Magazine article Variety

Clips Cut Wide Swath in Movie Marketing

Magazine article Variety

Clips Cut Wide Swath in Movie Marketing

Article excerpt


WHAT: 16th annual Golden Trailer Awards

WHEN: 7 p.m. May 6

WHERE: Saban Theater

WEB: goldentrailer. com

Attention spans are getting shorter. The Golden Trailer Awards are getting longer.

"We always prided ourselves at corking it at 70 minutes," says Evelyn Brady-Watters, who with her sister, Monica Brady, invented the show 16 years ago and, ever since, have just let it balloon. "We're probably up to 80 or 90 minutes by now," Brady-Watters said, with mock regret.

Scheduled for May 6 at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills with actor-comedian T.J. Miller ("Silicon Valley") as emcee, the GTs will honor a field that has not only become more and more a focus of pop-cultural attention and social-media discussion but also, as a consequence, more fraught with peril.

"With great franchises comes great responsibility," says AV Squad's Seth Gaven, noting the finer points of making trailers for something as hotly anticipated as "Game of Thrones" or "Furious 7" - just two of the campaigns that have led AV to 26 noms in 19 categories (including several where it competes with itself).

"With each successive movie, the ante's been upped dramatically," Gaven says of "Furious 7." "How do you get around the familiar aspects of the other movies, and how do you show the things in the new movie that push it beyond the previous films? You want people to say, 'Wow I gotta see that.' "

And if you have a film that's utterly unfamiliar, in style, technique or subject matter? "Birdman" was an unconventional movie by almost any standard. That needed to be reflected in the teaser.

"It starts with a 30-second long shot of Michael Keaton backstage in the theater - a lifetime in trailer world," says Mark Woollen of Mark Woollen & Associates, another multi-nominee. "What we were trying to do is introduce the kind of filmmaking, and the character, by having him come out of the shadows and dark hallways and imply he's making a comeback, like a fighter coming into the ring. We did a montage from there to suggest different parts of the film, the drama, the magic realism, which ends with another extended take, 20 seconds-plus, with this ridiculous fight between Keaton and Ed Norton in his underwear."

Woollen did "Boyhood," which needed its own fine-tuning; likewise "Gone Girl," which had secrets "we wanted to preserve for the audience," Woollen says. "So we were really working with the first hour of the film, working up the basic premise, introduction of the characters but never revealing what actually happens. …

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