Let’s Talk About Movie Trailers – Laser Time #347

Ever seen a movie trailer that’s better than the movie it’s pimping? Of course you have, because that precious two and a half minutes of marketing sizzle has become an art form unto itself. This week we’ll be discussing the origins, business and craft of the Movie Trailer, as well as sharing some personal anecdotes along the way *INCEPTION HORN*

Below you’ll find embeds of our favorite trailers mentioned in the experimental final portion of the show. Please share your fave trailers in the comments below!

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Let us know your favorite trailers in the comments below!

25 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Movie Trailers – Laser Time #347

  1. Sorry for the big post but this is totally my kind of topic!
    Bee-Movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7IFbHSG3Js had a unique take for a CGI movie trailer in which they explain that the movie was originally going to BEE in live action. (I would have watched a movie about making the movie this way.)

    Max Payne; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GklHaGfncJI file this one for being as misleading as trailers can get (looking at you Kangaroo Jack!) Rather than be a cerebral/supernatural take on a drug addled cop in a world gone wrong. It actually is basically a pretty standard action cop saves the day. The trailer was so good though, and I was such a big fan of the original two games that I made a parody of it, almost 10 years ago to the date. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV4c5AtgdOM

    Sin City; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRtz8JQw01A Having only browsed and never actually read the original Sin City books, seeing the film capture the art direction so well in a brief trailer made my eyes pop! It immediately got me interested in reading the books, and seeing the spot on casting in motion for the first time I imagine it might have been a bit like seeing the original Roger Rabbit trailer for the previous generation.


    I can’t forget the Grindhouse parody trailers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luFC1jxmq9c&bpctr=1536695308 including Hobo with a Shotgun and Machete; and idea so good they had to actually go and make two films based on it! Also in the same vain Maiden of Death https://vimeo.com/1413032

    Special personal nomination goes for seeing The Watchmen trailer the day it premiered alongside The Dark Knight and everyone who saw it freaking out over how amazing it looked. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUjMO_k9IF8

    1. Seeing the Watchmen trailer with the benefit of an IMAX screen and sound system *guaranteed* that I would rush to see it on release. Gave me chills.

  2. Cable Guy is one I remember the most where the trailer had like next to no scenes that ended up in the movie. More recently, Blockers had some scenes that didn’t end up in the movie…and whoever cut the Genisys trailer ruined the movie’s surprise. Granted I heard the T2 trailer did it as well, but I was too young to realize or remember it.

    1. The acoustic slowed down “emo/sad” version of a popular song was an annoying trend of recent years. I think the one that annoyed me the most was Survivor for Tomb Raider. It just sounded weird. I sorta liked Pure Imagination in Ready Player One…and I forget the movie, but there was a smells like teen spirit one that was okay

  3. Sorry for the big post but this is totally my kind of topic!
    Bee-Movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7IFbHSG3Js had a unique take for a CGI movie trailer in which they explain that the movie was originally going to BEE in live action. (I would have watched a movie about making the movie this way.)

    Max Payne; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GklHaGfncJI file this one for being as misleading as trailers can get (looking at you Kangaroo Jack!) Rather than be a cerebral/supernatural take on a drug addled cop in a world gone wrong. It actually is basically a pretty standard action cop saves the day. The trailer was so good though, and I was such a big fan of the original two games that I made a parody of it, almost 10 years ago to the date. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV4c5AtgdOM

    Sin City; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRtz8JQw01A Having only browsed and never actually read the original Sin City books, seeing the film capture the art direction so well in a brief trailer made my eyes pop! It immediately got me interested in reading the books, and seeing the spot on casting in motion for the first time I imagine it might have been a bit like seeing the original Roger Rabbit trailer for the previous generation.


    I can’t forget the Grindhouse parody trailers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luFC1jxmq9c&bpctr=1536695308 including Hobo with a Shotgun and Machete; and idea so good they had to actually go and make two films based on it! Also in the same vain Maiden of Death https://vimeo.com/1413032

    Special nomination for seeing The Watchmen trailer the day it premiered and everyone who saw it freaking out over how amazing it looked. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUjMO_k9IF8

  4. Boy did that talk of the Phantom Menace trailer bring back memories. I was a freshman in a rural high school that was literally in the middle of cornfields. We still had Apple IIes that we learned to type on and the Internet wasn’t something anybody had.

    Except I did. My parents were divorced and my dad was always big into computers so he bought me a laptop so I’d have something I could take back and forth between houses. I spent hours downloading the postage stamp sized Phantom Menace teaser trailer on a 56k connection, then brought it to school the next day to show off to everyone.

    People were blown away. Video on a computer? What was this witchcraft? Plus it was Star Wars and my fellow nerds were stoked. And because hardly anyone had access to the Internet, let alone a good connection, I was literally the only pipeline in our school for that trailer. Teachers paused class so we could huddle around and watch it.

    If only we knew what a steaming pile the movie would end up being. That trailer was awesome though.

  5. I must have watched this Force Awakens trailer hundreds of times. The music, Harrison Ford saying “it’s true, all of it” , the action, I was so excited for Star Wars and it looked fun again.

    I know there is backlash against The Force Awakens now, but I don’t care, it’s a fun movie and that is all I want out of Star Wars.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGbxmsDFVnE

    1. Max Payne; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GklHaGfncJI file this one for being as misleading as trailers can get (looking at you Kangaroo Jack!) Rather than be a cerebral/supernatural take on a drug addled cop in a world gone wrong. It actually is basically a pretty standard action cop saves the day. The trailer was so good though, and I was such a big fan of the original two games that I made a parody of it, almost 10 years ago to the date. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV4c5AtgdOM
      Sin City; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRtz8JQw01A Having only browsed and never actually read the original Sin City books, seeing the film capture the art direction so well in a brief trailer made my eyes pop! It immediately got me interested in reading the books, and seeing the spot on casting in motion for the first time I imagine it might have been a bit like seeing the original Roger Rabbit trailer for the previous generation.

  6. I thought your talk about modern trailers would reference this video that absolutely nailed how every single trailer is constructed these days, from the heavy Hans Zimmer-esque orchestrations to the slow cover of a popular song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAOdjqyG37A

    The trailer that I love more than the movie it’s promoting is the teaser for Superman Returns. It might be the best 90 second presentation of Superman ever. It shows just enough of all the iconic elements of Superman, with Marlon Brando’s voiceover and the iconic John Williams score tying it together into an amazing package. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsKjfJ1sUIk

    I also love the trailer for the 2009 Star Trek movie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXHA6afXB5A), with the amazing track Freedom Fighters by the music production company Two Steps from Hell (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Steps_from_Hell), which exists primarily to make music for trailers.

    Also, I thought you’d touch upon some of the music you hear a lot in trailers, I think in previous shows Chris has mentioned frequently hearing the music from Dragonheart, Brazil, and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves in the Disney Blu-Ray trailers!

  7. One trailer trend that wasn’t discussed was the use of the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack. I think Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was either the first or maybe the first big movie to use it effectively (other than the original movie obviously). https://youtu.be/LbfMDwc4azU?t=1m42s

    But one of my absolute favorites was the teaser trailer for Godzilla 2014. The idea that these military men are jumping into a situation not knowing what’s going on only to discover a giant lizard is pretty awesome. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjKO10hKtYw

  8. My favorite trailers of all time are the early Lilo and Stitch teasers where he crashes other Disney movies.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbM84jGi20U
    They aren’t quite trailers in the vein of what’s mentioned on the episode because they don’t have any clips from the actual film, but I think they are hilarious and they’ve stayed with me to this day. The Beauty and the Beast crashed trailer in particular is one that I remember often.

    I also want to mention the trailer for 2012’s The House at the End of the Street
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SNvuq7bULo
    For the record, this movie is as shitty as any other teen-aimed jump scare movie from the same time period, and in fact, the trailer is technically as generic as they come. But I appreciate the trailer because it tricks you into thinking that you get the gist of the movie and the nature of the slasher at the center of it: the sister everyone thought was dead. When you first see it, it feels like they gave everything away. As it turns out–spoilers for a forgotten, irrelevant, and bad movie–they kept secret this whole angle to it where Max Theriot’s character was in fact raised as a girl by his parents and he never had a sister, and then he tries to kill Jennifer Lawrence and so on, blah blah blah. Again, it’s all really shitty in the end, but I’ve always liked how they hid the twist not by being secretive about the movie’s plot overall, but by dressing it up as a more predictable plot. It’s still not actually worth watching though.

  9. Man I love trailers. The latest star wars ones have been incredible. TFA and TLJ I’ve watched so many damn times and it’s great because I love both of those movies.

    Also the avengers infinity war and thor ragnarok were incredible trailers.

  10. Recency bias alert, but the first Black Panther Trailer was really damn amazing, with the near-prefect music cue of Run the Jewels (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxWvtMOGAhw), but then they went and upstaged with their next trailer with an absolutely perfect music cue of a remix of “The Revolution will not be televised” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjDjIWPwcPU), after seeing that I knew that this would be without a doubt the coolest Marvel movie ever made, and definitely one of the best. Goddamn was it good.

  11. My two favorite trailers are The Omega Man (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUkU18MrBzU) because it is as wonderfully campy as the movie itself and I really do like the “last man on earth…” thing they do. Despite the 2nd half of the trailer showing too much of the movie and that really awkward motorcycle jump that works better in the trailer than in the movie…
    The other one is the William Tell Clockwork Orange trailer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI1204n6GZw ) which I honestly think its better than the movie itself. (one time in English class we watched this trailer when we were talking about the book. A different, much slower, song was playing and it didn’t work at all)

  12. I had such high hopes for this movie…That John Williams score and Marlon Brando voice over, really loved it as someone who was the right age to be amazed by the original two Superman movies when they came out. I have not watched it a long time, but I remember it as really boring, with some OK stuff in between.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAZ_KJfZfBQ

  13. It’s an Inception inspired trailer, but maybe the best. Prometheus. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34cEo0VhfGE) Say what you will about the movie itself, (I think it’s a tad underrated maybe?) but that trailer is fantastic. The perfect remix of both the original Alien trailer reverb and the more modern Inception clang.

    Also, Game of Thrones has been killing it in the trailer department. This one for season 7, episode 6 is one of my favourites. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Stw6INIS570).

  14. This was the last time was legit shocked and surprised seeing a film trailer. I remember seeing this in front of Ice Age 2 (I was 11) and losing my goddamn mind. This movie became the swan song for my childhood the following year as I was 12 and was 7 months away from becoming a teen and starting High School so The Simpsons Movie always holds a place in my heart as a Simpsons fan and a kid. God I watched this movie so many times around Christmas 2007.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOsqz9-FXW0

  15. Hey sorry for the triple posts, WordPress must have gone through an update. Usually it will say something if my post was being reviewed (probably because it thought it might be spam with so many links so I understand) but I wasn’t even getting that message like usual. Again my bad for spamming the same post.

  16. sara managed to squeeze a 10 minute speech about the plight of women these days into an episode about movie trailers. i know i look like an asshole right winger or something typing that, but can you give that shit a fucking rest? i’d feel the same way if you tried squeezing in speeches about how wearing fur is bad, or how pigs are being slaughtered for the bacon i eat, or that children were being drafted as soldiers in africa and im doing NOTHING TO STOP IT, or whatever. i get it. she is not making this stuff up, she is correct that it all exists, everything she says is true. but do i need to CONSTANTLY HEAR ABOUT IT on podcasts about the nostalgia for my childhood? give it a fucking rest, jesus, this is not the place for it. at least, i wish it wasn’t.

    just because you CAN make it relevant to EVERY SINGLE TOPIC KNOWN TO MAN to talk about how everything under the sun is problematic, doesn’t mean you should.

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