Movie Watching Tip: The Structure of Movie Trailers

Movie trailers are first and foremost advertisements. Given they're usually pretty fun to watch, and they generally follow the same format, it is sometimes easy for forget we're watching a commercial.

How trailers are structured is rather straight-forward. For the most part, the traditional movie trailer follows the same structure as a full length movie. There is the opening which shows the normal world, either everything is wonderful and sunny or everyone lives in a dystopian hell. During this we usually are introduced to the hero. Then the main conflict is introduced. The villain is introduced or a portion of his evil minions are shown. Show the hero in mid-conflict, toss in a humorous line to give a nod to the audience they will enjoy the conflict and then drive the trailer to the final moment where we get glimpses of the final conflict at the end of the film. Top this all off with what I call the "trailer rush" which is that awful moment with the screeching violin strings, the lightening fast editing and the hurried dialog all leading to...ta da...the title of the movie.

The notable thing is that it follows the path of the movie but keeps the final piece of the final act hidden, thus leaving you with a reason to see the film. Believe it or not, this actually works.
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