How To Make a Film Trailer

The purpose of film trailers is for marketing. Showing snippets of the movie will help raise anticipation from the movie goers and will determine whether they would prefer to watch this or not. That's why many trailers have to be very creative and interesting, as it should make a good selling point. Trailers are made to highlight what is good from the film and to downplay its flaws. It should be properly set up, giving viewers a peak of the movie's promise, but at the same time keeping them anticipating what they should expect, should they watch the whole film.

Below are some salient points to consider when creating a fantastic film trailer:

1.    As with films, a trailer should also carry a start, middle and an end.  It isn't necessary to put a trailer in a storyboard anymore, although this may be recommended, as it will help cut time of work. You must have a basic idea of what to tell the audience. You must be able to toe the line between letting them understand the movie, without giving away too much.

2.    A good trailer has the following elements present, to be able to convey a message perfectly:

  • Clips from the films. Of course, this is the best way to sell it. Select the good shots and dialogues; pick out the best scenes to entice the audience and convince them to watch it.
  • Have voice-overs. Sometimes they can be useful; sometimes it's not necessary. In the event that you plan on using a voice over, make sure that it is clearly heard and properly enunciated. Also make sure that the lines from these voice-overs are not very long.
  • Have sound effects and music. These elements double the excitement of any trailer as it sets the pace of it. You must, however, be decisive about choosing the music as choosing the wrong one will ruin it.

3.    Have editing software handy and master how it is used. Editing software is full packed with features.  This will help make your trailer a lot more exciting, visually. Many independent filmmakers rely on editing software to make their movies. With an editing software, you can basically do the following, among others:

  • Pull out clips from the film or splice it and put it together.
  • Set up a timeline so that you have a flow of the trailer.
  • Animate the text and graphics.
  • Time the music and effects to scenes and set up its rhythm.
  • Record your voice-overs.
  • Edit, re-cut, and change.

4.    Once you have completed your film trailer, you can then exhibit these first to a select number of people to get feedback. Use what they tell you to improve this or cut back and then go back to your software editing to do the necessary changes until you are satisfied you have made well.

When this is all done, you can then market this to a bigger audience or send it to the client for approval. 


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