“In a world…..” if like me you grew up in the 80’s you would have heard those words a lot. Well maybe not as often as you remember, not that many trailers actually featured those words, but most did have a voiceover in a very particular tone.
Modern trailers have changed, and while they have largely dropped the voiceover they can still often give too much plot away, or conversely twist things enough to make you want to see film. Here are three examples of 2016 trailers that represent: The Good, a great trailer that makes me want to see the film; The Bad, a terrible trailer that gives the plot away makes the film look unfunny and stopped me going to see the film; and finally the Misleading a great trailer that the film couldn’t live up to:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
“This is a rebellion isn’t it? I rebel!” Both the official teaser trailer and the shorter #1 begin with these lines and you immediately know two things: one, everything is going to be okay, there was no need to worry about Star Wars straying back to the dark side of the dreaded prequel, and two, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is going to be a great character. Just like the longer trailers that follow it shows just enough plot to get you excited without giving much away that we don’t already know. A master class in trailer making.
Keeping Up with the Joneses
One of the worst trailers I have ever seen on two counts. As a comedy it has become the norm to put all the pest jokes in the trailer, even re-edit them to make them funnier. This trailer really lacks laughs. More importantly the film appears to have a first act based on misunderstandings that are cleared up in a twist/reveal that is shown in the trailer.
The so called Blitz Trailer (as it features the song The Ballroom Blitz by The Sweet) is misleading but none the less brilliant. Like Keeping Up with the Joneses it shows most of the plot, but it is so mixed up you don’t realise that until you have seen the film. It also focuses heavily on the film’s best character Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) giving her a few killer lines (including one that doesn’t make the final cut of the film). This is all topped off by two perfect song choices. The film is okay. the trailer is great. This probably helped it gross nearly as much as the franchises tent-pole; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.