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The Beguiled: A Trailer Review

in trailers

Sofia Coppola fans have been waiting with bated breath for her next film, and The Beguiled is sure to not disappoint. I have yet to actually see the film. However, I am extremely well-versed in Coppola films of the Sofia persuasion. In fact, I have seen every one of her films including her very first feature, Lick The Star. 

The Beguiled appears to have many tried and true traits that Coppola often facilitates in her films. First of all, it is women-centric (much like The Virgin Suicides or Marie Antionette). No matter what the content is, Coppola tends to portray her stories through the eyes of women.

The Beguiled also seems to have very dreamy and beautiful costumes and set designs…another very common trait in Sofia Coppola movies. Most of the trailer portrays the film in this lovely sepia tone which adds to the historical “time period” feel.

There are many aspects to this film trailer that “feels” very Sofia Coppola-esque. However, there seems to be some major departures from Sofia’s typical style. Ordinarily, Coppola films have little dialogue, and a lot of exposition and scenery. This film looks as though there is a TON of high tension and a very deep and edgy plot. It will be so interesting to see how Coppola tackles such a dramatic and suspenseful film. Perhaps an actual movie review is in order soon? For now, let’s just enjoy the trailer.



Main Image Credit: Deviant Art

Four Films with Very Misleading Titles

in film

Most of the time, we know exactly what to expect when a new film comes out. That is mostly thanks to social media, trailers, and zillions of reviews that come out way before the movie even premieres. Honestly, many of us avoid finding out too much about new films, because there is such a high risk of spoilers! I went and saw Baby Driver the week it came out, but I already knew so much about it because everyone talked about it in detail on my Facebook feed. That being said, had I not known about that film, would I even be able to figure it out based on the title alone? Probably not. It honestly sounds like a wacky, Pixar movie about a baby that can drive. In fact, there are many films that have very misleading titles just upon hearing them. So without further ado, here are my top 4 misleading movie titles:



Image Credit: Orion Pictures

This movie really has nothing to do with mermaids at all. In fact, the word “mermaid” is probably uttered about 3 times, and that is only because Cher dresses up as one for a New Year’s Party. There’s not even some metaphorical speech in the film where Cher tells her daughters that “All women are like mermaids,” …or something like that. Christina Ricci’s character is a swimmer, and she almost drowns in a scene. So I guess that kind of has to do with mermaids? I really don’t know why this movie has this title. That being said, this movie is a must-see. A ’90s classic.



Image Credit: Lions Gate Films

Judging from the title, this movie could either be a Monster’s Inc. spin-off, or possibly an action/thriller of some sort. Well, it is neither of these things. This film is actually about prison executions, loss, and racism. Very serious stuff…as well as a MUCH deserved Oscar award to Halle Berry for her performance.



Image Credit: New Line Cinema

Upon first hearing the title of this movie, it sounds like a Saturday Night Fever rip-off. It takes place in the ’70s and there are a few scenes in a disco club, but that is pretty much where the similarities end. This movie is full of stars (Mark Wahlberg, Don Cheadle, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Burt Reynolds, etc) and it explores the lives of people in the porn industry with a very…um…shocking ending. Just watch it.



Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Better Off Dead definitely sounds like a mobster movie or perhaps a high-suspense horror flick. You can almost hear the deep, gravelly voice in the trailer saying “If you get caught…you’re  better off dead. Coming this Summer.” This film is actually one of the funniest movies ever made. In the midst of the thousands of teen movies during the ’80s, this one slipped through the cracks a bit. That being said, if you have never seen this or heard of it, watch it ASAP. John Cusack is hilarious as he wanders through his teen years navigating a traumatic break-up and his insane family.


These films are actually four of my all-time favorite movies. There are lots more films with misleading titles that were not listed. I probably didn’t watch them because the titles threw me off. Perhaps, a part II to this article is in order. Stay tuned.

Main Image Credit: The Fedora Lounge

Where Marketing Becomes Art: Top 10 Mondo’s of the 2010’s

in film

Movies are art, well…in most cases. It’s difficult to compare a classic Bergman film with my personal guilty pleasure, Nacho Libre (it really is a great movie with plenty of quotable dialogue). Nonetheless, regardless of the amount of Jack Black,  all actors act, directors direct, and producers produce to more or less show off their artistic personalities.

However, when it comes to getting people to spend the $13+ for a movie ticket, don’t forget the $20 trip to the concession stand, marketing campaigns have followed tested guidelines. Make this actor this big, make this name this font, if we tint this orange/blue people will feel cool/energetic. It gets to be a little redundant, don’t you think?

That’s where Mondo posters come in. Since the late 90’s, Mondo has been collaborating with some of the world’s best graphic artists, creating unique posters of the some of films most iconic movies. Mondo literally means “something very striking or remarkable” and it’s easy to see why the name fits. There aren’t many better ways to connect with one of your favorite films than to view a purely artistic interpretation of it. Take a peak at my top 10 Mondo’s of the decade and feel every movies biggest moments flood your memory banks.

Get Out – Jay Shaw

Jay Shaw’s depiction of the racially charged horror flick, Get Out, reminds everyone of a few things: don’t trust psychiatrists, don’t trust anyone drinking tea with a metal spoon, and don’t sink.

The Hateful Eight – Jason Edmiston

Another Tarantino bloodfest and another Tarantino Mondo poster. When your movies dominate the cult classic genre like his, it’s hard to not have more than a few Mondo posters, and even a personal special 20th anniversary edition.

The Master – Laurent Durieux

Rest in peace to Philip Seymour Hoffman. The acting world sure does miss you. Hoffman’s supporting role as Lancaster Dodd in 2012’s World War II drama, The Master, brought in a number of accolades, and Durieux does him justice on this jarring poster.

Civil War: Captain America – Tyler Stout

Luckily, we don’t have to pick a side. We can all agree that this poster is dope, regardless of if you’re #TeamIronMan or #TeamCaptainAmerica. Is there anything Marvel can do wrong right now?

Les Misérables – Olly Moss

The music, the pageantry, the drama. Don’t we all wish we could have been lucky enough to live through the French Revolution? Les Misérables turns one of the most difficult times in world history into something utterly majestic and Moss is able to do the same thing.

Mad Max: Fury Road – Ken Taylor

“Oh what a lovely day!.” (Nux not Bill Withers). Taylor took a bleak post apocalyptic wasteland and colorized it into a vibrant, bleak, post apocalyptic wasteland. The bright colors don’t take away any of the stress I feel watching Tom Hardy strapped to a death mobile.

Kong: Skull Island – Francesco Francavilla

Fact: Samuel L. Jackson exists in all movie universes. From Tarantino films, to Marvel, to fighting giant gorilla in the middle of a deserted island, Jackson has the range to exist in all of them.

The Nice Guys – Matthew Woodson

Does it get more 70’s than this? The mustache, the cars, the overall vibe, The Nice Guys  is a joyous crime comedy and I would buy a ticket just from the fuzzy feelings I get looking at this old school scene. And let’s be honest, is there anyone that doesn’t like Ryan Gosling?

Deadpool – Rob Liefield

Have we ever had a superhero with more personality than Deadpool? Liefield’s Mondo looks like it could’ve been made by the Regenerating Degenerate himself, or at least he had a lot of input.

ParaNorman – DKNG

Kids movies usually don’t have the depth to be considered for a Mondo, but ParaNorman breaks the mold. Written and co-directed by Chris Butler, Norman Babcock uses his supernatural ability to talk to the dead to save his town. I’m sure he didn’t have any problems in history class.

Image Credits: Mondo Poster Archive

Baby Driver: The Musical

in film

When I first saw Baby Driver‘s trailer, I was immediately conflicted.

Heist movies are usually intriguing because of, ya know, the heist. The driver (and main character) almost has zero involvement in the tense, action-packed sequence of all the robberies. The characters don’t sneak through invisible lasers or get into life-threatening shootouts with the cops, so I had no clue what I was going to be looking at for the next few hours.

On the other hand, this movie has Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx, so at worst, it’ll be an uninteresting plot line with some memorable acting. (Sorry that a 21 year old single guy didn’t get excited to see Ansel Elgort, but I don’t think The Fault in Our Stars was aimed at me anyways.)

After a flood of positive reviews, I dug deep into my barren college wallet and shelled out the money to see what Baby Driver had to offer. I was not disappointed. The stars that I assumed would take over the movie were merely supporting characters to the music of the movie itself. If soundtracks could win Best Actor, the Oscars would turn into the Grammys.

It wasn’t just that the soundtrack was well put together, it was the timing of the songs. They were perfectly incorporated into every scene. Heralded award winning actors had to play catch up for 2 hours. As they stepped, shot, and spoke on beat, you listened to the perfect playlist, generating whatever emotions the director wanted you to feel.

As I stepped out of the theater, I was taken aback by all the songs stuck in my head in tandem with flashes of the movie’s most memorable scenes. We’re taught to listen from the very first time we annoy our parents, and we finally have a good reason to. Sit back, relax, and let Baby and his mixtapes take you on a wild ride.

Here are a few favorite tracks that are featured in the movie:

Main Image Credit: Sony Pictures

Ranking the Dragon: Who is the Most Deadly Bruce Lee?

in film/videos

There are few things in this world better than watching the late-great-legendary martial arts master, THE Bruce Lee, dissemble opponents in any of his classic karate flicks. Since there is obviously no match for Lee, all that’s left to do is compare him against the only worthy adversary, himself.

Yes, this is a Zac personal indulgence piece. I am in no way, shape, or form writing this for any audience. This is 100% for my own enjoyment (and so I can watch Bruce Lee clips during work).

Ground Rules:

– This is not about the best movie, this is about the Bruce that you’d least want to see in a dark alley, or even in the middle of Times Square on NYE.

– Rankings are based off the whole movie, not just Bruce’s fighting scenes alone. Bruce Lee was a much more talented actor than most people realize and each of his characters have traits that effect just how likely he was to kill you.

– Bruce Lee would (and did) annihilate Chuck Norris. Don’t @ me.

– If I see a Chuck Norris joke in the comment section it will be deleted, and if I can’t delete it, I will delete this piece and post it again. That’s a promise.*

7. Winslow Wong – Marlowe (1969)

Winslow Wong died without even getting hit in Marlowe. Like, come on. At least toss somebody in there who could pretend to be on Lee’s level. Show the man some respect.

6. Cheung – The Kid (1950)

Bruce Lee was 10 years old. That’s how upset I am that Winslow went out by getting faked into a jump kick off a skyscraper. (To be fair to Cheung, he was part of a gang at 10 so I assume they saw some violent promise in him. He could also probably get you killed by his friends.)

Now we get into the real list. From here on out, this will be the most difficult thing I will ever have to do. I love all of these Bruce’s and each one of them would kill you pretty easily.

5. Tang Lung – Return of the Dragon (1974)

Yes, the movie where Tang Lung kills Colt (Chuck Norris) in the Coliseum. It is easily one of the most iconic moments in Lee’s film career and is competing for the top spot as best movie, but there were character traits that couldn’t allow me to move Lung higher up this list. His single kill was Walker Texas Ranger, but he was reluctant to end his life. Colt had to admit that he would rather die than live with the shame of defeat, before Tang Lung became the undertaker. We’re talking deadliest, and Tang’s hesitation means he might just let you live.

4. Cheng Chao‑an – The Big Boss (1971)

Chao-an spends about half of the movie unwilling to lash out at the oppressive masters of the salt factory where he, his family, and friends work (more like where they’re slaves). This changes quickly when his friends are murdered after they take it upon themselves to make some changes to the workplace environment. Chao-an quickly becomes incensed and starts bustin’ heads all around the office. The problem is, none of his kills were impressive. He was disposing of his bosses that probably didn’t have too many “fighting for their lives” experiences. Even the boss fight was against a guy that has a social security check in the mail.

3. Billy Lo – The Game of Death (1978)

I’ve addressed the Chuck Norris fan boys, now I have to address those that only know Bruce Lee through his most mimicked role, Billy Lo. Lee’s most famous movie (released 5 years after his death) should not have been made. If he didn’t look so damn cool in that yellow jumpsuit, then I’d say it was a complete disgrace. He’s in it for just a few minutes, and that’s not including THE FOOTAGE OF HIS OPEN CASKET AT HIS OWN, REAL-LIFE, FUNERAL. Let that sink in for a second.

Regardless, Billy Lo was a bad mf’er for those few scenes. He disposed of 2 enemies, one being LA Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was a black belt and a foot and a half taller than Lee. He also does it with the utmost swagger, cracking jokes as he beats his opponents to a pulp.

2. Lee – Enter The Dragon (1973)

Lee is invited to a martial arts tournament on a secluded island school in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with underlying intentions to find the murderer of his own sister, Su Lin.  Over the course of the movie, Lee is responsible for the murder of a fellow competitor and friend at the hands of Han, the school and tournament founder. The climactic final battle comes when Lee and another competitor team up to fight through the whole school. A school of future martial arts masters. A school with what seems like 100’s of students. On an island with no hope of backup. Escaping unscathed, Lee faces off against Han, in a room full of mirrors, while Han has a full on Wolverine hand. Literally, it comes with 4 almost foot long knives jutting from a hand piece where his actual hand used to be. This is by far Lee’s most impressive and genius fight scene. You can’t out wit a master and Bruce Lee was a legend.

1. Chen Zen – Fist of Fury (1972)

This is the only role that made me think, “Maybe I shouldn’t be rooting for Bruce in this flick.” Chen-Zen is the stuff of nightmares. After a rivaling Japanese martial arts school murder’s his own master, Zen’s eyes see only red and we get to see him take out his vengeance on any and every one that stands in his way. He is a complete psychopath and when the cops come around to make him pay for his ridiculous number of murders, he makes it clear he won’t go out without a fight. His bare hands were up against guns, guns that were 40 yards away from him in plain sight, and he still sprinted at them like he was going to run through a barrage of bullets and escape. I’m too soft to even go play paintball.

*If I’m allowed to do that


Main Image Credit: Shortlist

Dissect This Trailer: Moonlight

in film/trailers

Movies ask questions. What is under the water, who is robbing the bank, when will he notice me. An effective movie trailer reveals the core question of the movie but without going so far as to answer it. So Moonlight thrives because it’s weapons are sharp, let’s review the assets:

The film – This film is shot incredibly well, the reason the trailer is compelling is in large part because the footage is compelling. Bravo to the colorist, (trailer or/and film), who has been able to capture the dreamy southern gothic romance vibe perfectly.
Music – In this instance, using film score is a huge plus, it provides a tone that is intense and mysterious.
Graphics – They’re artfully done, they’re very legible and the choice of color speaks to title and tone of the film.
Narration – There is none, it doesn’t need any.

As far as I know there’s just one trailer for Moonlight. And this makes sense for a variety of reasons. First, no teaser because this film doesn’t fall into the highly anticipated category. There just weren’t tens of millions of people blowing up A24’s social pages to release a Moonlight trailer. Also, you probably reached your target audience with the first one, and why not save the money.  Lastly, I believe when you so completely and succinctly define the premise of the content of your film in a single trailer, there’s no point in going through the same exercise again.

The first thing I’m hit with is some somber oboe music and the sound of crickets, as two guys are walking through the night. Already you’re creating a world without saying anything, no dialogue, no cards. Act I of this trailer ends at about the 28 second mark. And all we’ve gotten is one character questioning why the other has driven down to wherever they are, but because of the quality of the performance, we’re immediately curious. Never underestimate the curiosity of the human mind. We want to know things, we want to discover things, if one character won’t reveal their motivations for being in a certain place at a certain time, then we as viewers are inherently curious as to why that is.

Act I tells me this is a movie about learning something about people. That something appears to be wrapped in mystery and tension, because of ACTING and SOUND DESIGN. The creative behind this trailer knew, it wasn’t necessary to jump in right away with a bunch of quick editorial cuts. Present the central theme of the story quickly, with elegance.

So let’s take a moment here to address one part of what makes this trailer so successful. The music the trailer is set to is incredible and award worthy. It’s haunting, impactful, and filled with longing. I do not know Nicholas Brittel, but after spending 20 seconds on his Wikipedia page it’s clear that I should. Seriously, just take 20 seconds, maybe a minute, and prepare to be impressed. So, they’re using score, which is incredibly fortunate. A lot of time the score isn’t ready in time for the trailer to be released so the creatives have to license an appropriate song. There isn’t any hard and fast rule for using score in the trailer or not. If it works and it’s better than what you can license, then you’re crazy not to, but composers aren’t thinking about the trailer when they’re doing their job. They’re scoring the whole 2 hour film. They may be a lock for an academy award, but that doesn’t mean their score necessarily works in 2 minutes.

Back to the trailer! See that “From Director Barry Jenkins” card that came up? That’s how you know we’re getting into Act II of the trailer, it’s a visual that means we’re moving to another time and place in the film. So what do we notice about this card? It’s an electric sort of blue, almost like a neon, but the typeface is very clear, very elegant. These aren’t big blobby cartoon neon letters, but the shade is unique. It speaks to title, if Moonlight were a color, it might be this shade of blue.  I’ll actually spend a decent amount of time on cards and graphics on these entries. As a creative these are your assets. You’ve got the film footage, you’ve got cards, you’ve got music, and you’ve got narration. These are the weapons that you wage the war for eyeballs with so every one of them must be sharp and used to the best of its abilities.

Now we’re into Act II, notice that we’re seeing several shots of the character as a youth but they’re from behind and he’s walking alone. Notice how the opening shots were from behind, but there were two characters? This editorial device of showing two grown ups versus one child immediately makes us feel empathy, we see a child walking alone where previously we saw two men together, one image is closeness, the other is isolation. Act II presents us with another core element of the film, “Who is you, Shawn?”. Visually we’re learning that this person is isolated, beaten, but also joyful. We’re seeing a character of extremes, a young boy being subjected to the best and the worst of life. Polarity is by nature, tension.

The middle of Act II shows us the adults in young Shawn’s life, and again, polarity. A woman is screaming and a man’s holding young Shawn gently in the water. Again we’re presented with the central theme of the film, deciding who he will be. The rest of Act II escalates the tension, the beatings becoming more violent, he refuses to discuss his situation with others, and he is emotionally shutting down.

But now we roll into Act III, where the trailer ends. We see Shawn as an adult again, and we arrive at the beginning, coming full circle with two important questions, “Who is you?” and “What did you expect?”.

Main Image Credit: The Atlantic

The History of Film’s Most Famous Mountain

in film

The 20th Century Fox drums, the ferocious roar of the Metro Goldwyn Meyer lion, and the rest of the signatures of movie companies across the nation and globe all have Paramount Pictures to thank. The first majorly distributed films began much like many blockbusters today, even 103 years later. Glowing stars encompassing a majestic snow capped mountain, an immediate sign that, until recently (ex: Ben-Hur), that this movie will be worth the $20 you spent at the snack bar. But, what’s the story behind Paramount’s stars and mountain? Why is it so iconic and where did it come from?

The Man: W. W. Hodkinson

A lot can happen in 103 years. Two World Wars, changing climates, and somehow the beginning and end of the Cubs title drought, all graced this past century. But if you look all the way back to the year 1907, the landscape of American culture was about to shift in a brand new direction.

At the youthful age of 26, W.W. Hodkinson began his first film exchange in Ogden, Utah. Within a few short years — seven to be exact — Hodkinson revolutionized the film industry by starting one of the first major movie production companies: Paramount Pictures. Through his new system of film companies acting as distributors, funding independent filmmakers to create and providing the ability to get that product out to the masses, Hodkinson was a huge success, earning him the unofficial title as “The Man Who Invented Hollywood.”

The Logo

Paramount, mount, mountain… I always thought it was pretty obvious that the only logo that would make sense was a mountain. Myself, along with almost every casual movie fan I know, paid no mind to where it was or what significance it had. In all honesty, these intros are really just a reminder for me to turn my phone off (really on silent with the brightness turned down).

However this specific mountain held a special place in Hodkinson’s heart. As a special ode to his hometown, Hodkinson chose to jot down Ben Lomond Mountain, a prominent landmark of Ogden. Over time, Paramount has moved to a much larger representation of Ben Lomond, even possibly switching its inspiration to Peru’s Artesonraju.

The stars that surround the mountain represent the 24 actors who first signed on with Paramount Pictures. Since the inception of the logo in 1914, the number has been reduced to 22, even though it isn’t clear why. Some of the original stars included the likes of Rudolph Valentino and Marlene Dietrich, starring in classic films such as The Sheik and Shanghai Express.

It wasn’t until the Supreme Court’s 1948 Paramount Decree that got stars out of exclusive contracts with production companies, but the stars in the logo remain as a throwback to the times when companies had complete control over their employees.

The Legacy

Paramount has come out with some of America’s favorite movies over their century in the limelight. Forrest GumpRaiders of the Lost Ark, and my personal favorite, Coming to America (honorable mention: The Spongebob Squarepants Movie) have all come out of film’s first studio.

However, for all the success Paramount has had, things didn’t go so well for its founder. Although a genius in the film industry, Hodkinson wasn’t the savviest of negotiators. In 1916, just two years after its founding, two of Hodkinson’s partners — producers Jesse Lasky and Adolph Zukor — had combined to become majority shareholders and took over Paramount for themselves. The behind-the-scenes drama in the early days of Paramount would turn out to be a fitting ending for a man called “Mr. Hollywood.”

Main Image Credit: Paramount

9 Trailer Buzzwords That Will Have You Talking Like A Creative Executive

in trailers

Movie trailers are some of the most talked about things both on and offline. Entire websites are dedicated to finding the latest blockbuster release and breaking it down frame by frame to discover hidden information about the film.

With that in mind, here are 9 trailer buzzwords that will instantly have you talking like a Creative Executive.

1. TV Spot
Before we get too far into what trailers are, let’s first clarify what they are not. If you saw a commercial for a movie on your television, that’s not a trailer, that’s a tv spot. If you were in a movie theatre and you saw a bunch of advertisements for upcoming films that are 90-150 seconds long, those are trailers. TV Spots come in a variety of lengths but mostly 30 and 15 seconds which is how they’re referred to in the industry.

2. Creative Executive
Full title: Senior Vice President of Creative Advertising, shortened to SVP Creative. This is the person who is in charge of making the trailers and tv spots (and sometimes the one sheet). They do a ton more than just that but I’m simplifying for the sake of brevity. By “making a trailer” I mean they have the feature footage delivered on a secure hard drive to an agency who staffs a team of editors, graphic designers, sound designers and more, and all together they work on distilling 2-20 hours worth of film footage down to 90-120 seconds that succinctly and effectively delivers the main themes of the film, and gets viewers excited about buying a ticket to see the feature in a movie theatre.

3. Teaser Trailer
These can be a variety of things, but generally it’s a long build up to a single iconic visual element that takes anywhere from 30-90 seconds. An example could be voice over that leads to the reveal of a superhero cape or mask, a monster reveal, or in the comedy world a single moment of a character saying a catchphrase “I’m baaaack!” You get the idea, it’s a tease, that’s why they call it that.

Here’s what a teaser trailer is not — if I can tell what a good chunk of the plot of the film is from a teaser, that’s not a teaser. Teasers exist for two reasons: either because you want to give an air of mystery to an unknown title or you want to let audiences know that a highly anticipated title is going to reveal more in the near future. The rule of thumb here is you tease something that audiences are very excited for or will be very excited for because of the uniqueness of the content. The second part of that is tricky, because how do you know if audiences will be excited for your film? The answer to that question can be a gut check for a filmmaker because of course they’re excited, they spent time, money and an incredible amount of energy to make it a reality. As a studio then, you have to ask yourself, are there some incredible visuals that will blow audiences away? Are you doing something in special effects that nobody has seen before? Is there a set piece stunt that will be something that people will talk about? If yes, then maybe your film should get a teaser, if not, save it all for trailer #1 which is essentially the elevator pitch for your film.

4. Trailer #1
A ton of movies just have one 90-150 second trailer. This is in large part due to the fact that trailers cost a couple hundred thousand dollars to make. Can you get your nephew’s friend who’s really great at iMovie to make you one for ten grand? Sure! You know who will go see the movie based off your nephew’s friend’s trailer? ZERO PEOPLE. And here’s where the internet will come up with “this trailer cost 10 cents, you’re so dumb” examples, and that’s fine, if zinging me is how you want to fill your time on earth, thanks, I’m flattered.

But to return to the vocabulary: Trailer #1 spells out the essentials of your plot, enough so that a viewer can get a sense of what your film is about and who the characters are who populate your story. Do audiences what to see a trailer that crams every plot point of the movie into a single trailer? Absolutely not. In fact, these days, less is definitely more. Your audience’s time is at a premium so afford them the respect of getting them informed and excited in the shortest amount of time possible.

5. Trailer #2
Films get a second trailer for a bunch of reasons. The studio wants to reveal a new secret character or element that wasn’t in trailer #1, or to reinvigorate the conversation around that film so momentum isn’t lost between the first trailer and the film’s release.  Sometimes a studio wants to have a trailer that appeals to a wide number of people in trailer #1, but goes after a specific demographic with a second trailer. Sometimes this will accompany a dramatic change in music, a hip hop track, or an iconic rock song. This can backfire on you however. If you’re juicing a film up with some mismatched music to make it seem way more exciting or epic than what you’re delivering in the theatre then you’re being lazy and lame. As a moviegoer, be wary if trailer #2 looks completely different than trailer #1, if critical and online response to trailer #1 was tepid or negative, you can almost always expect a follow up trailer that tries to correct the sins of the first one. Hell sometimes there are really pragmatic reasons for a trailer #2, maybe a rival studio is releasing their tent pole film two months before yours, why not do a second trailer and get it placed on that film so you can grab all your competitor’s eyeballs. Like I said, bunch of reasons for a trailer #2.

6. Trailer #3
No film needs more than a teaser, a trailer, and a trailer #2. If audiences weren’t excited by the preceding three pieces of marketing, then they’re just not interested in your film and you’ll just confuse audiences if they keep seeing the same film repackaged multiple times. If you’re considering altering the messaging of the film for a fourth time, do everybody a favor and don’t.

7. Red Band Trailer
This is usually a version of a Trailer 1 except way funnier/grosser/scarier/swearwordier. Be careful with red band trailers, if you’ve got The Rock doing full frontal, and he’ll agree to it being in an age gated red band trailer, yea, people will generally buzz about that. If your idea of a red band trailer is a bunch of jokes that have the word “fuck” in them, don’t bother, nobody’s hair gets blown back by profanity any more. Sometimes studios will employ the gimmick of dropping a green band and a red band trailer at the same time so you can see the tame one and the boundary pushing one, but I tend to disagree with that thinking because all it really means is everybody will ignore the green and watch the red. Who wants chips and cheese when you can have nachos!

8. Green vs. Red Band
I feel like people know this but there’s a shitload of stuff I don’t know about this business so I’ll explain briefly for those of you who don’t know the difference. The MPAA puts “Restricted” as a warning that a particular trailer will that contain excessive content, whether that’s profanity, nudity, violence, etc. That warning is the first 3 seconds of a trailer and it’s on a big red background that precedes any film footage, it is quite literally a band of red. Green band is the same thing except green, also on this graphic is information that indicates the rating and the general content, “Rated PG13 for language and adult situations”, that’s the stuff that goes in that little green box with the rating, it’s called the…

9. Rating Reason
Ok last one for now. On that box tells us the film’s rating PG, PG13, R, etc etc, you’ll see some general description of why the particular film is rated the way it is. R for excessive nudity and profanity, stuff like that. The only reason I bother to point this out is, filmmakers and studios fight with the MPAA like crazy on this language. They do this because, quite naturally, they don’t want some 3rd party who doesn’t care about the success or failure of a particular film to have the right to tell audiences what content the film contains. If I have a horror film and I’m trying to attract a horror audience, I don’t want the MPAA to put in the rating reason that it’s rated R because of scenes of grisly torture. It shouldn’t take a genius to know that the grisly torture crowd is a heck of a lot smaller than the supernatural terror crowd. In the past films have released a “trailer with this film is not yet rated” card on them rather than accept the MPAA’s rating reason.

Game On! Wayne’s World Turns 25

in film

Saturday Night Live has been the origin of so many hilarious characters. Dozens of movies have been made based on one 5 minute sketch from SNL. Possibly the most successful and well-known SNL sketch-made-movie is Wayne’s World. Starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, Wayne’s World celebrated its 25th anniversary on February 14th. It is very hard to believe that this film is as old as a person who can legally rent a car. To honor the birthday of this hysterical film, many theatres around the nation have re-released it.

As funny as SNL sketches are, it is common for movie renditions of a sketch to flop. This is typically because the joke tires out quickly. It is difficult to keep a joke that is hilarious for 5 minutes, go on and on for 90 more minutes. That being said, some sketch movies have been hugely successful like The Blues Brothers which topped the national box office at over $57 million. Wayne’s World set the SNL movie bar with $121 million at the box office. No other SNL movie has ever come close to topping that.

So what makes this movie so popular? Well, that scene with the car sing-a-long to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is definitely one of the most iconic moments in film. Seeing all those metal heads laughing and head banging in their junky little car to such a monumental song was something that many people can relate to. It was truly a moment from the 90’s that everyone remembers.

Besides that scene, there was so much more that made Wayne’s World break the SNL movie mold. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey were able to take a funny little sketch and create a whole world. The used their characters and the setting to make social commentaries and satirize the entertainment culture.

Finally — and most importantly — this movie is STILL FUNNY. The jokes still work! Yes, it is definitely a ’90s flick, but it doesn’t feel dated. This is mostly because the movie was created by extremely talented writers who did not depend too much on ’90s trends or politics. Instead, it re-invented the movie soundtrack and coined new slang such as “Party On” or “Schwing!”

Wayne’s World was original, and it will forever be one of those movies that comes on TV that makes you stop changing the channel and say “I LOVE this movie!”

Happy Anniversary, Wayne’s World. May the party continue to go on and on.

Main Image Credit: NBC
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