Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Trailer Trash (and Treasure)

The Washington Post has a great article about movie trailers as an art form. Some trailers give away the entire movie ("The Lake House") and some fundamentally misrepresent the movie ("Angel Eyes"). Some are miniature works of art themselves. Two of the article's examples, "Birth" and "Gerry," had trailers that were vastly more imaginative and appealing than the movies they were promoting.

The internet has made movie trailers more accessible -- and not just for viewing. First, sites like our own Yahoo! Movies make any trailers available to anyone at the click of a button. You don't have to buy a ticket to a movie and hope that the trailer you are looking for will be one of the two or three they show before the feature. More important, the trailers are accessible for viral mutation. "Brokeback Mountain" inspired faux trailers that became so popular online they were seen by more people than, well, "Birth" and "Gerry." And the already-legendary "Snakes on a Plane" ("SoaP" to those in the know), inspired fans to create fake trailers so popular that the producers brought star Samuel L. Jackson back for reshoots to add a line of dialogue from the fake trailer. I like that. Studios use trailers to tell us what we're going to see; now fans tell studios what we want to see.

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