The art of making a compelling trailer for a film is not one lost or forgotten, just often neglected. The vast majority of trailers you see follow a very similar pattern of establishing the basic narrative of a film, providing some action set pieces and then informing you of when this film is coming out. Any artistic integrity involved in the creation of a trailer is very rare, meaning that when really good trailers come along, there is a sense of excitement that surrounds them and gives a positive buzz to the film they are advertising. That pattern, of providing credible buzz to a film through making an interesting and non-conventional trailer, doesn’t appear to grasp hold of the marketing bods in major studios for the most part, but it does make the satisfying ones really satisfying.
There have been some genuine corkers in the last couple of years. Going back a bit further, Little Children is constantly praised for the quality of its trailer, which plays like a short film on its own. In the last couple of years, A Serious Man caught my attention superbly and Fincher has had double success with the first trailer for The Social Network and the first trailer for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Terence Malick’s Tree of Life garnered the kind of praise you might expect for a movie already working with great visual raw material.
Daylight, a no-budget thriller that appears to have been doing the festival rounds for some time, has a stunning, intriguing trailer. All that is provided to you in terms of information on the film is that you will see violence and you will see some interesting relationships develop between the key characters of the piece. But there is no dialogue, only the occasional sound, and nothing of the story is ruined or hinted at. You’ll go into a film like this fresh and confident that there is good material in the film but none of it has been spoiled with the kind of lowest-common-denominator explosions and quips that the summer movie season often flings at you.
Anyway, enjoy. The film could end up being very boring, but trailers like this at least provide something of substance to enjoy and intrigue.