimes those scenes used to be in the movie and then got cut out. Other times, they watched the movie and said, "gee, this sucks... you got anything else?" And they go through the outtake bins and find more spectacular scenes to throw in. Hell, this even happened with Iron Man 2, so we're not talking little tiny movies here.
Yeah, I said the same thing: "This movie will be crap! It's a period costume drama, we already know the story, and everybody dies at the end! It can't possibly make money!" What we didn't realize was that Cameron set the movie in the present and had the clever idea of making it a treasure hunt: what happened to the Heart of the Ocean necklace? And then made the core of the movie a flashback about a tragic romance that happened between two people of different classes. Great idea. I've seen the movie 20 times (because I did many of the foreign laybacks on it), and I gotta say, I thoroughly enjoyed it despite the fact that it was cornball as hell and had stupid, cardboard characters. Great music, too, and fantastic editing.
But even the first trailer showed the ship sinking, including the climactic "breaking in half" sequence:
The trailer emphasized the romance, the youth of the stars, and the spectacle of the event, and once that came out, I thought, "whoa! Maybe everybody in the industry is wrong and Cameron can actually pull this thing off!"
I think the parts of the movie that affected me the most were the scenes of the poor people who died below decks, particularly the mothers putting their children to bed. God, I know, corny as hell, but knowing that a lot of that really happened was quite affecting.
Go watch the movie, Drew, and I'll personally refund your money if you hate it.
I agree. At 1:45 of the trailer you briefly see the elderly couple who acknowledge that their life together is about to end and embrace each other while waiting for death. That small part of this amazing movie affects me very deeply. I imagine this lovely couple has spent 50 or more years together and they refuse to be parted even in death. Their love is everlasting. It's a small bit in the movie but it's an example of the expert storytelling and emotional investment the viewer has in these characters as created by Cameron and his team.
Of course everyone knows how the story of the Titanic ends. This didn't stop millions of people from going to the movies to see it, many of them multiple times.
That plus James Horner's music made scenes like this extraordinarily sad and poignant. On one level, I concede that it's an incredibly crass and manipulative movie, but man, I can't help but be affected anyway.
"Sizzles." The bane of my existence sometimes.
I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but sort of the opposite happened with the Inception trailers. Trailer 1 was pretty standard, and confusing. Because there's really no way of condensing it's story to two and a half interesting minutes. Trailer 2 and afterwards made it look like a linear story about a guy who's trying to get back home to his wife, and has to go through dreams to get there. A little manipulative, but it worked. I really like that one.
Not all trailers are terrible. And a lot of work from a lot of people go into them. Please keep that in mind.
Some good ones can be seen here:
The worst thing about movie trailers in 2014 is I now seriously have to bring ear protection to the theater. Usually they are much, MUCH louder that the feature.
Having worked on a coupla hundred trailers myself in LA, I would agree with that. Worst trailer ever: the one for Howard the Duck. Oh, that was dumbfoundingly awful.
What is interesting is when the trailer editors are so good, they can cut a good trailer from a bad movie. They did that on The Next Karate Kid, which I worked on, but they cheated since about half the trailer were scenes not in the movie.
This is very true. There's supposed to be an "industry police" that checks this stuff, but they compress the living crap out of the trailers to the point where they feel about 3-5dB louder than the feature. Drives me nuts. I've been bringing earplugs to the theater for about 3-4 years now, and it's mainly the trailers that knock me down. Captain America at two different venues sounded fine, and that's got as many huge explosions as any movie I've ever seen.
Announcements like this (at 0:22) should be mandatory...
The movie was amazingly bad as well. I doubt they could have done much with anything from that film.
That's the genius of it. Really masterful Hollywood movie making and the three hours just fly by .
My memory may be incorrect on this, but I thought the trailer for Frozen was genius. I seem to remember watching it several times with kids before going. I had no idea, nor did the kids, that this was a princess movie or a musical! I just thought it was a Disney animated movie, so it must be appropriate for kids. When I talked with other parents they all thought the same. I still would have taken my girls anyway but by hiding the fact that it was a musical princess movie opened the movie to a wider audience. I know friends with young boys who would have had nothing to do with the movie if they knew what it was before going.
One of the realizations I had with the advent of DVDs and the inclusion of classic trailers is that movie trailers have always shown far too much plot.
It is incredible how many from the 30s and 4os include the film's final scene (and no, I'm not just talking about re release trailers)...
Way back when I was a member of the student film group at college, we had a trailer for Stripes which bore almost no resemblance to the actual movie. Featured in the trailer was a scene of Ramis and Murray around a campfire with (what I supposed at the time to be) Contra rebels in Central America (one of whom was being played by Joe Flaherty). I remember at the time being thrown for a real loop, as not only was it not in the film, but it was a major 180 degrees out and bore absolutely no resemblance to anything found in the plot of the finished film whatsoever. If it was a scene from a very early working cut, or one that was scrapped altogether from the get go, I couldn't say, but the fact that it was utterly different than anything seen in the film I found to be puzzling in the extreme.
I think non-linear editing has killed the art of trailer cutting. Now people can split shots into the tiniest bit, pile them on top of each other, re-edit and remix the visuals a zillion times over so they only make sense to people who have seen them a hundred times (the editor and the producer).
I love trailers. Watch them all the time. But I have a question: am I the only one who has grown a bit tired of the cliched dramatic boooooom that seemingly opens about 75% of all movie trailers?
C'mon, people. Come up with something original.
Do I want to hear about TV programs in premovie Trailers???!
Do you mean those pre-ticket time 20-minute programs at many chains? I don't mind those. Sure, they're just 20 minutes of ads, but it beats the days when the screen would be blank pre-ticket time - or they'd run slides with trivia and ads for pawn shops.
As far as I'm concerned, theaters can run whatever they want pre-ticket time. Once the ticketed showtime hits, though, I don't want to see ads for anything other than material that'll run on a movie screen - and I could live without those "Fathom Events" promos, but at least they promote programs that'll run at the theater.
For a while there, theaters were running ads for non-theatrical products after ticket time, and I hated that. I think the 20-minute thingies are a good compromise - the theaters get to promote those products but those ads don't affect the movie start time...
I'd take the blank screen in a NY minute
I think Disney may be the single most calculated studio when it comes to marketing, ad/pub, and trailers. They do focus groups, do all kinds of testing, and really research the hell out of this. You basically can't get a movie made at Disney unless you have a firm marketing campaign and a trailer concept in place first.
I have to say, the Disney trailers are very, very well-done, and I have a lot of respect for the people who create them.
I have an interview in my collection with Steven Spielberg from 1986 where he says, "man, MTV has really killed us in film editing, because now young audiences expect all the shots to cut really fast, and we can't sit on any one shot for very long for fear of boring them!" So this editing trend has been going on for decades.
On the long list of movie trailer cliches that bug me, high on that list is the constant, constant fade-fade-fade deal, where 20 shots in a row pop up and fade out. Bang-bang-bang-bangbangbangbang! Like that. It was cool the first 150 times I saw it; not so cool now. That's as trite as the announcer saying "in a world..."
By the way...have you seen the movie 'In A World' (with Lake Bell) ?
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