Friday, 28 March 2014

How To Edit A Trailer

The trailer for The Robin went live just over a week ago.

If you haven't seen it yet then have a look at the previous post.

Cutting together a trailer for The Robin was a challenge. And it was a challenge for one main reason. Most Hollywood trailers run from about two minutes to three minutes in length. Two to three minutes doesn't sound long does it? But that's the length of the final film. So the trailer has to be even shorter than that.

Whilst making the trailer it was our job to reveal as much about the story as possible without giving anything away. A seemingly contradictory task.

We watched the animatic over and over again, trying to figure out what belongs in the trailer, what doesn't and what we want to be a surprise for the audience when the film is released this winter. There are some trailers that reveal too much about the film, like the trailer for Cabin In The Woods and then some trailers leave you without a clue as to what the film is actually about, such as the trailer for A Single Man. We wanted to reveal just enough to make it interesting but not too much so that it feels like you've seen the entire film.

To do this we looked for three main components in the story that we wanted to include in the trailer:

1) Character
2) What the character wants
3) What is standing in the character's way

These became.

1) The Robin
2) Wants to eat
3) But can't because of two pesky Pigeons.

Boom! What more do you need to see? That's not only the trailer but that's the story spine of the film. If we put anything else in the trailer we'd be telling the story, which is not what we wanted to do. We wanted people to know what the story is about. To finish we ended with the close-up Clint Eastwood-style shot of the Robin's narrowing eyes to end with one simple, important question; a question that will only be answered by watching the film:

What will the Robin do next?