It’s no secret that I love movies and so do a lot of other people. The mind of a movie fan works a little different to those who aren’t. Ours work in release dates, casting announcements and box office stats. It seems that everyday now you can’t escape at least one of the above and for me that is what it has become, trying to escape them. Well I suppose that isn’t the full story it has two sides to it.
Let’s start with trailers. Many people exclaim as they sit in a movie theatre that the best part of the cinema experience is seeing the trailers and up until a short while ago I could see why, however now increasingly I simultaneously love and hate seeing trailers. My issue arises from the amount shown in the trailers. Of course trailers are designed to get you to go and see the movie so naturally the film companies pack in as much good stuff as they can, but in my opinion it’s way too much. Let’s take a topical example; Nightcrawler. This film was awesome however in the trailer it quite extensively shows one of the most pivotal scenes of the films climax. Whilst I was watching the film I was tense, however having seen the trailer it removed so much suspense that otherwise would have been present. Nightcrawler is only one of a list of many that this has been a problem for. I don’t understand why so much needs to be shown, surely a smaller amount of clips would lead to more intrigue. Again let’s take a topical example; Christopher Nolan’s new film, Interstellar which is released this weekend. The first trailer for this film was done so well, and by the end of it I still didn’t know much about the film, but did I want to see it? You bet I did, it featured just the right amount of footage to intrigue me without revealing any major plot points. However as the promotional campaign went on more and more trailers were released. Unfortunately the later trailers have revealed so much more than the original which has resulted in me feeling that I know way too much and honestly my levels of excitement for this film have declined. Now don’t get me wrong I will still see it but that isn’t the point, I would have been more excited for this film with simply the teaser trailer rather than the numerous ones that have followed. I wasn’t even aware that Anne Hathaway starred in the film up until I recently saw a new TV trailer. In my opinion trailers are robbing us of our first time experiences of film. I honestly think there are better ways to promote a film rather than to show all of the best bits in a two and a half minute clip set to awesome music, I have had experiences this year where I have enjoyed a trailer more than the movie it was promoting. Interviews, posters, casting news – these are methods of promotion that wouldn’t change our first experience, of course only if they were dealt with properly. So I try to avoid online trailer releases for the majority of films but when I am sitting in the cinema it is a different story, the film fanatic in me just can’t turn away. I want to know what is coming out and how it looks and because it is in front of me I watch but if it wasn’t there I wouldn’t go looking for it.
So that is the trailers, but possibly a bigger offender would be the hype machine that pushes so many films into the spotlight months before their releases. This has already been the case with so many this year including; Boyhood, Godzilla etc. Now as a film fan of course I do love hype, but I have noticed that it is so damaging to the effect that a movie can have on you. Personally I think there is too much discussion about films before people have seen them. Certain elements of this can be okay, release dates, casting decisions, locations and minor plot details but too often have I read articles or watched interviews where major things are revealed and seemingly a lot of films opening half an hour appears to just be open for discussion as some sort of plot synopsis, are people not forgetting that this section is part of the film too. Hype comes from these places but also critics social media, if you want to exclaim about how good a new film is that is ok, but can you not repeatedly do it on a public forum? One of the biggest offenders for hype comes from 2013, probably the most talked about film of last year; Gravity. Without a doubt this film was likely my most anticipated film of the year also and I know I was partly responsible for being underwhelmed by it because I entered into the hype. It was ridiculous how much this movie was discussed though and this most definitely contributed to my disappointment despite it being a spectacular film. The hype should come after the majority of people have seen the film, however then I think to myself what the film world would be like without these trailers and hype, would it work? I think it could, it would be difficult to keep the great buzz that the film community has around it without these elements however it would just take new ways to excite film fans instead of taking away those once in a lifetime moments of your first experience of film.
So have you something to say on this matter? Do you think I am being way over the top in my opinions on these two areas of film promotion? Do you actually think these areas can help to enhance your experience? Please let me know what YOU think!