The Movie Trailer Discussion Thread! (Talk about trailers here)

Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
Every once in a while, a whole bunch of movie trailers are put online, and people want to talk about them. That invariably leads us to having like five different forum topics on a single page about movie trailers. Nothing wrong with that, but I figured, why not have a place where we can discuss movie trailers in general? Post a trailer (embed it!), whether it's new or old, and talk about it. What makes it a good trailer? What makes it a terrible trailer? What's this movie about? And so on. We can discuss the ins-and-outs of making a good trailer, and maybe even learn a thing or two.
I'll start things off with my current favorite trailer, for Shane Carruth's Upstream Color.

I've been looking forward to this film for years, even before I knew it was in production, because Primer (Carruth's debut feature) is one of my favorite films. He worked with an extremely low budget (less than $10,000 for production costs), and made one of the most intriguing and surprising science fiction films of its time, about two business partners who accidentally create a time machine. It deals with the repercussions of time travel, and although it's incredibly vague, and takes multiple viewings to fully absorb (I've probably seen it five or six times and still don't completely understand it), it's extremely intelligent and cohesive.
Upstream Color looks to be an amazing follow-up. The trailer doesn't tell you anything about the plot, the details of which are still mostly unknown, but it gives you a great idea of what the film will be like. Being such a fan of Primer, I'm very excited to see it, and I expect great things. Highly effective trailer
Now, off that topic, here's one of my all-time favorite teaser trailers, for Spider-man 2:

Tell me that isn't one of the most iconic and effective teasers ever made.
Now talk about trailers, HitFilmers! DO IT.


  • DX6channel
    DX6channel Posts: 72
    edited January 2013
    My favorite trailers are ones that are mostly music and some voice-overs. I don't like when they edit dialogue from the movie into the trailer. One of my all time favorites is the trailer for 9:
    I didn't like the movie as much as the trailer though.
    Some others I really like:

  • DanielGWood
    DanielGWood Posts: 1,018 Just Starting Out
    The latest Man of Steel trailer is excellent, but my favourite current trailer is..

    I just love the pace and the new, weird zombies. I'm genuinely interested in the film even though it has a title that would usually put me off, and stars Brad Pitt. Downside though, it probably gives away the best bits.
    And a favourite from a year or two ago:

    Rapid cuts, a good cover of a Led Zepp classic, Fincher, style, showing a lot whilst telling nothing much.
  • KahvehRobinett
    KahvehRobinett Posts: 443
    edited January 2013
    This is and will probably always be my favorite trailer.

    I always get a kick out of this one.

    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trailer is also one of my favorites. Very nice piece of marketing.
  • DanielGWood
    DanielGWood Posts: 1,018 Just Starting Out
    Good picks Kahveh!
    Love the trailer for Drive, again so stylish. The trailer for Clash of the Titans is probably the best part about that film.
  • guitar74
    guitar74 Posts: 506
    Iron Man 3 Looks like a good trailer
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Ooh, Upstream Color does indeed look interesting. Wasn't sure about the first half of the trailer, but the second half of that trailer is entirely fantastic. As you say, it gives away nothing while still making the film enticing. I feel I can still watch it fresh and unspoiled.
    DX6 - interesting what you say about voiceovers. My preferred style of trailer is actually where they use the film's dialogue to construct the voiceover. My favourite example of this is the original Fellowship of the Ring trailer:

    Bear in mind that trailer came out right when having Mr Cheesy Voiceover Man was really popular, so suddenly having Ian McKellen voicing was amazing. :)
    One of my all-time favourite trailers is the first for Rules of Attraction. Unfortunately I could only find a really crappy version of it on YouTube, but here goes:

    The best trailers in my mind give nothing away and capture the atmosphere of the film itself - both these examples do just that. Nothing more irritating than a trailer that misrepresents the tone of the film itself.
    Working on the HitFilm 2 trailer was interesting, as we wanted it to be filmic while at the same time acknowledging that it isn't a trailer for a film, but a promo for a product. We went through all sorts of ideas, many entirely crazy and extremely post-heavy, but ultimately settled on going for something quite minimalist and simple, focusing on the "what's your idea?" concept:

    I think that's also something that the best trailers have: a focus. Sometimes you get trailers that are 4 minutes long and are essentially truncated, rapid-fire versions of the entire film (recent Total Recall trailer, for example, or the otherwise awesome Oblivion trailer). The nice thing about that Fellowship trailer is that it focuses in on Gandalf's main piece of dialogue explaining the ring, which introduces the core story concept of Lord of the Rings to unfamiliar audiences, priming them for the movie and follow-up trailers.
  • Simon,
    I guess I didn't explain myself right: I like trailers that use dialogue from the film as the voiceover, not Cheesy Voiceover Guy. The ones I don't like are when they just edit lines in from the film (especially when they do it from different scenes but make it seem like it's all one scene).
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Here's another fantastic and very unusual trailer:

    Again, captures the tone of the film itself without spoiling any of it.
  • Kukov
    Kukov Posts: 3
    edited January 2013
    ^ A great one.
    I also adore the 40-second trailer for Aronofsky's THE FOUNTAIN:
  • Andrew
    Andrew Posts: 379 Enthusiast
    edited January 2013
    First off, I have to make an edit here because I couldn't believe it: EDIT- Daniel, THAT trailer? The World War Z one?!?!?!? Oh, god that's awful. Awful-looking movie, awfully-edited trailer. Uninspired if I ever saw the word illustrated.
    Pretty much everything we've parodied is something I consider in the upper rung of fantastic recent trailers (the original trailers, I mean).

    Additionally, and just as a general note, I work a lot with trailers- with creating and consulting and dissecting, and I'm often told editing them is my strong-suit (though it's not really a profession or anything at this point/something I want to do fully).
    That doesn't necessarily give me any more of an 'eye' for them or anything, but I certainly appreciate and watch more trailers than the casual viewer. Always have, and respect the hell out of so many. The last 'truly great' ones I can think of all came out of the excellent Spring 2009 season. 500 Days of Summer Trailer #1, Terminator Salvation Trailer #2, and Star Trek Trailer #3. I quoted all of them constantly, and they still leave immeasurable marks. Far and away Star Trek's trailer will always remain an example of a film and franchise I had less-than-little interest or desire to see, and the trailer not only totally changed my intrigue, but gauged my expectation and delight of the final film perfectly. It's also just Eric Bana killin' it.

    Terminator Salvation, on the otherhand, reinvigorated its franchise in a very different way. It took the calamity of Christian Bale's tantrum, the rumor (and later truth) that his performance in the film was very shout-y and one-noted, and the just general bleakness and blandness of the actual film- and trims all the fat into an emotionally-resonant, important-feeling, mesmerizing set-to-spoken-word-music trailer. A feat very few have succeeded at.

    These ones are just well-edited and creatively-told. Much like the Garden State trailer.

    2009 was a bang-up year for trailers. Other favorites of mine pretty much all come from the Mark Woollen catalogue. Arguably the most-famous/only-notable trailer editor out there. Some of my faves from him- also some of the most-beautifully-compiled.
    The Man Who Wasn't There

    Garden State
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Great selection. I'd forgotten that Star Trek trailer, which I think was the moment most of us started to think it might turn out to be a good film - both non-fans such as yourself and fans like me. Although the Batman music now retrospectively sounds a bit tired, as it's been so over-used.
    That Trek trailer also reminded my that Thor plays Kirk's dad. That fact still makes me chuckle. Hemsworth is so good in that opening sequence, making you absolutely believe in his character even though he's only on screen for about 2 minutes.
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,255 Staff
    I really like the early Pixar teasers, which consisted of material entirely separate from the actual film, but portrayed the characters and tone brilliantly:

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    That's an interesting one, actually - the teaser trailer that is an entirely separate project for the main film. Perhaps the most notable one being the original Spider-Man teaser, which was pulled after 9/11:

    I was always a little sad that this teaser was erased from official studio history. While it would of course have been uncomfortable viewing at the time (and probably even today for some), I also think it serves as a brilliant memorial/testament to the WTC's architectural beauty and achievement. The buildings being used by a superhero to catch villains is a great, cathartic motif, given what happened.
  • Aculag
    Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    Here's another one that doesn't really give away much of the film, but still shows a lot of good stuff. Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo:
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    This film is looking more and more promising with everything I see/hear about it. I love that they're directly referencing the previous movies.
    I wonder whether they've been clever enough to connect this to the upcoming First Class sequel?
  • DanielGWood
    DanielGWood Posts: 1,018 Just Starting Out
    edited May 2013
    I do like that new Wolverine trailer, and how it links to the initial trilogy, good stuff.
    As posted by Aculag elsewhere, I like what they've done with the new Snyderman trailer:
    Edit: Some of you may have noticed the embeds have stopped working towards the end of this thread. That's a deliberate limitation in the forum software, designed to stop people from embedding heaps of videos and crashing older browsers. A future version of the software will apparently tackle the issue by turning the excess embeds into links, rather than leaving as plain text. Sorry!
  • DX6channel
    DX6channel Posts: 72
    I really like how they did the 'other' Wolverine movie trailer. They sure knew how to cut a trailer.
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    I've only seen a bit of the Origins movie and it was fairly atrocious. But that trailer does indeed make the film look pretty good, other than the ridiculous jump to the helicopter. Definite trailer skills, there.
  • Aculag
    Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    Here's the trailer for the Robocop remake.  Reminds me of the Total Recall remake.  Which is to say, it looks like crap.  Hard to tell from the trailer, but it looks like it completely misses the point of the original and goes for pretty straight generic action movie.  Hopefully that's not true, but this trailer doesn't give me much hope at all.  As soon as Murphy is like, "WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME!?", I pretty much checked out.  We shall see!
  • Hey guys, anyone still here??? I need help about trailer. Im Mai, I'm VietNamese, so my English not good :( Sr about that :)))
    Im doing my graduation thesis about movie trailer. Namely about how to editing a movie trailer. Inclined artistic rather than technical. So im researching about form/fomat of a movie trailer. Do u think that have some form/fomat of a movie trailer? Or just edit shots film together? (Not counted tittle, logo production company, effect..., just about story of the film). Can you contact with me in and discuss about this subject? Or in there...

    Thanks guys.

  • kamadiros
    kamadiros Posts: 1 Just Starting Out this section still active? Searching info about this very very interesting arthous film:



  • marianfields
    marianfields Posts: 2 Just Starting Out
    edited November 2020

    I really like the way they made the "Iron Man" trailer. They certainly know how to cut a trailer [link removed by staff]

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