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Basic editing trailer question

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stan welks
Basic editing trailer question
on Apr 26, 2013 at 6:02:56 pm

I'm new to editing and want to use Premiere to edit a trailer for a film. I've been reading up online and have come across some info suggesting that if a movie is boring, that it is best to make a long trailer or do lots of cuts. I get why you would want to use lots of cuts, however, why would you want to make a long trailer? How would that make it not seem boring?

Thanks.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Basic editing trailer question
on Apr 26, 2013 at 6:47:21 pm

Never heard of making the trailer longer for boring material, maybe they meant it "seems" longer :-) And don't most trailers more or less conform to a standard length anyway?

As far as using quick cuts to make a boring film seem more fast-paced, well... sometimes that works. But I'd say for the sake of argument that what you're really trying to do in a trailer is tell just enough of the story so that people get an idea of what it is and if it's something they might like... without giving away too much. This is a huge problem in modern trailer production, IMO. They show you all the best scenes, the funniest jokes, taking away any surprises, and they more or less show the clips in linear story order most times, so you really HAVE seen the Twitter version of the movie, before you go to the screening.

See, you have to consider the audience and purpose. When you're pitching to financiers to fund a picture or approve a production, you make it more of a "sizzle reel", and you show all your best stuff, you don't hold back anything that might convince an investor to sigh on. But in a trailer for a general audience, you can't give it all away for free and expect a good opening weekend.

What you want to do is *suggest* more than you see. And one of the key tools for that is the choice of music. often the trailer music choices have nothing in common with the film. Sometimes that's because they work in parallel processes and there's no time to get the score, since it's still in post when the trailer has to be out the door. But just as often, the difference is an aesthetic choice.

And you can suggest what it's about without showing any actual footage.


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stan welks
Re: Basic editing trailer question
on Apr 26, 2013 at 9:27:39 pm

1.) For a theatrically released movie, who generally decides what makes it into a trailer? the director and editor? The studio?

2.) Any idea how much time is generally allotted for making a trailer?

Thanks.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Basic editing trailer question
on Apr 26, 2013 at 9:40:11 pm

1: Trailers are often farmed out to production houses that specialize in them, and they take their cues for content from the Producer, with input from the Director, Editor and Studio marketing types.

2: Never enough.

Longer answer to 2: It is not uncommon for a trailer to have to be completed and shipped way before the actual film has completed principal photography, never mind post. So no telling what footage will be available for the trailer. Sometimes in that interval, the movie undergoes a radical re-cut and ends up nothing like the trailer. Sometimes marketing imposes a new direction on the trailers, based on test audiences.


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