May 30, 2013
 Posted by Thien A. Pham

Should We Even Watch Trailers?

According to the The Hollywood Reporter, the National Association of Theater Owners recently proposed a new guidelines to shorten the length of a movie trailer to 2 minutes. Currently, trailers are typically about two and half minute long. As you may have guessed it, the studios are not very happy about this. And I understand why.

Being a filmmaker and a producer, I know how difficult it is to have less time to tell a story and I can say we are in this predicament on almost every shoot. Countless time on the set, I had to ask actors to redo a take simply because they delivered a line half a second longer than the allotted time even though they hit the mark and nailed the delivery. In post-production, our editors are in constant struggle to cut a few frames here and a few frames there without ruining the flow and the story.

But then, another thought came across my mind. What if this is a good thing? Without a doubt, trailer is essential in marketing and distributing a film to the mass. This is why studios do whatever they can whenever they can to serve up multiple trailers and teasers. Sometimes, it gets us all so excited that we are eager to line up hours before showtime in the middle of a freezing night. Sometimes, it ruins it for us. Needing to create hype and momentum, studios reveal more and more details about plot with the release of each successive trailer, robbing us the many surprises we’d rather get from watching the film itself.

Many of us go to theater to be entertained and to be amazed. I believe that good surprises/plot twists are one of the many factors that keep us hooked to our seats, clenched our fists until it’s numbed, and talked about a film for weeks, months or even years to come. In short, I’d like to go to the theater knowing as little as possible about a film I’m about to watch. Unfortunately, I feel like some trailers are giving away too many details and that often ruins it for me. So maybe with the new guidelines, studios will reveal less details and in turn get us all excited again? What do you think? Do you want to watch shorter trailer? Have trailers ever ruined a film for you? Discuss!


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