Film Trailers Do Not Need To Be Great, But They Need To Try / by Aaron Bouchard

I have never gone to a movie theater under the belief that film trailers were the best part of the expedience. The idea that some people would believe that trailers are the best part irks me for some reason. What on earth did you watch that was so bad that you found two and a half minute advertisements to be more appealing? Better yet, did you choose to go to this film because you thought you would see some sweet trailers? Could you not have just as easily stayed home and just watched a bunch of trailers on You Tube?

This is not to say I do not love some trailers. There were some will stay with me forever. Some have haunted me in ways I cannot describe. Some have made me cry. Some have moved me in the way a good short film would. I know it is lofty, but I believe that is what every film trailer should strive to be; a good short film. The quality of the final product is irreverent to me, the trailer is becoming an art form of its own. Why not? It is doubtful that if I was not already on board to watch The Amazing Spiderman 5: Season of the Witch, making a fun short film out for the 80 hours of footage can’t hurt or at least make a Chris Marker-style documentary with some of it. I thought I was well versed in what trailers there were, then I recently discovered a new type of film-trailer: the boring kind. The kind that are so boring it becomes difficult to get though without thinking of more pressing matters, like where did I leave my house?

Stuart Beattie’s forthcoming I, Frankenstein may be a wonderful film, but it will be in spite of its incredibly boring trailer which  feel as though time has stopped and may never start again. Let me relay to my recent experience watching the trailer for Beattlie’sI, Frankenstein:

0:00- Fantasy violence? No one told me there was going to be FANTASY violence. And here I was thinking violence in films was real all this time.

0:24- Trailer is not over yet. Hope holds but not sure for how much longer

0:28- four production companies, huh? One of THOSE movies.

0:42- This looks a lot like Underworld. Dread appears in the not-too-distance.

0:57- There sure was a lot of Underworld action right then. Trailer is still not over. Hope is fighting, but Dread is winning.

1:04- There is Bill Nighy. He is in all the Underworld movies.

1:09- Dread officially takes over.

1:23- The trailer is only half over. Feeling tired. Tired and hopeless.

1:35- Through weary eyes I see the film is coming out in January. That is when all the good movies come out, I think as I close my eyes for a second…

1:53- …I open them just in time to see some CGI winged creature roaring. I do not remember where I am or how I got here.

2:01- Things are just blowing up now. CGI blowing up. I am past the two minute mark and I dub this experience the ‘Trailer of Tears’

2:16- I would like to believe they purchased and destroyed a whole 16th century church for this movie, but I try not to get my hopes up. Instead I dream of a production that does blow up a whole 16th century church.

2:17- credits?

2:18- credits?

2:19- credits?

2:20- credits?

2:21- credits?

2:22- credits?

2:23- credits?

2:24- credits?

2:25- credits?

2:26- Miss the credits because I am already asleep. The restless kind of sleep, the kind that makes you wonder if you will ever wake up tomorrow and where.

This advertisement features every boring, tired cliche a film trailer has to offer:Inception horns, the phrase “It ends tonight”, lots and lots of action beats that probably do not correlate with one another. They are all there. Not every film trailer needs to be as inventive and imaginative as Where the Wild Things Are or Oogieloves’ Big Balloon Adventure (the only film that has courage to say “From the marketing genius of…), but at least try or else some of us will not.