Hi Film Folk,
I love the cinema…
Despite imminently launching a book and a filmmaking membership site, I go at least once a week (usually more).
Not only do I love the cinema, I also learn a lot from every film I see (good and bad). I’ll be completely honest with you though, I’m sick of trailers!
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a real skill and art to creating a fantastic trailer. Hinting at a film’s genre, content, quality and gently gaining the interest of a potential viewer.
We’re so saturated with marketing these days that trailers show more and more content.
These days though, by the time I’m ready to see a film, I’ve sat through six teasers, four trailers and a thousand photos along the way. This is without even actively seeking any of it out, it’s plastered all over social media, magazines, TV and before films at the theatre.
That would be frustrating enough, but many of these trailers now show FAR too much. With many films, there’s not much point in me going to see it, as I’ve been shown 90% of the plot in the trailer. I’ll wait until it comes out on digital/blu-ray and I’ve maybe forgotten by then.
Part of the issue is having been a filmmaker and editor for two decades. I guess a traditional audience member isn’t “seeing” everything that us filmmakers are. I’m registering what’s occurring in those fast cuts and, as a writer, I’m subconsciously piecing together the plot.
Then, this week, it all got worse…
I was lucky to see a preview of “Free Fire”, which is by far my favourite Ben Wheatley film so far. It’s a great gangster action/comedy film. Before it though was “15 minutes of mystery footage”. I was intrigued.
It turns out that this “mystery”, was a fifteen minute segment preview of footage from “Ghost in the Shell”. I had tickets to the midnight screening of that film anyway, I’ve been waiting for the inevitable live-action remake since seeing the anime in 1999.
The last thing I wanted, three days before finally seeing “Ghost in the Shell”, was a fifteen minute segment! That would have frustrated me during the preview, and again when watching the film at the midnight screening!
I walked out of the mystery footage, cowered the other side of the cinema door until it all went quiet and then went back in. I’m sure the audience all thought that I was a bit of a loser… but I’ve never been overly concerned what people think…
It’s an interesting marketing idea, but not one that I want to take part in going forward.
What are your favourite trailers?
Personally, I like ones that really offer a flavour without showing much at all. My favourites are often teasers that contain original content that’s not in the film, such as this for Guy Ritchie’s “Snatch”.
Quality trailers are something we discuss in length in Hollywood Hates This Book – and I’m close to announcing a launch date.
Thanks for reading,
I don’t really spend time reviewing films, but I thought “Free Fire” was outstanding. “Ghost in the Shell” was very good, far better than I ever thought it could be. If you had to watch it or the anime though, there’s only one choice… the original.
Next week I have a really exciting filmmaking opportunity for you!