The (Sometimes) Lost Art of the Trailer

Fill in the blanks. Show, don’t tell.

It’s hard to pinpoint when trailers became a thing. When the rules changed. Imagine trying to sum up a book in a paragraph. It’s possible. How likely are you to be accurate though?

As is the case with seemingly everything, nostalgia is the blanket that covers all. Everything changes, there’s no doubting that. That being said, there appears to have been a severe turn as to what will persuade potential movie goers into ticket buyers.

Show everything.

It’ll irk me because I’m one of those nerds. But why is Doomsday in the Batman VS Superman trailer? Why lean on Cumberbatch being Khan when you know that those that get the reference are already invested?

The whole point of it all is to make money. To persuade those who might be on the fence to be all in. If you’re giving the entire movie away (Terminator: Genysis) in the trailer, why am I parting with money to see it/you/it.

This brings me to a point *at last*. Today saw the release of the trailer for another Star Wars. Episode XIII in fact. I’m not that guy. So much so that I’d hold Star Trek: Best of Both Worlds or First Contact ahead of whatever lightsaber you wanted to wave in front of me. But maybe that’s the point. The franchise wars are dead. You’re allowed to get hype about things again. And after having so many trailers in which everything was spoonfed to us, I think we may be in for the kind of roller-coaster that justifies all the hype.

There was a consensus as to what the next Star Wars film would bring. We thought we knew. Therein lies the fatal error. So much has been shown to us now, even without context or really being shown. Could this even be a Marvel move where we don’t even get our Tony Stark/Peter Parker tandem? It’s all potentially in the film. It’s all potentially out.

Showing us everything is one tactic. Showing us what’s not there another. Given what’s on display there’s more than enough to wonder if what we’re being shown is lies. Could information be disinformation to such a degree? Would they really spoil the film in such a way; is [blank] really going to kill [blank]???. Maybe it’s the reverse of that. Maybe The Last Jedi trailer is alluding to an ultimate serve we don’t even know yet (read some message-boards). Either way, this is a long way from films we hold dear to our hearts and think we know already, before having seen them.

Perhaps that’s the problem. We think we know. Whatever the context. Even within the movies themselves, we know DC is building something and so no matter how much they hide Henry Cavill, he’s still there. But it’s important that they hide him. Everyone that knows the Justice League knows he will be there, eventually. Those that don’t need to be taken along that journey.

Tell us, but don’t always show us. At least not until we’re in the theatre itself.

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