The Loudness and Frenetic Pace of Movie Trailers: Can Quiet Trailers Ever Work?

If you watched the Super Bowl this year (and who doesn’t just to be part of a collective media-rich experience?), you saw the usual slate of movies trailers for the summer season. And, if it’s even possible, this year’s collection of trailers was even louder and more frenetically-edited than the ones from last year. Anybody with attention deficit disorder must have been forever cured of their condition if they sat and watched this year’s batch of trailers that, from the outset, look like winners…but only for those who have an aptitude to process images at breakneck speed. Considering a few there could qualify as family films for all ages, it’s a shame that some older members of the family probably couldn’t process what was happening through all the chaos. For them, the assault of images is perhaps the equivalent of being hit over the head with a folding chair by a wrestler looking similar to Mickey Rourke.

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And how does it play for the coveted younger demographics? Well, it just might be same old, same old. Btw i watch new movies free on Fmovies new site.

Therein is the problem with the increasing frenetic pace of trailers and Hollywood perpetually being in some other clueless universe about how to market their films to capture the biggest audience. Should you see a timeline of movie trailers just in the last ten years, you’ll see a definite difference in how they’re edited and paced. But that frenetic pace has picked up just in the last few years due to new editing software called Avid that trailer production companies have been using to supposedly keep up with all the attention deficits. It’s this software that’s going to continue to unfortunately change how we see movie trailers in the coming decade and beyond. With it comes an ability to edit trailers in a faster way to suit the whims of Hollywood execs who never seem think a trailer is fast or loud enough.

The above frame of mind is exactly what’s caused movie trailers to start being louder and with a barrage of quick-cut, chaotic images. Once one studio created a loud and frenetically-edited trailer with Avid, another producer saw his or her film’s trailer and wanted to do the same thing to stay competitive. All of that snowballed until every studio in the wacky world of Tinseltown started to do the same thing. Now it’s impossible to see any trailer for any mainstream film without it being inundated with chaotic sound and images.

Well, if only movie producers would understand the power of silence…

Whether it proves that movie producers have no clue or they’re just backed up against the wall into doing what everybody else does just to be safe, there isn’t a doubt that it’s been lost on many a producer how powerful a quiet trailer can be. Even though such an idea would leave an indelible mark on viewers in the theater, there never really has been a silent (or at least very quiet) trailer done in the history of film…other than when films really were silent in the 1920’s. Yet even early trailers from the 20’s were accompanied with attention-getting music from the theater organ accompanist. Nonetheless, when we mean quiet, we can also mean quiet passages of music or even attention-getting dialogue…

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During the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, many movie trailers were about as cornball as it gets if you watch Turner Classic Movies regularly and see the original trailers for classic films the network shows nightly as interstitials. Most of those trailers were designed with a boisterous announcer and the use of adjectives on the screen to describe the film as if it was the greatest piece of entertainment you were ever going to see in several lifetimes. Not surprisingly, the only director/producer to break from this uniform movie trailer pattern in the early 1940’s was Orson Welles with his subtle trailer for “Citizen Kane.”

If you own “Kane” on DVD, then you’ve undoubtedly seen the original trailer Welles created for movie houses in selling the film. You can only imagine what the audience likely did when seeing Welles’s use of a quiet opening featuring nothing but the silhouette of a swiveling radio microphone and the sound of Welles’s mellifluous voice welcoming the viewer to the trailer for his first big film achievement. While I’ve never talked to anyone who saw the trailer originally in early 1941, I have no doubt in my mind that you could likely hear a pin drop (or nary a candy wrapper crinkle or popcorn crunch) as it played over the next five minutes. Yes, five minutes!

Back then, a more extended trailer helped gain a better perspective on the film and proved that taking time to sell a movie was part of the fabric of moviemaking. With Welles’ “Kane” trailer, though, he managed to use an intelligent way of making it look somewhat like a lightweight satire rather than the heavier, cerebral drama it really was. Despite that being the beginnings of editing trailers today to make a clunker look brilliant, it was Welles’s attention-getting narration that truly captured the viewer. Welles was right when he said “Kane” would have made a fortune at the box office if it hadn’t been plagued by the Randolph Hearst connection that ultimately dogged the film. With such a subtly innovate trailer, he sold “Kane” better than any other film being pitched that year.

This isn’t to say that some quieter trailers haven’t been used over the years. I remember seeing some fairly sedate ones as a little kid in the 70’s and 80’s–despite those perhaps being geared as intense dramas or light romantic comedies. Both of those genres even get the loud, chaotic treatment in trailers today.

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Just imagine then if some brave producer decided to create a virtually silent trailer for a much-anticipated movie for the summer. Can you imagine the reaction it would get in the theater when every single trailer would have been ignored because of their uniform wall of sound and general chaos? If producers don’t think the young 18-34 demographic wouldn’t drop everything they’re sipping on or chewing on (hopefully stuff from the concession stands only) to watch a silent or quiet trailer, they should give it a test to prove that I’m right.

Here’s to the brave filmmaker/producer who tries it and subsequently changes how to get attention for a movie once and for all before our heads explode. The frenetic movie trailers during the Super Bowl likely just annoyed more people than it attracted, including the better family CGI movies from Pixar and Dreamworks. If “WALL-E” can change film by using little to no dialogue, seeing it in a trailer might just increase the anticipation tenfold…