Major forms of entertainment today revolve around story telling, there is the classic novel or the theatre that have been used to tell stories for many years. Over the past century a new form of story telling has evolved, known as film. Movies can be used to literally, look through the looking glass into another fantasy world that may or may not resemble our own. Cinema has endeavoured to show us things in such immaculate detail, that the images we are presented with are truly unimaginable. Trailers, short clips of movies, have been introduced to both television and as part of the pre-movie-watching ritual. The idea is to entice us to pay the five pounds to make the trip to the cinema to watch the film; it does after all, cost millions for the distributors to distribute the films to the cinema, let alone the cost of making the film itself.
One of Ridley Scott's latest film, Gladiator, uses no less than two theatrical trailers and four trailers for television. The theatrical trailers disappoint me as they appear to be poorly edited and I would not feel compelled to see the movie based upon them. The television trailers however are excellent as they not only appeal to my eye, but they also gently introduce you to the story. There is a mix of action sequences involving tigers clawing at men, gladiators fighting, special effects and also show a lot of emotion.
Sam Mendes directorial debut, American Beauty, does not have the high-octane bull firing high death count insane invincible action movie scenes that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. Instead it has comedy, mixed in with serious drama, which might not sound like the best combination, but it works. The two trailers that were made for this movie use two different methods to attract you to it. The first takes all the funny lines, and edits them together nicely, with the odd important event to get your interested. The second begins with all the serious drama and then develops into the first. I was not really attracted to this movie by the trailers, but more by the hype that surrounded it, and recommendations from my friends who had already seen the film.
The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, uses the idea of paradise and how special it is with a slow relaxing but modern background song, Porcelain by Moby, to first introduce you to the story. At the end it flashes a few scenes of the twist, the idea being that you are given a sneak preview of the story and you want to know what happens. There is common ground between all the trailers, they all use scenes of the movie mixed with images of a few words that have significance, such as background information or the names of the stars. Usually there is the typical man with a very deep voice doing the voice over which just seems to sound good. Although the beach uses the voice of DiCaprio for its trailer.
Personally I think trailers are good if they only introduce you to the story, rather than lead you all the way through and also that trailers would rarely convince me on their own to go see a movie. I would prefer the opinion of a friend or reading a review.