How to Make Film Trailers

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In order to make a film trailer, a person must know how to edit, they have to acquire the footage, and they have to break down the story. Use a film trailer to draw people to see a movie with filmmaking tips from a director and filmmaker in this free video on making movies.

Part of the Video Series: Filmmaking Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name's Jared Drake, and I'm going to talk to you about how to make film trailers. To make a film trailer, first you need to know how to edit, so learn final cut pro, learn Avid. Secondly, you have to acquire the footage, so have the film maker or the production company hand it to you in some format that you need, on a hard drive, or maybe just the raw files themselves, and you'll organize it all. So get the footage, know how to edit, and then start breaking down the story. When approaching the trailer, it's, you know, a very sticky format to be in. There really are no guidelines what-so-ever. The purpose of a trailer, if you think about it, is to draw people to the movie, get people in to the theater, get people to say, man, what the heck is that, I want to see that, I want to know more about it. There's an argument that says, alright, let's make a movie as popular as a trailer as we can, as catchy, as high concept, as mainstream, let's just get as many seats, many people in to the seats as we possibly can. A lot of directors especially, don't like that because those people are going to go in to the film with certain expectations that aren't going to be held up. They would prefer, and personally, I think this is the best way to do it, is be honest in your trailer about what the movie actually is, even if it's not as popular and explosive as it possibly could be right out the bat, the people that you want going to the see theater, the people you want coming to see the movie, you want them to be teed up for what the film actually is, so try to be as honest about that as you can in the trailer, and don't fool your audience just to get more people to the theater, because in the end, I think that's going to hurt you. Now, a great thing to do is watch a ton of trailers that are up the alley of your movie. See what they did, see how they used voice over, maybe they didn't use voice over. See how the structured it, see how long they are, you know the difference between a teaser and a trailer is a trailer is between two and three minutes and it tells more of the complete story, it introduces the character, sets up the character's problem, and then defines some of the issues and the speed bumps the character's going to see in the film. A teaser really just kind of gives you a glimpse of, of, of what the movie is. It's, it's, it's a hook.


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