Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.


Assignment 16: Trashing to the Trailer

Purpose: To discover ways you can condense a story by getting to the compelling core and ignoring the rest.

Basis: "Previously on Lost..." started the new episodes. Somehow, in a minute or two, the editor had brought us up to speed concerning the last 45 minutes. Similarly, a trailer--in 1/60th the time--shows you the important elements of the movie so you want to see it. They do this by showing you the engaging moments, and hint at the emotion and drama surrounding those events. This is an art form. This is the skill of retelling a story in the "short, short" version while still making it compelling.

Directions: Rip one of your favorite DVDs to your computer and cut it down into a trailer. Try to aim for 3 minutes or less. Your goal is to accurately demonstrate what the movie is like, give a feel for the story, and make people want to watch the full version. The best place to start is by removing all the bits that aren't awesome or important. And then trim from there.

Looking Forward: Back to the camera you go.

What to Watch: "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trailer" [Hitchhiker's is PG] Certainly one of the best trailers ever made. What's more, it gives you some good suggestions for your trailer.

Watch Samples: Please do not upload any copyrighted material to the internet.


Unknown said...

Hey Luke! I tried to rip The Maze Runner DVD onto my laptop and recieved a popup stating that i could not do that because of a copy protection error. Am i doing something wrong? Thanks!


Luke Holzmann said...

Makes sense. They do not want you ripping DVDs. The free software that is out there is often good enough to get around the protection, but it's a constant race (DVD publishers working to created better encryption, DVD rippers working to thwart it).

Perhaps try an older DVD, or look for a newer ripping software.