When you think of a highly anticipated movie that’s sure to be a blockbuster the motivation is already there for the diehard fans. For those that are on the fence and are therefore skeptical about spending their hard-earned money on a night out the one piece of marketing that could sway the decision is the movie trailer. Movie trailers date back to 1913 where they would “trail” the feature film that is showing to generate excitement – which is where the term “trailer” gets its name. A movie trailer can make or break any given film resulting in either big box office takes or fading away in obscurity.
That is the premise of Movie Trailers: A Love Story – A look back through time on the history of the trailer and the impacts they have on the individual film and the industry as a whole. If you venture on YouTube, there is seemingly an abundance of channels that are dedicated to trailer reactions and the point is we want to experience someone else reacting to what we love. Many of the guests in Movie Trailers: A Love Story are reactors like Tyron Magnus, The Reel Rejects, The Cyber Nerds & Struggle Nation. This may be a bit biased, but I am an avid Patreon member and supporter of director John Campea so if at any point I fanboy over this documentary you’ll know why.
John interviews several pendants, critics, youtubers, directors about why we love to watch the 2-3-minute trailer which will directly impact how well the film is perceived. The trailer in essence has become as important as the film itself and this is poured over in great detail by Campea’s special guests. A lot of time is spent detailing this importance and its handled with extreme care by Campea.
Movie Trailers: A Love Story is narrated by Justin Shaifer and broken up by a series of chapters which describe the relationship fans have with these trailers. There are several highlights including the use of music a trailer chooses to spoilers embodied in the trailers and now the latest the trailer for the trailer. When the chapter that discusses music comes up fellow producer and director Robert Meyer Burnett describes the film Thor: Ragnarök and the awesome use of Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin. The truth is there, the moment you hear the song paired up with the god of Thunder – it’s a perfect match.
When the topic of spoilers come up there are several examples given one notably by Olympic swimmer Cody Miller. You’re probably thinking “What does an Olympic swimmer know about movies and film” Well John has a podcast with Cody and Robert Meyer Burnett called Best Movie Worst Movie (I love this podcast). He describes the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie that one spoils Doomsday in the trailer, but it also spoils the team up with the two heroes. It’s an interesting take on how movie trailers can affect our experience with the feature film where we as the audience don’t get surprised by the big moments making the film disappointing and therefore predictable.
Movie Trailers: A Love Story points out all these quirks a movie trailer can portray. Fans literally petitioned a studio over the incorrect look of Sonic the Hedgehog. That happened, really. The information in this documentary highlights things about movie trailers that most people probably didn’t know. Did you know that directors don’t cut their own trailers? There are these companies called trailer houses that cut our favorite movies – it’s an art that is under-appreciated but to those of us who are nerds understand how important these trailers are.
Even with the fascinating subject manner, John breaks it down in a way that can make the viewer understand the true impact a trailer has on a deeper level than just a piece of marketing.
Movie Trailers: A Love Story is a near perfect documentary. Where its shortcomings lay is in its pacing. For the timing of this film, the information comes at you like a speeding bullet. There are times when the film cuts back and forth too quickly before fully taking in what one of the guest speakers is relaying. The editing can be a bit choppy at times throughout – it’s not enough to cause too much of a disruption but some guests sound like they are being cut off. Again, it’s not too extensive that it can take you out of the moment but it’s irritating during key pieces of information.
Overall, Movie Trailers: A Love Story is informative, interesting and insightful. Each special guest brings different knowledge, ideas and an appreciation to the film industry and have a lot to offer on the history of movie trailers and why we as the audience are completely obsessed with them. From the early beginnings to Alfred Hitchcock’s six-minute trailer for Psycho to the movie trailer guy and beyond, this documentary covers all the bases. The too fast of pacing and messy editing choices keep this documentary from being bulletproof but it is still highly enjoyable. If I were to rate Movie Trailers: A Love Story, I’d rate it a 4 out of 5.
So, tell me, have you seen Movie Trailers: A Love Story and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.
Movie Trailers: A Love Story is written & directed by John Campea is rated PG-13 and stars Robert Meyer Burnett, Grae Drake, Scott Mantz, Greg Alba, Kristian Harloff, Adrian Askarieh, Drew Whitfield & Cody Miller. Movie Trailers: A Love Story was released on October 15, 2020 and has a runtime of 1 hour and 21 minutes. Movie Trailers: A Love Story can be purchased or rented on Amazon Prime.
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