Once post-production is complete on your film, you’ll be waiting to reveal your art to the outside world. However, before that, rewind your patience to accomplish the essential step of cinema, which is to make a movie trailer. Here in this article, we are going to find out how to make a movie trailer.
what is a movie trailer?
people love to watch movies. therefore, updating and presenting your next project to the public is essential, as well as attracting them to see your film. for this purpose, each movie requires a movie trailer. A movie trailer is a commercial that features a compilation of scenes from the movie. these scenes are edited together to broadcast for one to three minutes. Movie trailers play a pivotal role in creating the first impression of the movie. therefore, they need to be shot in fantastic quality to build anticipation among viewers. this way, you force them to watch the movie.
how movie trailers are created | vanity fair
In short, a trailer intensifies the emotions of a story and projects it to your audience. evokes excitement in the case of an action movie, while a horror movie trailer evokes fear and chilling moments. instead, a comedy trailer elicits joy and laughter.
when were the first movie trailers shown?
the trailer concept first appeared in new york in 1913. it was an inspiration stemming from nils granlund, marketing manager for the marcus loew movie theater chain. Granlund initially created a trailer for a stage show and went on to design for upcoming films, including Charlie Chaplin comedies. later, other filmmakers and theater owners followed in his footsteps. As a result, today, no movies are released without their trailers.
why are trailers called previews?
Initially, the trailers were broadcast after the completion of the film. however, later motion studios realized that people were leaving the theater before the trailers played. therefore, the filmmakers began to create trailers that precede the film, making the audience watch them. accordingly, the trailers are referred to as “previews” or “upcoming attractions”.
what makes a good movie trailer?
A good movie trailer will have the following characteristics to attract your audience. include:
A good trailer introduces the film to its audience. therefore, its duration should be concise, ranging between one and three minutes.
2. showcase the theme, genre, and main cast
get the audience’s attention at the first step by giving them the idea of:
- the genre of the film: whether it is action, comedy or horror.
- the main characters of the film: protagonist, antagonist and deuteragonist.
- the film state of mood and tone: hateful, sarcasm, serious, funny. the action and character dialogue set the overall mood and theme of the film.
here we have the trailer of the social network that sets a creepy atmosphere and creates a subtle tension.
the social network – official trailer  (hd)
3. choose your color palette wisely
colors equally communicate the mood, theme, genre, and setting of the film, as do the music, camera angles, and lighting. therefore, make optimal use of colors in your trailers where you can also treat them as characters.
charlie and the chocolate factory trailer
4. matching the trailer and the tone of the movie
The movie trailer should have a good background tone that blends well with the tone of the movie. for example, a horror movie cannot use a sound that denotes comedy.
how to make a movie trailer
5. differentiate your movie trailer
To make sure your movie trailer doesn’t look like a teaser trailer, you need to understand the characteristics of a teaser trailer. include:
- A sneak peek trailer is usually less than a minute long.
- They serve only as an advertisement and lack actual footage.
- Teasers build buzz for movie trailers and lack actual movie clips as they are released before post-production.
- They are released even before filming is finished and they do not reveal much of the plot information.
- represent only a broad release period, such as “coming in 2022”.
here is an example of a good movie trailer you can check out:
Marvel Studios Black Panther: Official Trailer
good trailer, bad trailer: the art behind trailers
how to make a good movie trailer?
1. use a three-act structure
To make a movie trailer, you have to organize it with a three-act structure. trailers generally follow the same three-act structure as shorts and feature films. however, they have their differences. trailers usually start with a cold start. it’s a narrative technique where you jump straight into the story from the beginning. then you have to include the conflict or a turning point, and the trailer has to end even before the resolution arrives. In addition, you can include a clip to act out a final joke or a final action scene.
how to make a trailer: editing the structure of the trailer in 3 acts
each act of a trailer includes:
Cold Opening: The purpose of a cold opening is to intrigue the audience. therefore comprises an action sequence or a funny scene that is:
- requires little or no context
a cold opening is followed by the logo, which finally leads to act 1.
Act 1: The very purpose of Act 1 is to introduce the premise of the story and the characters through exposition or some questioning that gets the audience thinking. the premise of the story should be presented to help the audience understand the rest of the trailer.
Act 2 mixes up some scenes to highlight the conflict in the movie or introduce the antagonist of the story. In addition, this section induces the feeling of skepticism and uncertainty.
act 3 shows the most epic and dramatic scenes of the film. therefore, it builds to a climax and contains dialogue that overwhelms the audience with suspense and emotion. however, at the height of the climax, the trailer ends to show the title card.
here is a list of the best movie trailers to see how the pattern unfolds.
new movies in theaters July 2021 | movie clip trailers
2. retrieve the footage you need
Although visual content is the essence of a movie trailer, it should also prioritize emotionally engaging scenes. so be sure to include those scenes that you think will convince your audience to watch the movie. however, remember not to spill significant plot points. for example, you can include the funniest jokes from the movie for a comedy trailer without affecting the plot. this ensures that you lock in your audience’s interest and keep them engaged. Once you’ve chosen your scenes, gather all the footage you need into a single folder so it’s accessible during editing.
how movie trailers are made | movie insiders
3. use voiceover or text to tell the story
Movie trailers are short and crisp. therefore, to convey the gist of the story, you may need some beneficial tools such as voice-over and on-screen text. you can customize your voiceover text for the trailer or reuse dialogue from the movie as a voiceover.
king richard – official trailer
4. use the music to set the right tone
Appropriate music is capable of raising the efficiency of your trailers. therefore, choose the music according to the scene you are enacting.
The purpose of the music in Act 1 is to build anticipation. To heighten this emotion, choose a piece of music that builds slowly and draws the viewer’s attention to itself. for example, you can use a violin orchestra between actions throughout your course. when you transition to act 2, choose music that excites your viewer.
Ratatouille – trailer
Because a trailer provides much less time and space, you need to include details that will engage your audience. therefore, build your trailer with the storyboard technique to ensure efficiency at every step. also, take it easy, as it helps in editing.
intro to storyboarding
Once you’ve collected your footage, found the right music, and created the storyboard, edit the trailer. make sure you disconnect from the entire movie and edit it to arrange it non-consecutively. This way, you can hide the plot twists and turns from your viewer. in addition, you can increase the speed of the cuts and the transition according to the three-act structure. for act 1, you can choose a fairly slow motion of cuts and transitions, while for act 2, you can speed it up until it maxes out near resolution.
how professional hollywood editors cut a movie trailer: video editing tutorial
7. present the talent of the film
As the trailer approaches the climax, you can place the execution of the cast. A supporting race presents the list of actors that appear in the film and includes directors, producers or writers whose participation will attract the attention of your audience.
movie trailer expert breaks down 5 trailer styles | vanity fair
How do movie trailers manipulate you?
how to make a cinematic trailer in kinemaster || kinemaster tutorial cinematic trailer
Similar to filmmaking, designing a trailer is also an art. this art appears as a feast for its public, which always waits for the film. therefore, you need to plan it carefully and project a non-sequential collage of scenes to provoke the audience and invite them to watch your film.