What Makes a Good Trailer?

A trailer is a small peek-hole into a world you don’t know about. A good trailer is a gateway drug. “Inject it into my veins!!!” as the youth say. Well, the youth also eat Tide Pods, so maybe they aren’t the best example to quote.

Regardless, if your trailer isn’t going big, go home. Your trailer needs a trailer for a trailer. Your trailer needs a trailer that lets me know the teaser trailer is coming for the trailer. Your trailer needs a voiceover with some soft piano. You need dismayed faces staring into the horizon in a complete state of anguish. Make your trailer sexy!!!

So what makes a good trailer exactly?

To answer this, I’ll use examples from the upcoming summer blockbuster, Mission Impossible: Fallout. Now, it’s important to note that I had zero interest in seeing this movie before the trailer. Tom Cruise is a weird tiny man who is set out to kill himself while making a movie. This trailer is insane though. This is a trailer’s trailer. This is the trailer to end all trailers.

  • Yes, hit me with that soft piano/voiceover combo immediately

  • Cool 007-esque shot. Holding guns in movies is cool. This is America

  • Gimme some nostalgia–an instant callback via familiar imagery that will evoke some type of emotion

  • Show people walking briskly. Quick! The world is in imminent danger! Let’s walk really fast to save it! The mission is impossible! So impossible that we had to do the mission six times!

  • Spy stuff!!!

  • “The world is at risk!” followed by more walking

  • A reveal of the world’s most expensive mustache

  • Angela Bassett: She needs no tagline, honestly.
  • “Hey, meet me behind those trees over there. Walk a few steps ahead of me so we don’t look suspicious. K, thnx, bye.”

  • When Perry White makes you cover the Metropolis Puppy Walk when you really want to be writing a story about Lexcorp <<<<<

  • No, seriously, Tom Cruise is insane. But that insanity makes for great moments like this

  • One for the road.

Mission Impossible: Fallout takes what you’re already familiar with and tosses in a few new wrinkles. The best moments appear in the trailer and now you’re curious about what happened in between.

You know what makes a bad teaser trailer? Teasing absolutely nothing.

Next, we’ll go to Venom. Why is Sony making this movie? Your guess is as good as mine. The bigger question is, how bored must Tom Hardy be right now? Geez, why is he doing this movie?

  • Thanks for letting me know. I had no idea what I was clicking on when I read ‘Venom: Official Teaser Trailer’. Also, this logo sucks.

  • True Detective: Season 3

  • Oh, nevermind, he’s just in the hospital

  • Obligatory skyline shot

  • Here’s that look of utter dismay

  • Tom Hardy being treated for hypothermia after filming The Revenant

  • This is seriously the only look at the symbiote in the entire trailer

  • Something is happening?

  • Alternate logo reveal

And that’s pretty much it. Not a lot happens in this trailer. I know teasers are meant to tease but at least give me a glimpse of what’s being teased. Nothing happens in this trailer and anyone unfamiliar with venom will think this is a money about Tom Hardy getting an MRI.

So what makes a good trailer for you? Also, what’s your favorite trailer so far?

(Hint: There’s only one correct answer.)


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