If you’re the kind of person who seeks out movie trailers when they debut online instead of passively watching them when you happen to be at a theater, you’ve likely noticed a trend that’s become increasingly prevalent over the past year or two: three-to-five second mini-trailers, featuring snippets of what you’re about to see in the full trailer, are being tacked on to the beginning of full-length trailers on sites like YouTube and Facebook. Call these things what you like – trailers before trailers, pre-trailers, or the industry-preferred term “bumpers” – but they have been annoying me and many of my colleagues for a while now, and since absolutely nothing else of any importance is going on in our country at the moment, I figured this was worth exploring further.
I first noticed this trend about a year ago and quietly hoped the practice would stop, but since I’ve only seen it grow in popularity over the past few months, I decided to reach out to some key players at the studios and some of the world’s top trailer editing companies to learn more about these bumpers, find out why they came about in the first place, and see how they might evolve in the future.
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I’m a child of the 20th century, so the electric guitar, an instrument with a vast range of expressive potential, is the voice of my life. Whether it’s the simple, rhythmic lines of John Lee Hooker or the dense, almost formless drones of Sunn O))), the guitar is the thing. So It Might Get Loud, the documentary that explores the history of the electric guitar through interviews with and performances by Jimmy Page, Jack White and The Edge, is something I very much want to see. In August, Sony Pictures Classics will oblige. For now, there’s a trailer. Read More »
I think the consensus is that movie trailers and movie title sequences used to be better – just look at the back catalogue of Alfred Hitchcock for numerous sterling examples of each, all from the oeuvre of just one director. Lately, it might be argued that title sequences have had something of a renaissance, with the work of Kyle Cooper and Imaginary Forces, but much of the great stuff has been pushed to the end of the film, as the credits roll. Witness the Pixar films, such as The Incredibles and Ratatouille and their atmospheric and engrossing final scrolls.
Of Pixar films, in fact, I recall only Monsters Inc. really having a really solid title sequence up front – but it isn’t a sequence I’m going to forget in a hurry. In fact, some of my most vivid sense memories of that film, and of how exciting, charming and awe inspiring I found it, are all tied up in my recollection of the title sequence.
Trailers, however – though not without exception – still tend to be rather formulaic affairs.
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