I don’t watch many trailers, especially for films I know I’m going to watch. The only time I will normally watch trailers is if I have never heard of a film or I am in two minds whether to watch it or not. I sometimes seem to spend inordinate amounts of time trying to avoid spoilers. One thing that exacerbates this is that due to my personal situation going to a cinema to see a film is almost impossible so I normally only see a film when it has a home release.
I have only saw Avengers Endgame at the back of August 2019, so I spent months after its cinema release avoiding articles, quickly scrolling past things on social media and getting annoyed with people assuming everyone has seen the film. I was lucky I managed to avoid the majority of spoilers, except for one on The Daily Show of all places ,that made watching the film a surprise.
I don’t understand when people are scrabbling for details of a film prior to release. The culture of taking apart of trailers to the sub atomic level in case they see that some character has consumed batenburg cake and what that means to the plot just confuses me. I would rather wait and be surprised.
When I saw The Last Jedi I knew nothing about it, I had not seen any trailers, avoided all reviews and only seen a minimum amount of images. This increased my enjoyment and surprise of the film. Some of my greatest Cinema memories have been when I saw a film that I knew very little about and it. I saw The Princess bride on one rainy afternoon with a bunch of friends, all we were doing was finding something to do to kill time. The only film on was that and what a gem it ended up being. It must have been weird for the staff at the cinema seeing half a dozen Metalheads going into a film called the The Princess Bride. I also saw The Usual Suspects on release at some late night showing and the only thing I knew about it was it’s name. I remember exiting the Cinema with my friends with us all totally shocked and dumbfounded by the end. If I’d known anything about the film before hand I would have lost that experience.
This can also apply to Television when Lost first came on the scene all I knew about it was that it was about a plane crash on an island. In reality I couldn’t have been more wrong, but my viewing was enhanced by my lack of knowledge.
In this age of social media people are throwing out theories and spoilers for films left and right. Film producers are releasing more trailers than ever before in order to keep the interest and profile of their films high. I heard someone state just before the release of Spiderman:Homecoming what was the point of them going as the numerous trailers had already shown them the majority of the film. Trailers for the blockbusters have become events in themselves you even have in some weird meta moment and get trailers for the Trailers.
Studios are the first to complain when the plot for the latest film has been leaked. In some ways the culture of trailers is perpetuating the idea that people need to know all the details of film before release. I recently caught the trailer of a Christmas film to be released on the new Disney streaming service I watched it and by the end I really had felt like I’d seen the whole film. I could quite easily tell you all the ins and outs of the plot.
Trailers showing what is deemed to be too much isn’t just a modern phenomena there are many trailers over the decades that you could say show a bit too much, however they weren’t as prevalent as they are now. I think part of the problem is that those making the trailers are not normally the film makers but advertising departments. This may mean that they do not understand the film. As well as too much information you get the trailers that seem like they were made for a completely different film. I remember seeing the trailer for A Monster Calls that made it look like a film about err well a big monster tree, when on fact its a touching film about a young boy dealing with his mothers illness.
I understand it when we’re all excited about a film and want to know more I however would urge if you’re one of those people who hoover up all information about a new release to try going into a film blind. Try and avoid trailers and all media such as reviews if you’re going to see a film no matter what why do you need to watch them, what’s the point? You never know it could increase your enjoyment of the film. One thing I have specifically noticed doing this is I may really like a film, then when I read or hear reviews post seeing it discover that it’s either controversial or disliked. Its surprising how these things influence your viewpoint before you see a film so this gives you the chance to make our own mind up.
I’ll leave you with a couple of trailers that do what trailers should get you excited about a film without showing too much. The first one is from Star Wars when they released this trailer most of the effects shots weren’t finished so they had to be creative. I think it’s a great example of what can be done. The second trailer is from Independence day I remember seeing this in the cinema and it tells you exactly all you need to know about the film.
Now wish me luck avoiding all of The Rise of Skywalker Trailers for the next 6 months.