How to create awesome trailer

Hey everybody,

How are you? Hope everyone has been as busy and productive as I have. Now, I have yet another question for the pros and gurus of these lovely forums. I had someone come to me the other day and asked me if I could create a trailer for him. Now mind you, all he has is an IDEA of what he wants--NOTHING ELSE! He wants to promote a dance group for his company. My question is this, would I have to create a script solely for the purpose of a trailer, shoot some scenes, then edit? Really unclear seeing this is my first approach with trailers and I need advice.

Thanks in advance,

Triple Threat
It probably violates all the rules of film making, but whenever I get an idea for a movie, before I start writing anything I crank out some kind of trailer just to see if the idea still "grabs" me.

Even if it's just music and title cards, it's quick and easy and you can also get a feel for what other people think of the idea.

This isn't much, but I banged it out before I had really even researched the concept because I liked the theme music when I heard it.

First test trailer

Note what the commenter said about it.

Unless your client wants something big and showy, you should be able to get some excitement going without too much aggravation!


Hey DeceptionA,

To answer your question, I really don't think he understands fully WHAT he wants! Because I thought the same thing that you did about trailer or commercial. So we will see.

Now, georgiahoosier, I think that your test trailer looks really good, actually. So in your opinion, what could I do for this mere client that wants a "trailer" about some dance moves? How do I go about starting it? Decisions, decisions.
Mind you, I'm only going to tell you what I would do and I don't want to speak for anyone else.

I'd get the outline idea for the movie, let's say for instance it's about a young guy living in a rural town but is passionate about a career on Broadway.

Find some appropriate background music, get some stills of a small town and some of New York, and stills of people dancing, etc.

Then intersperse the images with title cards and tell the synopsis quickly

"From the fields of South Georgia..." (fade in a pic of rural GA)
"...a dream is born..." (Broadway pics)
"...and a struggle begins to realize it" (music builds to crescendo)
Title of movie fades in and out followed by "coming soon" or something similar
You get a pitch and a tease all in 30 seconds

Again, I'm just pulling this out of the air. Instead of title cards you could have a VO, imagine Don LaFontaine reading your copy.

Everybody's style is of course different, since I've been a salesman for several years I tend to think in terms of a quick pitch and a close.

The thing is you get something put down that you can visualize and change without a lot of time and effort, but gets maximum reaction

How to create an awesome trailer... make an awesome film.

Otherwise look at 'sale trailers' - the type that they use at Cannes. for action film it's full of BIG moments, for horror 'BIG gore'. It may sound obvious but it needs to SELL the film or idea and that the film or idea is worth buying.

Check out the sale trailer for the new Rambo movie. ULTRA VIOLENT a trailer that could never screen in the cinema but really sold teh film. Nu Image/Momentum are great for this kind thing.
Thanks guys

Hey guys,

I just want to personally thank everyone for their input and suggestions. I greatly appreciate all of the wise advice and knowledge that is coming forth from this forum :) keep up the good work and look forward to meeting some of you real soon. If any of you are ever in Atlanta, just give me a holler!

Yours truly,

Triple Threat