Thursday, August 5, 2010

Unnecessary Trailing

Movie trailers are a topic that deserve discussion and for some time now I've had an extensive article about the triumphs and pitfalls of movie trailers brewing in my head. It's still brewing. I'm compiling a list of good trailers, bad trailers and everything in between in order to intellectually and knowledgeably write a comprehensive article that tackles various aspects of the art behind the infamous motion picture trailer.

But until then I have something to say.

I'm noticing a current trend in film trailers that both confuses and aggravates me, and seeing as how I just ran across this weird occurrence in a trailer I saw today for Scott Pilgrim vs The World, I decided to at least get this off my chest.

Has this ever happened to you? You're watching an interesting trailer on television or on the Internet and then all of a sudden, the director or the producer or the movie star pops up on screen and proceeds to tell someone off camera what the movie is about, as if he or she is being interviewed about the movie in some obscure press junket.

Why they #$@!?

Has it come to this? Are we, the "audience" that stupid now that we have to have someone explain our movie trailers to us? Is it necessary to have a member of the production crew tell us exactly what the trailer should be telling us already? It's like watching a commercial about a commercial that we're already watching. It's like having a singer talk over their own song and explain what the song is about. Its like watching an episode of The Real World and seeing whatever media whore they cast that season act out dramatically on camera, then having that same person tell the camera, interview-style, they were "pissed". No shit you're pissed, we just saw you slap another cast member and throw a vase across the room. I think we get the picture.

I don't understand the necessity to include the director and or any other production member in a film trailer. Is it a new clause in entertainment contracts? Do the studios feel that confessional style interviews are what the audience want, seeing as how we've become a society of reality television. Or do they just think we won't get what the film is about from the trailer alone. If this is the case, interviews from the director isn't whats needed...firing of the trailer editor is whats necessary.

But of course, this is most likely the not the case. What most likely is the case is that studios are simply attempting to put a fresh spin on the" movie trailer" by including these clips of production member interviews because it not only makes the film more accessible to a wider audience but it also make the film seem more of an "event" that needs to be experienced because hey, the director is right there telling me to go see it! Now, I applaud the studios for trying to think outside the box when it come to marketing their films, and they ultimately have the right to do this. But the film enthusiasts in me cringes every time I see a trailer that does this. It makes the trailer draw attention to the marketing scheme behind the movie, rather than focusing on the movie itself. A trailer's main purpose is to tease and inform the audience on what a particular film is about, not who made it or why. The why's and the who's is great information to know, but there are already avenues for which the public can seek out that information; it's place isn't in the movie trailer.

I realize that I'm most likely in the minority here but I'm okay with that. I'm sure plenty of people will watch these types of trailers and think nothing of their obscurities. And truth be told, I can endure them, particularly since thankfully I have yet to see an official film trailer use this marketing ploy; I'm talking about the film trailers you see right before a feature presentation at the theater. Thankfully those movie theater trailers stick to their own obscurities and flaws...but that's an article for another time.

What's your opinion on this?

1 comment:

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head. A trailers main purpose is to "tease and inform the audience on what a particular film is about", but you gotta remember that a film, especially a major motion pictures purpose is to make money...and if it's entertaining too then that's a good plus. Like it or not, the way people watch and interact with entertainment has changed. Major movie companies have to compete with so much in terms of tv and internet, that if they don't stay current they will get left behind. No industry, these days, has the luxury of a built-in audience. Its either adapt to your audience or get left behind. And current trends in this information age is the more information you can get about a movie, the more likely people are gonna go watch it...