VOTD: How Movie Trailers Are Created To Coax Audiences Into Theaters

Nowadays, you're spending roughly the first few minutes of your movie theater experience watching commercials for mattresses, dental offices, laser eye surgery, or Subway. But the rest of the pre-show is filled with at least a half dozen movie trailers. While we've established that there are plenty of tropes in movie trailers to keep an eye out for, each one has a story they're trying to sell you on. However, what kind of movie trailer you get depends on how marketing departments and advertising firms see the best way to market your film. And that brings us to how movie trailers are created.

How Movie Trailers Are Created

Jessica Fox is a creative director at Mark Woolen & Associates, an advertising firm that specializes in motion picture marketing and movie trailer editing. And she took the time to sit down with Vanity Fair to go through the steps of creating a successful movie trailer. This includes collaborating with filmmakers, studios and creative agencies, going through audience testing, and determining the best way to present a movie to an audience while accurately representing the film's style.

If you talk to Mark Woolen himself, as IndieWire did not too long ago, this is what he has to say about their work:

"I don't know what marketing is. I'm trying to represent the film. Filmmakers come to us in a vulnerable place. Sometimes we're the first eyes seeing the first rough cut of film they've been working on for years. We're entrusted with introducing it to the world. Their careers and lots of money is invested in how it's received. We have a responsibility to do right by them as best we can."

Mark Woolen and his company have been responsible for creating trailers for more challenging movies to sell such as Moonlight, Black Swan, 12 Years a Slave, Birdman, The Social Network, The Farewell, and A Hidden Life. Making all of those movies appealing to general audiences isn't easy, and that's why it's worth listening to them when it comes to learning how successful movie trailers are created