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Trailer Editing Techniques to Cut a Badass Movie Trailer
I’ve probably edited over 500 movie trailers, network promos, and commercials in my career. So many indie filmmakers and feature film editors think they can just throw together a trailer for their feature film and make it work. Over the years, I’ve shared my Trailer Editing Techniques with many of the indie filmmakers that have walked into my post suite.
Trailer editing requires a very different set of skills from a feature film or another long-form editing. I’ve seen way too many bad movie trailers in my day. I wanted to bring on today’s guest Chris from FilmEditingPro to drop some knowledge bombs on the IFH Tribe on what it takes to really edit an effect and kick-ass movie trailer, regardless of genre.
Enjoy my conversation with Chris from FilmEditingPro.
To fully learn the craft would require quite a bit more detail than we can cover in this article. But, here are five tips that will give you a head-start when cutting your next trailer:
Tip #1: The Movie is Not the Trailer
Trailer Editing Techniques: Believe it or not, the first step to creating a great trailer is to separate yourself from the full-length movie. This can be a real challenge, especially if you helped create the film. It’s easy to become overly precious with your own work, falling in love with the way certain scenes, storylines or characters play out.
But the veteran trailer editor doesn’t care about any of that. They are only concerned with one thing:
How do I package the footage in a way that entices an audience? In other words, how do I make people want to see this movie?
Tip #2: Create Detailed Dialogue and Footage Breakdowns
Trailer Editing Techniques: You probably already know that editing requires the systematic and careful organization of materials. Trailers require the same effort in this area, but the methods used are very different from a typical long-form editing project.
After you’ve watched the film, you’ll want to sub-clip, or otherwise mark, every single dialogue line in the film. If you’re using sub-clips, label each with the name of the character and what they said. This way, you’ll be able to go back and access any word, phrase or even syllable at a moment’s notice. Remember, trailer editing is often about combining moments in ways that are different from the film. For that reason, you’ll need a way to non-linearly access every spoken line.
Second, you’ll want to create multiple sequences with the shots from the film separated by category. You might have sequences with character ID shots, wide scope shots, action, romantic looks, etc. Again, you’ll be combining these in new ways in the trailer, so the order they exist in the film becomes almost irrelevant.
Tip #3: Start By Cutting Your Audio First
Trailer Editing Techniques: It would never occur to most long-form editors to begin a trailer by cutting the audio first. I mean, it’s called video editing for a reason, right?
Well, in trailers, a couple of unique factors come into play that will flip the whole process upside-down.
First, you have the inherent musicality of a trailer or promo. It’s rhythmic and relies heavily on the beats of your music and the small, crafted, editorial moments. These are all dictated by your audio bed, which is why you should start with it.
Second, is the shorter length of these pieces. In order for your character’s lines to be heard, you must cut your music in a way that starts, stops, ebbs and flows in exactly the right places. By starting with your audio, you’ll have increased flexibility to make sure you get the timing and pacing correct before you start filling in picture which, in most cases, is primarily there to support the audible story being told.
Tip #4: Tell a Story With Style
Trailer Editing Techniques: One of the keys to cutting great trailers is telling a story with style.
The style of the film trailer is arguably even more important than the story itself. If you show someone a trailer that has great editorial style but a cliché or weak story, they’ll still probably think the movie looks pretty good.
A constant uninterrupted stream of story information will feel monotonous, boring, and quite frankly, it’ll feel like WORK for the viewer trying to pay attention to it. You need to pace out the story beats and add some accents and short style moments in between.
During story-heavy sections of a trailer, particularly the first and second acts, the general pattern you want to follow looks a bit like this:
Dialogue line — moment — line — moment — line — moment (etc…)
Tip #5: Excite Your Audience Without Spoiling the Film
Trailer Editing Techniques: In just about any good trailer, keep one rule in mind: nothing should fully resolve.
Trailers are made of numerous small sequences of shots and lines. These are like mini-scenes (that can be as little as 2 or 3 shots in length) that tell a quick “story” before moving on to another mini scene.
Your goal should be to keep each short sequence unresolved. If the hero is fighting a bunch of bad guys, you might show a rapid exchange of blows and then cut to an explosion from a different area of the movie.
Think of your trailer as a series of promises you’re making to an audience. In the case of the action genre, you promise that the film will be exciting. In comedy, you promise that they’ll laugh. In a dramatic film, you promise that they’ll feel some sort of emotion.
Additionally, by leaving your moments unresolved, your audience will want to know how that huge battle ends. Will the guy get the girl? How does the hero make it out of that horrible situation alive?
For every single moment of your trailer, just ask yourself this question: What is this moment/shot/line promising to the audience?
Remember, it is the trailer’s job to make these promises and set up this un-resolution but it’s up to the film to honor those commitments. If you want closure if you want to see how it all ends…go see the movie!
Take a look below and be prepared to have your mind blown!
If you want to watch a 45 min FREE online course on how to edit a movie trailer CLICK HERE!
(Full Disclosure, I’m an affiliate for FilmEditingPro and do receive a small commission, at no additional expense to you, if you decide to buy the full course. I have taken the course myself and it’s one of a kind course. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn how to edit movie trailers.)
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- FREE Movie Trailer Editing Course
- Film Editing Pro.com
- Editing with DaVinci Resolve Course
- Buy This is Meg on iTunes
- Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book
- Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business
- Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: FREE AUDIOBOOK
- Indie Film Hustle TV (Streaming Real-World Film Education)
- Alex Ferrari’s Shooting for the Mob (Based on the Incredible True Filmmaking Story)
- VideoBlocks.com – (IFH Discount SAVE $50)
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- Indie Film Hustle TV (Streaming Real-World Film Education)
- Hollywood Film School: Filmmaking & TV Directing Masterclass
- Filmmaker in a Box – Learn How to Make an Indie Film – 18 Hours+ of Lessons
- Storytelling Blueprint: Hero’s Two Journeys
- The Dialogue Series: 38 hours of Lessons from Top Hollywood Screenwriters
- Filmtrepreneur® Podcast
- Bulletproof Screenwriting® Podcast
- Six Secrets to getting into Film Festivals for FREE!
- FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)
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Trailer Editing Techniques to Cut a Badass Movie Trailer
Welcome my Indie Film Hustler to another episode of the Indie Film Hustler podcast I am your humble host ALEX FERRARI Ferrari. Today’s show is sponsored by video blocks, now guys when I was shooting my show for Legendary pictures and I did that ninety six pages in four days I actually got into to post and we used a lot of stock footage stock sounds and even some graphics from video blocks.
They are amazing resource with your membership you are granted the rights to use that footage forever in perpetuity on any projects you want to. So if you want to try a seven days free trial and by the way anything you download during those seven days is yours to keep and if you decide to stay you get 84% of the yearly membership.
It is well worth it guys trust me if you do a lot of production it is something you really need so just head over to videoblocks.com/hustle, that’s videoblocks.com/hustle.
Now today’s show we are going to cover something that I have not really covered on the show before and it is such a crucial part of the film making process, it is how to edit a movie trailer. Movie trailers are the front line to your film to your project to your series.
I cannot tell you how many horrible movie trailers I have seen for Indie Filmmakers it blows my mind hoe you can spend three hundred thousand dollars half a million dollars, a million dollars or even your last twenty thousand dollars on a feature film and not put so much care and energy in crafting the perfect trailer.
What do you think the studios do when they spend two million dollars plus another two hundred million dollars in marketing and advertising they take forever to get that trailer just right that’s what filmmakers need to do but a lot of them just don’t understand that it is a craft. It is a completely different craft than editing a narrative feature or comedies or shorts like that it is a whole other world.
Now I have edited probably a thousand five hundred a thousand promos in my day whether it be network promos movie trailers and so on and I wanted to bring on to the show an expert on how to edit movie trailer so I brought on Chris from FILM EDITING PRO.
Now Chris is a big time movie trailer editor working on major studio releases, monster releases of you know of ten pole movies so he is worked from anything from the Indie Movie all the way to monster two hundred million dollar movies and we go through the entire world of not just how the studio world works when it comes to editing movies trailers but how to actually break down a movie.
How to create a great trailer regardless of genre whether it is drama or action or comedy or horror they all have different techniques and craft to create the optimal movie trailer to help sell your movie and at the end of the interview I will give you guys a link to his three online course on how to edit movie trailers.
I have taken the course and it is really amazing coming from the perspective of a professional editor what they have been able to put together and what FILM EDITING PRO was able to put together is just gold there is nothing else on the market right now to show you how to edit a movie trailer and especially in many ways style of the budget movie trailer so you can make the Indie movie look like a ten pole movie if that’s what you want so make to listen all the way to the end and I will give you that special link.
So please enjoy my conversation with CHRIS from FILM EDITING PRO. I would like to welcome to the show CHRIS from FILM EDITING PRO, how you do Brother?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I am good, I am good how you doing ALEX FERRARI?
ALEX FERRARI: I am good man thanks for doing the show it is a topic, we are going to talk about movie editing movie trailer editing and it is something that is very dear to my heart because I have been editing trailers by necessity for the last twelve or fifteen years as well.
I am not a quote and Quite trailer editor not as nearly as good as you sir, but I fake it fairly well and it is such an important part of the film making process that I am so glad that I have you also so that I can dissect what a good trailer is and all that good stuff but before we get into it how did you get into the business in the first place?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes so I you mentioned faking it I think we all kind of fake it to some extent, but I actually got my start as a visual artist back in college I was interested in 3D animation at the time this was around maybe 2004 so that was kind of the early days of 3D.
I went to school for that I met an alum from my college that was actually one of the VP’s at Universal so.
ALEX FERRARI: That sounds that pretty fortuitous.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes I was appreciative of that connection for sure, even wit that it took me I don’t know sixteen to twenty emails of pestering him until he finally agreed to have me out to Los Angles to try out his internship.
ALEX FERRARI: Isn’t that amazing that the film industries is one of those paces that you beg and beg for free it’s like the only business that that works.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I have never heard the phase you should be grateful for this so many times in my life.
ALEX FERRARI: No its true especially when you walk into these higher level situations, yeah I get it completely I was lucky enough when I got my first internship like that from someone that went to my school, but it was nearly at Universal for sure so that’s pretty insane.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes it was a little scary at the time I lived in Virginia so it was a cross country drive and it was pretty much you know let’s make this happen and it was also not in my area of expertise. This was filmmaking and editing and post production you know I didn’t know too much about that at the time I mostly know the creative arts.
So I kind of got my start at the bottom there you know I don’t know you probably experienced some of this you work in the tape room you keyed the VHS.
ALEX FERRARI: Key/queued the VHS and also the magnet, did you use the magnet?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes the stripping the magnet stripper.
ALEX FERRARI: Yes to strip away to blank out the tapes so that they can be used again, everybody listening most people are like what is he speaking what are they speaking of tapes.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: The funny thing is it wasn’t that long ago we are talking maybe ten years.
ALEX FERRARI: You right we are talking ten fifteen years ago at the most ten years ago I was still doing it absolutely.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes things moved quick once we got the digital, but yes that is kind of my story I started at the bottom lots of late nights lots of weekends kind of editing on the side because the cool thing about working, I know how lucky I was to be able to work in a place like that and we had rough cuts of movies that were unreleased all across our network service so you had the trailer guys that were working on you know actually cutting the stuff and the assistants and the junior editor were mostly doing prep work for them.
We were finding sound effects were maybe possible cutting small sections of something for somebody to be able to work with. Occasionally we would actually get a chance to assembly features when we were super early in production or I should say when the production was super early we were just getting sent dailies so there was no rough cuts for us to watch so as assistants we would assemble.
I think I assemble Fast and Furious fast whatever they were called.
ALEX FERRARI: Fast five who knows.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: So we got some kind of experience kind of a long format there but ultimately the focus of our department was in trailers and short form and over enough time over enough editing fifteens and thirties and stuff like that gradually got moved up into the editors seat and started to get a crack at cutting real trailers.
ALEX FERRARI: That’s awesome man, I was stuck doing promos at TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUEStian net work in West Palm Beach for a year and a half and I did promos for like Matlock and occasionally we would get the movie of the week which would be like some cool eighties movie and I would have fun with that but generally speaking it is a different art form isn’t it, it really is kind of trailers it is.
A lot of filmmakers don’t understand that like just because you have a good dramatic you know narrative editor or even a no action editor cutting a movie trailer is a completely different thing isn’t it.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: It’s so different you know and even if it is different between a trailer which is a maximum length between two minutes and thirty seconds that’s a lot different than cutting a TV spot or a TV promo where if you are constraint into thirty seconds to the frame you got to make some tough choices.
ALEX FERRARI: Oh yes you do.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: You have to know how to manipulate your content to fit within that and not feel like things are rush like there is enough air in the right places it is a very musical art form and it’s very rhythm base the funny thing is a lot of times as a trailer editor you know we will get put on a project and the film maker will probably have his feature editor get a crack at the trailer sometimes and you know it is a great piece.
It has all the right moments but it just feel slow, it doesn’t fit in the content it doesn’t move quickly enough it feels flat/fat basically but you give it to a trailer editor, now granted sometimes the trailer editor moves in the opposite direction and you got this frenetic pile of unrecognizable crap, but a good trailer editor is going to be give the piece just enough time to know more than that and then you fit so much more into it.
ALEX FERRARI: Now what do you think of trailers that give a little bit too much to the story away.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: It is a hot topic.
ALEX FERRARI: Geez with the frigging spoilers sometimes I don’t like even watching the movie anymore.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I know, I know and it’s you know we are probably facing a lot you know as we are advertising for our trading stuff and we talked about trailers on our blog and stuff and the biggest objection I see is you know our trailers these days they give away everything.
ALEX FERRARI: I mean the worst example of that was Terminator Genesis.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes that was a bad example I worked on that too.
ALEX FERRARI: Did you work on the promo?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes the editors all agreed with you by the way.
ALEX FERRARI: Who in God’s green earth why you giving away like the frigging like the ending, it’s like Six Sense oh by the way Bruce Willis is a Ghost spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it, it’s not my fault but seriously why you giving away the ending of the movie is twist, so you actually worked on that project.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yea I did 11:53.
ALEX FERRARI: How, tell me, what was that process what was the conversation in the room? who was the producer, who said this is a good idea?
ALEX FERRARI: Well I can’t really say that they get mad at me.
ALEX FERRARI: Of course you can’t, no don’t say.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: What I can tell you from a more general stand point is why these challenges come up is that typically, no not always sometimes the spoiler is a story point and just don’t be an idiot and show that don’t do it. But often times the spoilers are big set piece moments in action film it is a fight between two people maybe or it’s your best joke or your scariest moment and to not show the best of the best stuff in a trailer a lot of times you feel like you are doing a major disservice because why would you water down this amazing stuff and hold it back when there is so much competition out there for eye balls and attention.
ALEX FERRARI: I get your point but there are so many amazing trailers that are created that don’t give away everything and now I can’t off the top of my head like Lochman trailer (13:05) which was arguable one of the best trailers I have seen in the past ten years. The suicide squad trailer which was easily the best trailer I have seen edited in the last ten years without a doubt.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Trailer two with (13:23).
ALEX FERRARI: Without question the movie is garbage but that was horrible horrendous but the trailer that trailer probably was worth twenty million thirty million dollars easily in ticket sales because people just showed up because of that trailer but they didn’t give away story because there was none.
But Watchmen let’s day Watchman created this event, you familiar with that trailer right?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: To be honest I don’t remember it no.
ALEX FERRARI: It was with a Smashing Pumpkin song done which is a common trait now they take a old classic song and they do like an acoustic version of it and Smashing Pumpkins did this acoustic version of this amazing song and it was all slow mo and all these visuals was kind of popped in and popped out and you hear the dialogue of the characters ad you don’t know anything about the story all you know is Watchman.
That was it, it was such a brilliant trailer, but it seems like now a days you need to have more balls to do something like that.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yea you do and by the way I agree with you like there are a lot of trailers that give away too much, I was just basically saying the reasons why people fall into that trap but it is a trap and you shouldn’t and a lot of times it, you know a lot of times it also comes from the studio end not to point too many fingers.
ALEX FERRARI: Sure no I get it, I get it the point of giving away those bits and pieces but I get Terminator there was no need.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: You don’t have to do it you just have to be a little bit more creative and like you said you have balls because if you a good movie to be honest with you what I always wanted to see tested and by the way there is testing that goes on during the process of creating the trailer you know many, many rounds of it and what I would love to see in some sort of alternate universe is a trailer that actually release to the public one way and then in universal b it release to the public in a different way.
Way one is two minutes and thirty seconds jam pack with story information as many cool moments that you can fit in there and maybe a spoiler. Way two a thirty second extremely minimal but more tease that just sets the world maybe creates one plat points and it is just a complete enticement and who knows which will do better I kinds of sometimes think it would be way number two.
ALEX FERRARI: Now can you talk a little bit about the difference between a teaser and a traditional trailer because I know that’s a topic that people just don’t get sometimes.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes I can so a teaser the name says a lot of it, it is typically the first well not typically it is always the first thing that comes out in the marketing process of a movie. So the teaser will often be very early being release or at least being worked on very early in the process of the actual production of a film so a lot of times you don’t have much footage to work with sometimes you have no footage and its typically short.
You know every rule is meant to be broken sometimes you will see a teaser that is two and a half minutes long.
ALEX FERRARI: I have seen those.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Should not be at all.
ALEX FERRARI: I think sixty should be the top.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I would think so a lot of time teasers are really heavy with graphics or there are conceptual piece sometimes. I remember I worked on a trailer for the film Ocquos(16:52) and the teaser was actually a special shoot of this you know evil mirror that has nothing to do with it, it is not in the movie at all special shoot completely design for the teaser.
ALEX FERRARI: What was the movie oh, rogue one’s trailer that they shot there was a whole bunch of footage that was in the movie that just pisses me off.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: That was a rough one too.
ALEX FERRARI: That was a good trailer by the way that was a really good trailer it was an amazing trailer for rouge one but people were like look at all these footage that never made it to the movie and I know why all those stuff that happens within the movie but that’s always upsetting when I hear a line that is not in the movie it pisses me off.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I know and as a film maker I am sure you actually remember these things too.
ALEX FERRARI: Right as a film maker you go that wasn’t in the movie that was like the best line why didn’t that make the movie that makes no sense it is stuff like that, but teasers are a little bit shorter than traditional trailer as tradition trailer.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes shorter not much story information just a taste basically.
ALEX FERRARI: Now what are the things you should as a film maker when you are working on a trailer with an editor or try and do it on your own what are the things that you should have in a teaser trailer versus a regular trailer to help sell your movie.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Well okay, so in a teaser you just have the general conceit of what movie is that’s kind of what you want you know with a super hero movie you might just have one shot of the back of Dr Strange walking towards the open window with cape flopping and that you have a title card title card maybe that’s it.
Maybe it is a tiny plot point with your main character and that’s probable about it. In a regular trailer you going to want to set up quite a bit more. I can talk about the difference maybe between the genres is that helpful?
ALEX FERRARI: Sure go for it.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Because it is going vary a little bit depending on your genre you know maybe starting with let’s say drama, drama trailers obviously as you might expect are very heavily recorded based on story based on character and obviously emotion.
So you are going to spend a lot longer time in that trailer up to two thirds of it really flashing out these characters and the stakes of what’s going on. Trailers are typically a full trailer you probably going to find it usually in the three x tractor not always but often you know act one setting up the world near characters act two conflict act three as they say fun and games which is mostly just Montage’s big music.
In a dram you are going to basically have make sure you have all that stuff fleshed out so by the time you done with act two your viewer is extremely emotionally invested and you can just drop in that big music act three super hard and it is going to hit them and ideally your viewers are going to have chills when that starts that’s when you know you done your job well.
ALEX FERRARI: And comedy?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Comedy again is a big cliché it is all about timing and that’s obvious it has a lot to do with music and stops and kind of carving out your moments within a comedy trailer, but I think what people don’t necessarily think of as often when it comes to cutting a good comedy trailer is that you are going to want to tell your story using jokes from the film.
So as you break down a movie when you as thriller you first going to watch it you are going to take notes you are going to talk to your producers about you know what’s your game plan here and then you are going to break down your footage based on your moments your jokes. So with the comedy trailer you are going to have all these joke listed out some of your favorites and you are going to also have at the back of your mind you know what’s this movie is about.
These two guys they are going to a trip and blah, blah happens and then you know and that’s pretty much, the comedy plots are usually too crazy as far as being complicated so how you take these jokes that’s stuff mere film later now in liner fashion not necessarily the liner to the chronological the story but liner on your time line and connect those moments together with the tissue.
Connect the tissue from the film the story beat that makes it make sense. So let’s say you have a it’s hard to come up with examples but I would basically say you shouldn’t go more than ten or fifteen seconds in a comedy trailer without something funny happening.
ALEX FERRARI: O God yes, yes absolutely and when it does happen the longer you go the funnier it has to be so if you are going you better have a really funny joke on the way and if you are not you need to restructure your comedy trailer and find how you can get these jokes closer together and how you can simplify your story to do so.
ALEX FERRARI: When I was editing the trailer for this is Meg I literally had jokes every, I think the whole thing was basically maybe 90 seconds sixty to ninety seconds and I would have jokes pretty much every ten seconds or set up of a joke and telling the story along the way and I think that’s one of the reason why people like the trailers so much.
It is very important especially when you are doing a comedy you should do those jokes as often as possible.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: And it sound obvious right I mean.
ALEX FERRARI: But it’s not, people are especially in Indies like Indies film trailers, now let me ask you a question in Indies Film Trailers generally speaking Indie Films are generally going to be comedy or drama dees or dramatic or then we also go into the horror or action indies.
I feel a lot of times when I see Indies Trailers done by none professional editor trailers editors I feel that they become so heavy handed and they don’t understand like any concepts in regards to trailer editing because I see these especially with horror and action they just constantly do one trick pony kind of cuts and there is no.
You know what I am talking about right, and then the action is the same thing and advice you can give Indie trailer editors out there or people who are trying to edit their own trailer for an Indie film because they don’t have those big set pieces they don’t have no cast generally.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: No they don’t, I would say the best advice for that is less is more.
ALEX FERRARI: I agreed.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: We kind of coin this term in some of our training term un resolution, I know it is a real word but basically kind of crafting moments around un resolution so if somebody is going to jump off get these two kids in summer time and it is kind of coming to age story and playing on a dam and one of them goes to jump off the dam into the water.
Even in the movie they are perfectly fine cut the clock on the jump and indicate that maybe there was a problem you know what I mean just leave the audience hanging as much as possible and don’t lay out the entire story.
It is what you as, I think it is hard for film makes especially to do that because put so much love and so much time into crafting these stories but some of the information is just not as important for the trailer it is too much in the weeds.
ALEX FERRARI: Oh God I have seen five and a half minutes trailers for Indie features and then what do you think, are you kidding me.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Nobody is going to watch that it is too long.
ALEX FERRARI: If the move is eighty minutes you have already given away five percent it is a little too much now a big thing with trailers in general is the old school way of narration versus no narration and how powerful those old like and when I say old I am talking about probably not eighties obviously nineties even two thousands and occasionally out here a narrator every once in a blue moon but generally it is not done as much anymore.
Those voices like Don Fontanne you know the legendary voice you know obviously I am sure you know who Don Fontanne is. For people listening Don Fontanne he passed years ago but his voice you probably hear a million times and I saw a special on him on like ABC News or 60 Minutes or something like that and they literally had him do the opening for the show in different genres.
Same words different genres so as a dramatic as a romantic comedy as in horror and as in action and his tone changed made it a different movie it was magical to watch that man work.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: So talented it is really hard to do good narration.
ALEX FERRARI: It is so tell me what’s the whole deal with good narration no narration what’s your feeling on a shoot people trying to get narrators you know professional video people what do you think?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: So kind of just there is fashion there is trends currently the trends are at the moment as far as genres goes action you really don’t want a narrator. Drama be very careful, comedy sometime horror anytime you want and the reason for those different (26:18) at the moment narration and you know I hate to you know kind of piss of the(26:25) use for narration.
ALEX FERRARI: Say that again can you say that one more time?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I was just saying I don’t want to upset the narrator community by saying what I am saying because there is a lot of need for good narration and a lot of different circumstances but within the context of a trailer generally if the trailer is really serious which would be action or drama a narrator is kind of going to suck the seriousness out of that so to speak. It is going to make it almost sound a little cheesy a little corny.
ALEX FERRARI: Like the old like I remember I am like an encyclopedia of trailers in my head but the Last Boy’s Scout I remember that. So you remember that trailer?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I do.
ALEX FERRARI: And it was like he is alone, he is a cop on the edge and then Bruce Willis was like she is a fuck up whatever you know, sorry but he is a mess up and then David Wayne and you it worked for that it was kind of an action comedy but it wasn’t in that vain of Lethal weapon but today that wouldn’t work like I would never do that.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Well and you just nailed it so action comedy right so if the film has a comedic element to it if it is a horror film horror has an inherent slight campiness to it sometimes right comedy has comedy to it ad action comedy does so I don’t know if you remember the movie macgruber.
ALEX FERRARI: Oh God yes, geez of course that actually was a pretty decent trailer if I remember correctly it was a pretty amazing trailer the movie wasn’t that great, but the trailer was genius.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes that’s the perfect time if you want to use narration go for it, you are poking fun at yourself in the process and its fine it works out great but you wouldn’t want to take the moral of the movie and put narration it just not going to work.
ALEX FERRARI: Could you imagine that like I couldn’t even think about like here is the his name is Tony Stark he it would kill the trailer.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes you would have eyes rolls in the first few seconds
ALEX FERRARI: And I think also the audience is so much more savvy and so synclinal because they have been burned so many times by good trailer editors, I have been burned a suicide spot perfect example amazing trailer garbage movie and I think the audience numbers are a little bit more you know it is like almost not trusting anymore you know as opposed what it used to be.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: You know because it’s like the trailer editors are doing their jobs and you have to do it but it is marketing at the end of the day and you know in my mind are you going to use your powers for good or for evil right.
ALEX FERRARI: Oh I felt dirty many of times I am sure you have too, I felt dirty many days after editing a trailer going I feel this is not right.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: But it shows how powerful of a skill set it is, right.
ALEX FERRARI: It is a tremendous skills set I mean like I did an Indie film the other day and they you know it was like this drama and they are like we need to make it into an exciting this and I am like okay, literally any movement in the entire movie was in the trailer. Like any walking fast any car turns there was a gun so the gun obviously made it into the trailer and I edited it into this thing and I felt like wow I felt super dirty about this and I told the director.
I am like look this is about the sell I am trying to help you get this movie sold but it’s not I feel bad and he is like I know this is not the movie I directed and I like I know but would you see this movie based off the trailer, he goes yes I probably see that movie this is the trailer of mine that was five and a half minutes long and it was the dramatic trailer.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: It comes down to there is the business side of film making and then there is the creative side of art making and when they can over lap thank God you’ve got gold and but sometimes they don’t and sometimes you know what you have you know for a film you are representing completely to a T it is not necessarily going to put bud and seeds because maybe it has a long build up or maybe you know it is a very specific audience that you are going for so you are not going to have enough reach to really make it a success so you really have to kind of open up a film to more quadroon by accentuating the parts of a film that are not necessarily there in spades.
ALEX FERRARI: Now as far as the different kinds of trailers, we talk about teaser trailers and we talk about regular trailers and they will do version one version two version three depending on how big the movie is there are also like character trailers like trailers that are around certain character that are in the movie that I have seen happen for bigger movies like obviously justice league being a prime example of that.
Do you would you suggest depending on the and I also say in the action trailers in the action films to kind of create those kind of fifteen twenty second character trailers for an action I think it will only work with action unless you got an ensemble cast comedy or something like that but there is another angle to try to sell the movie, what do you think?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Oh yes that’s a great idea, I mean obviously you have to have enough of a media budget to do warrant going down that direction in addition to your teaser and you full trailer and maybe a couple of or general audience spots, but if you got the budget the time and the resources absolutely.
ALEX FERRARI: But how about if you are going to put it up on you tube to kind of create you know as a marketing tool that’s where you are going to start putting it up on face book and that’s when you are going to kind of like a marketing campaign I did that with this is Meg I created little trailers or little scenes from the movie and pop them out there and you know kind of put them out there and just to kind of build up excitement over the project even though it was such a small movie like mine.
But it was just a way of getting it out there I mean I think it is valuable if you are doing it yourself it is very affordable.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Oh yea, I think it is a great idea and I think that way especially all the different characters are going to appeal to different types of people right, so you are going to hit a lot of different demographics but by releasing trailers you right focus on different characters.
ALEX FERRARI: It’s the boy band a way of doing it you got the cute one the smart one the rebel that’s the boy band model.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yea, we actually did that Scott Pilgrim versus the world lot of best spots.
ALEX FERRARI: Exactly and that was a perfect, that was a comedy and then those kind of things there were so many characters in it, that movie was so under rated by the way, it was such a movie you know another movie that was under rated in that same kind of crazy vane/vain. Speed Racer.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I have seen it.
ALEX FERRARI: Do you know which one I am talking about?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I don’t I which I
ALEX FERRARI: Dude the Wachowski Brothers.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: You know I don’t know how I missed it.
ALEX FERRARI: I think that’s the problem most people missed it, it is a brilliant and those people who are listening right now go out and find Speed Racer, what the Wachoeski’s who also director a little movie called the Matrix did with that movie the visuals of it, it’s insane you should definitely watch it, it is exactly what it is supposed to be Speed Racer, it is a Speed Racer movie and they make no apologies of it.
The world they created and the trailer was amazing for it but people just did not show up for that movie so much so that you do not even remember it.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Right I truly don’t but I just wrote it down so i am going to check it out.
ALEX FERRARI: Definitely check it out now what is some of the craziest stories that you can share from the edit room.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Oh man trying to get me in trouble.
ALEX FERRARI: Just you could be very loosely goosely with the people involve just some of the crazy stuff.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Well so I think that most of the craziest stories that I have revolve around ridiculous deadlines, always right which is typically when the most interesting stuff happens because either their emotions are flying rapid.
ALEX FERRARI: Yes and there is mistakes too in those kind of budget things.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes one that stands out in my mind was it was for the movie (34:51) smug and they had a trailer the studio had a trailer they had shown it to Peter Jackson and he wanted to explore some other avenues before agreeing to lock in that.
So I figured the exact time frame it was basically Thursday currently and they wanted to lock in something the following Wednesday and obviously the locking process means the trailer had to be completed and submitted in the events of that day.
ALEX FERRARI: Sounds designs everything.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: yes ad obviously with the trailer the editor has to do all the sound design.
ALEX FERRARI: But you guys have a mix somewhere or you do full mix.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Somebody does a balancing mix at the end but the editor does all the sound design all the follies all the mix editing everything. it’s very, very different from I mean I know a lot of feature editors will dive into their own sound but you don’t have a really solid clean up group coming in after you if you need it with trailers.
ALEX FERRARI: Okay because the deadlines are so quick that’s probably why.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: yeah and also there are so many versions with so many things that you are going to make that there is you would have to have a whole team of sound you would have to have just as many(overlapping)
ALEX FERRARI: The workflow would be so ridiculous because you are going to make so many versions of that for different countries for different this and different that, that if you have to constantly be going out to a mix it’s like you go crazy.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: And this is a little bit of a side track, but also because trailer editors actually will typically cut most of their audio first before picture that serves as a foundation because you are dealing with a time based piece it is easy to adjust challenge it’s a lot harder to adjust when going in music queue and your dialog lines.
ALEX FERRARI: That’s very interesting when I edit I generally like to lay a base down first but I lay a loose base but you are saying more of a solid like here is act one here is act two here are the beats and I got to fit the movie into the structure.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Oh yea so actually in this example of this crazy scenario I started work on this thing on Thursday slept maybe three or four hours each night for the next four days or so and by the I guess Monday no it was Tuesday the day before it was due, my producer came into the room to see how things were going and I was you know cracked out on Dr Pepper I wasn’t into to coffee at the time.
ALEX FERRARI: Dr. Pepper I have never heard anyone being cracked out on Dr Pepper, Mt Dew, Red Bull , Monster but never Dr. Pepper that’s a new one.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I don’t recommend it.
ALEX FERRARI: I drink Bolt when I was in college that’s disgusting have you ever had that drink Bolt, do you know what Bolt is it’s disgusting.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: No at first sounds gross though.
ALEX FERRARI: It was before red bull.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes that’s like the five hour energy that makes me nauseous but anyway.
ALEX FERRARI: So you cracked out on Dr Pepper.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Cracked out on Dr Pepper the producer comes in he looks at my time line let’s take a look let’s see where you are and there is tons of segments there is a lot of stuff going on with the time line that is impressive but, everything is below the video line there is no video except for the green card which is the binder photographic cards and the film (inaudible 38:33) and he is like a little concern because it is due tomorrow and you don’t have a trailer.
I said don’t look at the picture yet just close your eyes and just listen to this and he did and he said that’s great sounds like an awesome trailer.
ALEX FERRARI: Some visuals in there
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: And I did and it took maybe some five or six hours max to put all the visuals in because it is a number at that point you know where stuffs going you are going to have your dialogue lines that you want on camera landing you just match back to your source you drop them in you know in your montage sections you know in your whatever work you can go to your visual break down you pull your best shots and your best order and you start connecting pieces together but you are structuring your cadies is already, you done so at that point it becomes pretty easy. Stressful but it was a fun experience.
ALEX FERRARI: So I will give you a quick version of my craziest story in the edit room. I actually had two producers in the room to get into a fist fight literally into a fist fight and editors generally when client and producers fight they generally don’t blame us the editor they generally don’t pick a fight with us.
They generally fighting amongst themselves we are just the tools that moving along the line like do it this way so it that way.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: They need us to do the work they can’t afford to fight with us.
ALEX FERRARI: Exactly we can’t afford to piss off the editor we can just walk outside the door, now how do you work with like a director or a producer in putting together a trailer.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Well it depends on a couple things, I would say the biggest things it depends on is the experience level of the editor so you know obviously the more experience he has the more free reign will be given to you to do your own thing and experiment, but in any case either no matter who you are dealing with your typically your producer is going to be the one interfacing with the studio.
They are going to kind of get the creative brief on everything what does the studio think that they have in the way of a film, what’s the story is about, things that should be included things that should be avoided you get all that information upfront typically.
ALEX FERRARI: Don’t show this don’t do definitely have this in the trailer things like that.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Lean on this moment be careful of this scene you know mom’s are not liking people with their heads getting cut off you that type of thing.
ALEX FERRARI: That’s so ridiculous but I get it.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I know like women wants to see the same stuff like guys don’t stereo type like that.
ALEX FERRARI: So that I mean generally speaking because you working at fairly at the highest level in the studio system doing movie trailers you have a very unique perspective on this as opposed to a promo editor at a TV network or at a shop, shop doing other trailers you working with you know some of the projects you worked on are fairly high profile.
So you are dealing with like you know groups and when they go out and test groups and all that kind of stuff and they are getting all these, all that information you are the one that they are talking with the head cutting off we can’t do that because mom’s in you know Iowa don’t like that, you get those conversation also.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Oh yes, and the funny thing is when a studio or anybody will do testing a lot of information gets taken out of context because if you show you know these five moments shown together in a certain way with this certain music in trailer number one and your end moment just doesn’t it a joke people don’t find it that funny.
But maybe it wasn’t set up properly thought out the trailer so it doesn’t land as a funny joke it’s not, it’s just not working in that piece. A lot of times what will happen is you will get a note that says this joke sucks don’t use this joke ever but the problem is it might be a great joke if you cut it correctly and if you put it in the right location in your trailer it’s going to kill.
ALEX FERRARI: So like if you basically if you are baking a cake don’t ever use cinnamon well like maybe cinnamon and that avocado cake is not that good in the proper place it would work.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: And don’t put two tablespoons of cinnamon maybe put half a teaspoon you know.
ALEX FERRARI: Right exactly it all varies depending on the situation and the circumstances.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Right and that’s why it is a creative art that’s why you know I think all that airs gets a little nervous over the whole AI thing you know oh my God I am confuse they are going to start take my job.
ALEX FERRARI: I mean I can’t see that hopefully something like that will never happen. I think there is a movie that was just written by a computer a script was written by a computer.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: The Watson one?
ALEX FERRARI: Yea, that’s the one and they say it was horrible, because it is something I don’t think you can bring down to one level, you can’t deconstruct creativity in that away to a certain extent you can with I guess with structure and plot points and things like that but at the end of the day it is coming from a place that is not mathematical.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: There is a lot of subjectivity and context and history and baggage that that person brings to you know your life experience.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Oh yes, that’s a good point to it depends on who is watching and you know what it connects with as far as I am.
ALEX FERRARI: Like an eighteen year old editor versus a forty year old trailer editor and they are both editing trailers are going to be I think a fairly different kind of trailer you know just from life experience and everything. So that’s how generally you work with do you have a director in the room?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Barely sometimes towards the end of a process on, yes sometime not often it is uncommon but on occasion you will have a director comes in and typically all hands on deck when that happens.
ALEX FERRARI: I can imagine.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: The editors keep your mouth shut just sit there at the computer and then the producers and typically a creative director will be at the help of two kinds of with him or her, but for the most part you know when you start you that project get that brief the producer then talked to the editor weights that information typically on any project and the bigger the project the more trailers are going to be cut for it.
You know it is not uncommon I think for that suicide trailer I mean it was fifteen or twenty trailers were cut before they chose that one maybe more it was a lot.
ALEX FERRARI: I am sure I got to believe you know on those hundred and fifty million movies plus another hundred and fifty marketing they are going to take time and they are going to figure out what’s the best way to sell this project.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes because you have to secure all the avenues for sure.
ALEX FERRARI: I am not sure this relates to what you do much but can you talk a little bit about what predator is, is that something that trailer editors are in a sense or not?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes so predator is a producer combine with an editor and typically as an editor gets along in their career they will also become their own producer sometimes it typically doesn’t go the other way around.
A producer is not going to start editing because it is just too tedious to come up with that skill set out of nowhere, but there is a few I guess you call them predators out there in the trailer industry and they are basically what every trailer editors aspire to be.
ALEX FERRARI: Complete control as much control as you can have.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes but you have to be really, really good you have to know your stuff.
ALEX FERRARI: Exactly and understand both sides of the business the technical side and the creative side but also the producer side of dealing with the studio.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes you know because part of what is wonderful about producers is that as the editor you are going to sit there and you are going to get frustrated and angry and you are not going to agree with certain notes but you are going to have to spend the next nine hours executing them and if you were interfacing directly with the client I think you are going to pick up on that vibe they you are not a happy camper which is bad for business.
So having that buffer zone in addition to the great ideas that producers will also come up with is vital.
ALEX FERRARI: That’s in sane now technically what are the elements that you need to start editing a trailer for like for some film maker who has their movie and they are going to start trying to go down this road to edit their first trailer what are the technical elements that they should have in place.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: So typically the first thing you are going to get is the footage so a trailer editor is not going to typically be cutting from dailies or rushes for the most part I think we talked about this earlier it is either a rough assembly or a rough cut of the feature.
That will always have split audio so DMA splits which is Dialogue Meter affects split out because you got to be able to cut things out to a different order almost I mean it is very, very uncommon to use the music from a film in the trailer so you almost always be stripping that out and using some of the effects but mostly just the dialogue.
ALEX FERRARI: Unless it is Titanic.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Unless it is Titanic yea.
ALEX FERRARI: And then you got that music or if the music is such an intrical part of the movie that it makes sense to put it in, but I haven’t seen many of that lately.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes it definitely happens but you right it is uncommon so you want to have your footage your want to have your audio splits, you going to have your music a library of music and songs you are going to have your own personal songs and library which is crucial.
You will have either typically you are not going to have finish graph which is a start you probably temp something yourself in your editing program white text on black you may have some copies you may not and then you may or may not choose to do a paper cut before you begin editing and of course you will break down the footage.
You know you I think that may be you actually that’s kind of one of the biggest things that a lot of people don’t realize is that trailer editors, you know if you have an assistant to do it wonderful you are lucky but if you don’t as a trailer editor you need watch the movie once then you go back through and you break down so either sub clips or cutting until time line whatever works for you.
I like to do sub clips and I will sub clip every single line of the whole movie into a bin write the characters name, what they say and then move on to the next line.
ALEX FERRARI: Wow don’t you have an assistant to help you with that?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Ideally yes the last few jobs I had we have an assistant, but I have done my fair share of break downs and it takes a while.
ALEX FERRARI: Yes it takes a while I am assuming it takes a long while but when you are editing it becomes so much easier.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes you have to have it because you to be able to circle, oh man it is so great if he said that’s not going to happen on my watch.
ALEX FERRARI: I am getting too old for this crap.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I am getting too old and when you have a client in the room and something like you need to be able to find the stuff fast so you really can’t rely on your memory to dig through the feature and pull it up.
ALEX FERRARI: That’s excellent man also you actually put together a recourse for film makers or editors that are interested in creating a real good movie trailers that’s part of TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUESso can you talk a little bit about what you have put together.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes, so I guess film editing on a whole I guess to say we are an on line training company our focus is on creative editing so we don’t teach soft ware at the moment our focus is on kind of actionable hands on stuff.
How do you cut a fight scene, how you un design the scary moment, how you know work with your music so it feels funny and it is punctuated nicely and it doesn’t fall flat, stuff that you can watch it in our training and then you can go on and apply right away to something that you are working on.
So our most recent course is about trailers it was a really fun course to grade I kind of collaborated with a lot of editors across the trailer editing world and it was a cool process talking to those guys because you know as a individual with a trailer experience I had maybe seventy eight percent of the tips and tricks kind of banged away somewhere inside of my brain and then you kind of forget where.
You don’t know what you don’t know basically so it was cool kind of picking everybody’s brain when we ended up with was this huge kind of compendium of various techniques and ways of dealing with problematic situations and strategies of kind of going through A to Z thorough trailer process.
So yes we put it all together into a course it is a video base course we make it available on line to students we, you know if you check it out you will be able to down load the footage you down load the sound library you kind of follow along you kind of cut on trail with us.
ALEX FERRARI: That’s amazing and I will definitely links in the show notes where you guys can get access to this because I have actually taken part of the course already and you know being a trailer editor myself again not at the level you are at but doing many promos over the years and editing all my trailers for all my movies over the years when I start watching it say wow this is intense like you really went all out for like if you want to edit a trailer you got to watch this because it really breaks everything down in such a way that like things that I didn’t even know.
Like you said you don’t know what you don’t know and some stuff I instinctually there is an actual a name for it there is an actual technique for it.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Or we made up some name for it because if nobody else knew about it.
ALEX FERRARI: Exactly so and the resources that the program provides where you can get music library and you can get sound library to kind of play along with this it is massive, it is really massive sales, highly recommended but I definitely put all that information in the show notes.
Now music and music is such a huge part of trailer cutting. There are a couple of libraries out there. one I can’t remember it’s the main one that every one friging uses.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: (53:19) is the famous one.
ALEX FERRARI: There was one that had the opera the rising chorus.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I don’t know I have used so many.
ALEX FERRARI: But you know what I am talking about like …bomb that whole thing so are there any that you would recommend people who are interested any good free resources and resources that they can kind of look into see if there is a thing like that if they are interested.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes so a couple of the people that we kind of partnered with over the years to provide access to cool music and stuff like that would be positioning music and sound they have an enormous library tons of variety high finesse music they are also excellent they are smaller library but their stuff is just super cool.
It’s kind of a basically every super hero that you have seen recently probably have the queue from that minute I guess you would call it grungy dry ending.
ALEX FERRARI: And there is a chorus in there somewhere.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Oh yes and typically you know when you are working with one of these libraries if you request you can usually get stems so you will get instrumentation broken out across like sixteen tracks and you can almost recompose if you need to.
ALEX FERRARI: That’s in same.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: That equals a messy time right now and that’s a challenge too.
ALEX FERRARI: I can only image what time it takes because you are a sound editor as well as well as an editor at that point.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes I mean all the best trailers and musicians absolutely.
ALEX FERRARI: Really that’s interesting to know.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: But those are good but you know they you have to licence that stuff I would say that if you looking for free stuff you know we do provide some free stuff in the course but I actually if you need really cheap stuff I would go to audio jungle.
ALEX FERRARI: Yes I know audio jungle.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Depending on what your need is you may not be able to find it there but their prices are really reasonable and obviously you know if you are just using it for reel or for temp track or something like you can get really cheap or nothing.
ALEX FERRARI: Very good resource. Now I am going to ask you a few questions that I ask all of my guess so prepare yourself. What advice would you give an editor wanting to break into the business whether that be trailer editing or any kind of editing.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes, so we are talking just out of college type of thing.
ALEX FERRARI: literally hey I just want to start cutting and it could be someone who has been in the business for a while or someone who just got out of college.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Alright well first of all cutting, create yourself a cool reel be creative you are going to have a little bit of a challenge if you want to like cut your own practice trailers because getting those audio splits are going to be your challenge, but a trick for that would be if you want to say you find the movie if you know if you rip a DVD or whatever you want to do to get your footage into the systems you can play with it.
Try to take the five point one mix and take the center channel which would typically be mostly dialogue so you can at least you can isolate the dialogue and start cutting your trailer from that.
ALEX FERRARI: Good note.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes that’s a good trick. As far as making contact with people in the industry I forget the name of the website but if you Google trailer production companies, trailer houses either one there is a couple list that really list every trailer house in the world with their phone numbers and their addresses.
So what I would do if I were you the trailer companies might hate that I say this but just email them and reach out to them and say you know check out their emails be creative you know look on Linkedln look and find people who work on these companies and contact them via face book if you need to.
Direct messaging is an awesome way of making contact with people and you know whether you send them your reel or not to be honest with you they may or may not care about your reel initially because they are going to start you at the bottom no matter what.
But you just need to get that foot in the door so just reach out to them and say you know you are willing to start as an intern a runner you just want to learn be enthusiastic and follow up once or twice and do this let numbers work for you do this with fifty companies you know if you do it enough times you are going to get somebody to call you back.
ALEX FERRARI: Absolutely good advice. Now can you tell me what book had the biggest impact on your life or career?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes I figured you probably asked that, alright books are really tricky I am actually looking at my book shelf right now which is over flowing my wife and I are redesigning the closet to get more books, so my favorite book is a hard thing to say because it changes depending on what I am currently interested in. currently my favorite book that I am getting the most out of is really kind of changing how I approach a lot is actually a book about storytelling.
The twenty first century screen play by Linda Harrison I don’t know if you have.
ALEX FERRARI: I have not the twenty first century.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes twenty first screen play by Linda Harrison it is a dense read but it is pretty much everything you could ever want to know about story structure (58:50) t beats inter film with characters it is applicable to everything from feature editing to short films all the way down to the micro world of a trailer just obviously a lot more word compress.
So I think I know I never really studied story itself that thoroughly in the past and it something that I always felt for me a weak point so that’s what I kind of have been digging into and I wish I had read it ten years ago.
ALEX FERRARI: Very cool now what’s the less that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I am still learning it actually, you can’t do everything yourself.
ALEX FERRARI: That’s a lesson I am trying to learn.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: And you are, and you are right.
ALEX FERRARI: I do everything myself man it is hard sometimes.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: It is I mean especially us people like us other film makers you are such driven you are such type A nobody could possible do this a well as I can do it.
ALEX FERRARI: Wait get out of my head.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yes right it is so bad it is such a bad idea it is so cynical I mean we are surrounded by major talented people, how dare we think we are the best at everything.
ALEX FERRARI: On a set I have no problem doing it but when it comes to my business it is a difficult lesson to learn hopefully I will learn sooner than later. So what are your three favorite films of all times?
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: So I wish I had movies I could tell you that were like highly acclaimed.
ALEX FERRARI: I had all sorts on this so please tell me literally your favorite don’t give me Citizen Cain don’t give me the same just give me something that you actually like it doesn’t matter.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I love Toy Story one when it came out.
ALEX FERRARI: It’s an amazing movie.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I was into 3D like I was telling you at the time for me it was like this is the most amazing thing I have ever seen.
ALEX FERRARI: It was pretty bad though I would argue that toy story two might be a little better just slightly a little better in my opinion.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I bet it is way better it didn’t hit me at the same time for me. Borne Identity.
ALEX FERRARI: I mean seriously that’s amazing that was an awesome movie man, that movie changed a lot like it was one of those movies that changed how action movies were made.
The hand held the feisty the fancy place they way because prior to that you don’t have if you don’t do Borne Identity you don’t get the Casino Royale in the way that they could Casino Royale was a lot like Borne Identity in the style and a lot of the especially the fighting process they are so vicious and you are in there and the cutting of those is so amazing.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: I remember that one at the beginning ?
ALEX FERRARI: Of Casino? Oh Jesus by Borne really kind of changed the way action movies were made and there is a few movies that do that matrix being another one and that completely change the game there is a few of those movies that really changed things, but yes Borne Identity amazing film.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: And I say for number three if we are going to the comedy world Old School.
ALEX FERRARI: What you talking about that’s classic teacher in films schools what you talking about, no but it is a great film that’s Will Farrar on top of his game. Brother man thank you so much for being on the show you dropped a good amount of knowledge bombs on me and the Indri tribe today and it is a topic that we never talked about and we really appreciate you taking the time out.
TRAILER EDITING TECHNIQUES: Yea man thanks for having me I appreciate it.
ALEX FERRARI: I can’t stress enough how important trailer editing is for you as an independent film maker you really have to understand the concepts behind what a good trailer is how to get your own trailer made and if you can afford to hire a professional movie trailer editor you really need to learn how to craft yourself and if you starting out you got time and you got to put those tool in your tool box trust me.
I am going to put a link in the description or the trailer for Broken short film I did twelve years ago and that trailer is what got me everything for that movie it got me all of our sales i got me Roger Ebert’s review it got me studio attention.
All because of that movie trailer it is so, so powerful to understand the concepts of the movie trailer so as promised I am going to give you a link to FILM EDITING PRO free online how to edit a movie trailer course just head over to indiefilmhustle.com/trailerediting.
It is a pretty awesome course I really think it is a tremendous value to you guys so definitely check it out and if you want to I have links to anything we talked about in this episode still head over to indiefilmhustle.com/181.
By the way I want to thank all of the amazing messages and emails I got from you guys the tribe congratulating me and Jill on Hulu and getting this is iMeg sold to hulu so I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart guys.
So thank you so, so much again like I always said you know I feel like you guys were on this journey with me you guys help finance it with the crown funding and you gone on the journey with me so I am going to break down a little about how I did the Hulu deal and the whole thing about distributor and my experiences and all that stuff.
So that’s coming up in the next month or two I’ve got a lot of stuff cooking I have got a lot of amazing stuff I can’t wait to share with you guys so as always keep the hustle going keep that dream alive and I will talk to you soon.