With less than a week away from the submission deadline for Made in Arkansas, many filmmakers barely have time to lock a picture edit, much less a teaser or trailer, but luckily some interesting ones have been popping up on the interwebs. Movie marketing 101 is have a good trailer. Posters are cool and great conversation starters, but nothing clues your prospective audience in on what your film is about and gives a glimpse of your auteur genius like a well made trailer. When people are deciding what movies they want to see usually their first instinct is to watch the trailer. A good trailer can be the savior or destroyer of a film. I’m thinking of the recently released Prometheus trailer from Alien filmmaker Ridley Scott. That’s a badass trailer and consequently the buzz for the film is through the roof. The quality of the film as a whole is yet to be seen, but you cannot deny the slick, mysterious appeal of that trailer. I’m obsessed with that ending music. So creepy.
Most trailers usually end up being 2-3 minutes for a feature film, giving attention to the plot points hopefully without spoiling the best scenes (don’t you hate when you feel you’ve already seen a movie based on the trailer or got all the funny jokes before you go to the theater?). Doing a trailer for a short film can be trickier because you have less footage to glean from and most short films only contain a one act structure so it’s easy to give away too much so a teaser or 60 second or less trailer with maybe just one shot or a series of quick, ambiguous shots might work better.
Compare two films I mentioned in one of my Screen gems column for the Dem-Gaz. Sarah Jones UCA Graduate Thesis short film John Wayne’s Bed is approximately a 30 minute short versus Trenton Mynatt’s Greed, undergraduate short film which I assume will be about half the running time.
I hope both of these films are planning on submitting to the Made in Arkansas category of the Little Rock Film Festival as the entry fee is waved for local filmmakers (that’s pretty rare in festivals). Go to withoutabox right now and register and get your films in before the deadlines! If you have any questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I do not program the Arkansas films but I can help you with any questions you have about submitting. Hope to see your films on the big screen during the festival.