Making a trailer for nothing

It’s a very popular practice for independent filmmakers to shoot a trailer, just the trailer, in hopes of using it to raise money for the full film. The idea is to show what the movie will look like once completed. You know, once you give them money to make it.

Nice idea. Except for two problems. I’ve never actually seen this work and it still takes a huge amount of work to shoot a trailer. A trailer is a great marketing tool. But it doesn’t show you can properly and compelling tell a story. I think we’ve all experienced a promising trailer, only to be disappointed by the actual film.

Before committing one minute or one dime to making your trailer I have a couple of ideas that might help.

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The end is nigh

Maybe it’s because I’m working on two projects set against the end of the world but I couldn’t help but notice the slate of similarly minded films in 2013. Hollywood has always been drawn to the apocalypse. It’s dramatic. But holy cow…

TheWorld'sEnd ThisIsTheEnd Oblivion AfterEarth PacificRim WorldWarZ MattDamon

Kickstarter: there goes the neighborhood


There’s been a lot of flack over Veronica Mars and Zach Braff using Kickstarter to fund their movies. But they’re not the first. Last year Charlie Kaufman raised over $400,000 for his animated film Anomalisa. Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi raised nearly $137,000. David Fincher raised $442,000 to start production on an animated project, The Goon. Colin Hanks raised over $50,000 for a documentary about Tower Records. The internet is a buzz with condemnation, and yet they reached their goals. Is our rage misplaced? Read More

Why Prequels Suck


Prequels are a bad idea. From a story standpoint they’re born with a set of flaws and burdens. Let’s break it down. Read More

Tone. Let’s all go to bleaksville.

There seems to have been a tonal shift in our movies over the past decade. While it’s not so obvious in individual movies, the shift is apparent when you look at franchises like Batman, Spider-Man, and James Bond. Things have gotten darker. And I’m not just talking about the cinematography. They’ve moved toward a darker, less fantastical tone. But is that a good thing? Read More

The Only 8 Types of TV Shows That Get Made

I didn’t make this but it’s too good not to share.