Every piece of content is the product of your entire crew’s hard work, commitment, and skill. There is no doubt that it deserves the widest audience possible. Marketing is how you take this content to the desired audience. The trailer is undeniably the most important component of your marketing campaign.
Trailers are edited to build curiosity in a show/film and to bring in viewers to watch it upon its release.
If you are trying to compile a perfect trailer for your content that will hook the viewer’s attention and pique their interest you are at the right place. With this guide, you can edit trailers that will ensure your audience return for the full content.
Table of Contents
Trailer Best Practices
A badly edited trailer would do more harm than good. So, a trailer needs to be carefully edited between having nothing to impress and showing too many spoilers.
Showcase Characters – but not all of them
Get the audience excited for your movie trailer, It is true that the audience gets excited about seeing their favorite stars. For this reason, you may want your trailer to show all the characters, especially if you have star-studded casting. However, focusing on the main characters instead of showing the entire cast builds suspense. In fact, vaguely showing the main character yet building the trailer around the actions of that character can build curiosity.
Do not reveal too much. Stick to the point of view of the protagonist and antagonist. All trailers by DC follow this principle. They certainly get the fans’ attention with their trailers.
Capture the Mood
Rather than focusing on plot points, a great trailer emphasizes emotion. Grab the audience’s attention in the first place by giving them an idea of the content’s mood and tone. It could be anything – horror, hatred, funny, tragic. Trailers must convey the mood and theme through the characters’ actions and dialogue.
This trailer from over a decade ago can still give you the excitement of an adventure.
Setup the Plot
There are trailers that give away almost the entire movie by showing both highs and lows and there are others that have too little to impress the audience. In order to be successful and compelling, trailers must hit the sweet spot between the two.
This is one of the most challenging parts of the trailer-making process. Without revealing the entire plot, the trailer should make the audience anticipate what would happen in the movie.
Keep it Simple
It’s important to include clippings that have a strong chance of convincing an audience to see the full content. But do not give away all the surprise elements in the trailer. This may disappoint the audience when they find nothing new in the movie.
Taking the trailer of the movie Interstellar as an example, it was so subtle that it made us want to know more. And the movie lived up to the expectations.
Tighten the Pacing
There’s nothing worse than giving your audience the feeling that your trailer would take an eternity to finish. Tighten the pace while editing the trailer to keep the plot line moving.
I could think of no better example for this – Whiplash. The trailer begins as an ordinary rom-com, until the intensity ramps up paired with the snare drum’s rapid beat, climaxing with the title of the film.
Wasn’t that awesome?
Use a Three-Act Structure
Organize your trailer with a three-act structure. A three-act structure lets the audience jump straight into the story at the beginning, then rides them to a turning point, and ends the trailer before even reaching the resolution.
Act 1: Introduce the audience to the plot of the story and the characters with narrations and intense dialogue cuts
Act 2: Convey a sense of uncertainty by introducing the antagonist of the story and highlighting the conflict in the movie by mixing some scenes.
Act 3: Overwhelm the audience with excitement and curiosity and bring the trailer to an end with release dates.
Here is a perfect example of a three-act structure framed trailer. This minute-long trailer introduces the protagonist, and his situation, and before you know what happens the trailer ends.
Use Voiceover and Narrations
It’s a must for trailers to be short and crisp. Therefore, to convey the story’s essence, you may need voice-overs and on-screen text. You can add narration or make use of dialogues from the movie/show as a voice-over for the trailer.
You get to hear only four lines of dialogue in this trailer. But that gives you enough reason to watch the crime movie.
Apart from trailers helping you capture the right audience it also helps the audience choose the right content.
Today, viewers preview the trailer before deciding upon a movie to watch. Moreover, streaming services are taking advantage of marketing tools such as email and push notifications to boost and create hype for the movie even before it is released.
Your trailer can make a powerful impact on audiences by communicating the essence of your content. Marketing your content successfully is all about creating anticipation for your content. Remember, gaining a better understanding of your audience helps you make a more impactful trailer. After putting a lot of time and effort into your content, it’s important to release an interesting trailer that attracts audiences.