Suprisingly I found Zak Forsman in the Workbook Project shortly after posting his film trailer I F*cking Hate You on my previous blog about Caachi. This article by him deals with Cutting an Effective Trailer. I now some film schools let the students design a trailer, in other words, they treat the trailer like a short film and that is a very good exercise. Being able to cut an effective trailer is of utmost importance when trying to convince your audience that they should watch your film.
Here is an excerpt out of the article.
Trailers can be a real challenge for filmmakers. The tendency is to withhold some of the more dynamic and compelling aspects of the film to preserve the experience of watching the film in a theater, streaming to one’s laptop or on a DVD. And that is admirable, but often lessens the potential impact of the trailer.
DO NOT ASK THE FEATURE EDITOR TO CUT IT
Feature editors have a natural inclination to want moments to breath. Trailers editors are skilled with the ability to compress moments down to a core idea. Asking a feature editor to cut a trailer would be like asking a novelist to write a song. It seems like a no-brainer to have the person who knows the footage best create the preview, but the result is often unbalanced. First, filmmakers often want to save the good stuff for the screening. That’s a problem from a marketing standpoint where you want to hook an audience with the most compelling details of your film — more on that later. Just know that the ability to re-conceptualize is very difficult for an editor who has been living and breathing your characters for weeks or months.
DRAW FROM THE FIRST ACT
The first act of most pictures have all the set-up, all the character introductions, and all the bites of dialogue that can be laid out to present a concise version of the story. This is not necessarily the actual story of the film, however. My trailer for HEART OF NOW takes some liberties in order to present something that is as compelling as it is easily understood. The film itself, goes into territory much deeper than that of a girl deciding whether or not to have an abortion. But you can’t show that in less than three minutes.
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Heart of Now Trailer