By Dustin Gebel
Trailers appear everywhere, from the pre-show activities at the theatre, to a wave of Youtube channels and even cable networks, trailers have an undeniable place in the average person’s life. To the everyday person, trailers inform when a movie will begin to premiere, and a basic premise of the film. But to the dedicated fan, trailers provide a small window of clips from the movie. Usually it focuses on the action sequences and upbeat scenes, but it can reveal hidden information which is generally the case in more fan dedicated films.
Genres like the ever popular superhero films and the recent revival of previous franchises such as Star Wars, may reveal little points that can play larger roles in the movie. Those clues may be new characters, locations or what events (primary and secondary) that transpire. However, in the last couple of years, there is a movement in these larger film studios that has a release of small trailers that preview an expanded trailers. These clips usually last from six to twelve seconds and only privy the release date for the trailer.
Marvel is a culprit of this strategy, using these short trailers to lead into larger trailers that premiere during their new line of television programs or key events. An example of this would those wishing to see a trailer for the film Ant-Man, who would either have to wait for the trailer online or sit and watch through the two hour television show, Agent Carter. Before this trailer, the company released two previous trailers. The first trailer lasting a mere eight seconds with a picture about one-sixteenth the size of a regular screen. Then Marvel released the same teaser at a normal screen size. Another example done by Marvel is for their other leading summer film of 2015, Avengers: Age of Ultron. Marvel Studios released on October 28, 2014 the first exclusive trailer during an episode of Marvel’s other TV show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Instead of the trailer airing then, after a long taunt by Marvel for two weeks prior, the trailer found its way on the internet a week earlier than dated.
This is where the flaw of this marketing tool comes to play. By teasing audiences and dedicated fans with this information, there is a greater want of the clips, which can result in events like the trailer getting leaked. Marvel took this in stride and release new footage from the film in the trailers place. However, they have decided to, yet again, air a promotion of the next trailer, which is scheduled for release during the College Football Playoff National Championship on ESPN. The event is to take place on January 12.
It seems as though these trailers for a trailer act as a method for film companies to add more suspense in the film market. Movie trailers have lost their feeling of suspense due to the fact they exist all throughout the internet and other sources. These sources can range from social media sites to cable and Youtube, which hosts hundreds of channels that uploading nothing but movie trailers.
This movement of shorter pre-trailers is one that is based off the seemingly shrinking attention span of views. Most people want media streamed or shown as quick as possible, a demand that companies like Amazon, Netflix and Hulu willing to try and meet. But by doing this, there is a loss of patience for many things such as commercials, previews and trailers. If this development continues, it’s curious to see how movie marketing develops as the cable and movie cinema industry slowly start to fade in years to come.