Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Trailer Parks...(or Snap Judgements)

I’m one of those weird cinephiles who’s not interested in seeking out trailers for upcoming films. The concept of trailers holds little interest for me, I don’t even watch previews of my favourite TV shows. I know I’m alone on that – and I’m fine with that, but recently the trailer infatuation has gotten kind of crazy. I know Yojimbo would agree with me on that.

I guess we can some up the point of a trailer as a way to pique the interest of viewers in a film, I’m not exactly sure who makes trailers – probably not the movie directors, which is why I don’t get why so many bloggers I see deciding NOT to see a movie because of a trailer. I don’t know, there are some movies I know I won’t see – I ended up watching the trailer for Gulliver’s Travels at Heather’s behest. I loathe Jack Black, and the trailer’s tone kind of showed that they didn’t care for Swift, I guess I’m as guilty. Still, I don’t think that trailers work as a way of telling us what to watch. Obviously, with all the movies being released every year we can’t see all and we have to decide how to choose – but I’m not sure trailers are the best way. Well, really, there’s no best way. You don’t know if it’s good (or awful) until you’ve seen it.

As it is, I’ve seen three and half trailers for 2010 films. I’ve seen the Harry Potter trailer, Rabbit Hole and The King Speech. The half is Never Let Me Go – but I saw it on mute, so it doesn’t count as a whole. The reason I watched each of those trailers is because I knew I was going to see the films anyhow. The first three were in the top 5 my official list of films to anticipate this year. I wouldn’t go watch the trailer for a movie like Winter’s Bone (I’ll be reviewing that soon) because if I didn’t like the trailer I might be moved to judge it beforehand, it’s inevitable – trailers have that effect on you. If you’re unsure about a film I think a trailer might be the worse way to decide if you’re going to see it or not.
Maybe I’m crazy though. Well, crazier.
(Side Note: The return of the redhaired Nicole Kidman! Gah!)


Jess said...

Yeah, I don't watch trailers except before other movies at the theater. And there are only a few TV shows where I watch "coming up next time on..."

Castor said...

I don't go out of my way to avoid trailers but I rarely ever watch trailers either. Trailers these days are just so formulaic that they have to basically summarize the main plot points of a movie.

Jose said...

I only see trailers when I'm at the movies speaking of which have you noticed how the Harry Potter trailers make the movies look epic and then when you see them they just fall flat on their faces?

Alex in Movieland said...

I am one of THOSE people who are desperate to see the trailers. Especially considering I am doing Oscar predictions constantly (even though I'm not posting).

so i always look forward to them. But some are just ridiculously spoilerish, so I just stop them at one point.

Nicholas Prigge said...

Thank you for this. I agree totally. For movies I really want to see I try very hard to avoid the trailers (and reviews) because I want to know nothing.

The best trailer I've ever seen was for "Pearl Harbor" and let's just say the movie itself did not live up to its trailer.

Anonymous said...

And what about adding some more images? No offence, content is really nice. But as I’ve heard humans acquire info much more efficient if there are some helpful images.

Jeff Drawledge
phone zapper

Dan said...

I don't avoid trailers. In fact, if it's a film I want to see I'll check out the trailer beforehand. I do love trailers though - there's an art to making a good trailer and I think the guys who put them together don't often get the credit they deserve.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

jess glad to see that i'm not alone on this one.

castor fair assessment, i use some of what you say below.

jose oh, come on. be nice. i'm a HP fanboy, i can't lie. but i've never watched a trailer for a HP movie before this, so this will be the first time i can measure the trailer against the film. i'll see how it pays off.

alex ah, the spoilers is another issue.

dan point taken, people making trailers don't get credit because so many trailers are awful. i want to come back to what nicholas said about avoiding trailers. the best trailer i saw of the last year was nine a brilliant trailer. and why? because it gives us nothing about the plot, just vignettes to make us interested in the film - which ideally is what i think a trailer should be. as castor says, they've become a bit formulaic but they shouldn't be. an original idea to give the viewer a little tidbit about the film is really the best way to go.