What’s the point of a great movie if nobody watches it? Here are 5 tips on how to reel in an audience with a killer movie trailer!

So, you’ve done your time with filmmaking classes and put together an entire finished movie. You might have the greatest movie of all time in your back pocket, but how are you going to convince people to watch it? A solid movie trailer should entice audiences and lure them to theatres. How do you pack in all the necessary information whilst avoiding overwhelming viewers? Here are five tips to help you create the perfect trailer for your film!

Capture the Mood

Time is tight when it comes to film previews, so focussing on mood rather than plot points is key. Capturing the mood of the film is going to tell your audience what they can expect if they sit down to watch. Using emotions displayed by characters can help with this, and get audiences excited to dive into the film’s universe.

Stay Humble

We’ve all witnessed trailers that proclaim the movie it’s promoting to be “the greatest film of all time”. Often when these trailers appear these days, they’re steeped in irony and self-deprecating sarcasm. Any time it’s done in earnest, it can be a little cringeworthy. The audience should be the ones to decide the greatness of this film, rather than being told.

You should have confidence in your film being fantastic, and not feel the need to ram that idea down people’s throats in the trailer. Be humble, and let the film speak for itself. Overconfidence can actually detract from the trailer and almost challenges the audience to find fault in the movie.

Set up the Story

As previously mentioned, you don’t get an awful lot of time in a trailer to tell the story. But, you don’t want to give the whole story away anyway, otherwise what’s the point in spending 2 hours watching the film? You need to find the sweet spot of not too many spoilers, but enough flavour to let audiences know what the film is about.

Meet the Main Characters

One great way of setting up the story is to introduce some of the main characters. You don’t need to waste time showing off every single character in the film if they don’t serve much purpose to the main plot line. Focus on your protagonist, antagonist, supporting roles and someone who adds colour – the comic relief character, for instance. The majority of films are based around people, so you want to intrigue the audience and get them desperate to learn more about your characters.

Use Awesome Music

Finally, you absolutely have to feature some awesome music in your trailer. Music in film is very important, with it helping to tell the story, affect the mood, and create memorable moments. It’s no different when it comes to the trailer.

Think about the type of movie you’ve made when choosing your music. If it’s a regency drama then you’ll probably want something befitting of the period. Whereas action films with lots of noise and exciting visuals tend to opt for impactful and high energy music, like heavy rock. The type of music you use can help the trailer appeal to a certain demographic as well, ensuring your film is watched by the intended crowd.

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