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Are we suckers?

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Nick Griffin
Are we suckers?
on Mar 14, 2010 at 8:41:11 pm

There's a thread on the Film History & Appreciation COW about how, now that's it's out, Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland is not so good afterall. But the trailer looked PHENOMENAL! I was REALLY looking forward to seeing it and seeing it in 3D.

Well, first of all, I -- as well as the rest of us -- should know better than to think a great trailer means it must be for a great movie. Giving that impression is what people who cut trailers get paid to do. Doesn't necessarily make it so.

Second, I'm reminded of the conventional wisdom that one of the easiest people to sell is another salesman. Something about empathy and the sales guy being sold psychologically 'pulling' for the guy trying to sell him.

Could the same be true for visual people like us? Are we the ultimate suckers for the rhythm and punch of a good trailer? Next I'll find out that Alvin, The Chipmunks, & The 3D Platypus isn't going to be so great either.


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Rocco Forte
Re: Are we suckers?
on Mar 14, 2010 at 10:05:59 pm

I was thinking about editing some realistic trailers of movies I thought sucked. Complete with Don LaFontain VO:

"Protagonist wins predictable battle with dragon at the climax of act 3" etc.

But I just don't have the time or inclination for this type of pet project... If anyone out there wants to do this I'll take 10%.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Are we suckers?
on Mar 15, 2010 at 2:20:27 pm

That is why I like watching movie trailers instead of some movies, because sometimes they are better then the movie.




Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

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Timothy J. Allen
Re: Are we suckers?
on Mar 15, 2010 at 9:28:29 pm

Nick,
Of course we are suckers.

I'm betting I'm not the only one on this forum that has walked out of a theater saying something to the effect of "I don't think I liked that one, overall. The plot and dialog were both really thin and the acting wasn't convincing at all... on the other hand, the visual effects were well done... and I really liked the sound design."

My wife tells me that most people would stop at "I don't think I liked that one" and let that be it.

Still, I'd rather watch a mediocre movie than no movie at all. At least I learn something about what not to do. I doubt that's the case with most people who don't enjoy production.



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Rick Sebeck
Re: Are we suckers?
on Mar 16, 2010 at 12:48:02 pm

Something like this....







Editor


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Rocco Forte
Re: Are we suckers?
on Mar 16, 2010 at 8:55:26 pm

Laughter, followed by agreement and qualitative remarks. Smily face.


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Sam Ellens
Re: Are we suckers?
on Mar 15, 2010 at 9:35:03 pm

Not really answering the question here buttt...

I always rewatch trailers with the audio muted, so I can see how well they're cut without the distraction of audio (sorry audio geeks!) and Alice was one of the very best trailers i've seen in the last couple years


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Scott Cumbo
Re: Are we suckers?
on Mar 15, 2010 at 11:35:16 pm

It's a tim burton movie of course it's not that good.
sure it's "Strange for the sake of being strange"
but most of his movies are so-so at best.

just my 2 cents.

Scott Cumbo
Editor
Broadway Video, NYC


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Bill Davis
Re: Are we suckers?
on Mar 16, 2010 at 12:52:04 am


I guess when you think about it, a trailer is the movie further (and ruthlessly) compressed in time.

For a movie with enough content to stand that - it can be a window into what to expect.

But if the movie is structured like so many today - with a "cut to the chase" attitude. Then the trailer shows you all the "chases" in advance - leaving little for the movie to rely on to sustain your interest.

In fact, you could argue that the very act of SEEING the trailer makes it impossible for the punch lines to have any real effect in the flow of the picture since they're already familiar from the trailer!

Smart trailer editors should illuminate the setup and ask the questions that the audience finds interesting - but never simply show all the "highlights" which is telegraphing the movie's structure and story too far in advance.

My 2 cents anyway.





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Dan Archer
Re: Are we suckers?
on Mar 16, 2010 at 7:39:44 pm

I think in todays market, trailers are not cut to get you interested in the story as Bill stated they should be. I think more often than not they are strictly advertising. Look heres a quick shot of an explosion you can see the whole shot of for $10. and for a lot of the world today, ie super spazzed out kids hopped up on redbull, thats enough. If they showed you some of the slower spots in a film that lead to character and story development, that would bore the hell out of the redbull kids and no one would see the movie. and I think thats unfortunate.

A cut is a cut & a dissolve is a disolve, and not just anybody with a system is a pro.


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Winston Hearn
Re: Are we suckers?
on Mar 16, 2010 at 8:26:16 pm

You're a sucker if you expect the studio system to churn out movies that will be great. Trailers are edited by a few highly paid and very experienced companies in Hollywood that aren't so much, as Dan says, trying to get you interested in the story as they are trying to get you to pay and get in the door.

There are a lot of different routes that trailers can take to get you interested - from condensing the plot down to two minutes to just showing you a bunch of random scenes that seem exciting. Some go for the VO take, some go for telling the story with text, but without fail, if a hollywood studio is distributing the film, they are not trying to reflect the quality of the movie, merely trying to make it seem worth paying for.

Trusting a trailer to convince you to see a movie is like taking a con man's word that he is not conning you.


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