How to Make a Great Movie Trailer in Under Two Minutes

Whether you’re promoting a movie, television show, or documentary, a trailer is the best way to get attention for your project. But creating a great trailer that explains the story and engages viewers is no easy task. You need to use the same storytelling techniques that engage audiences in movies and TV shows, and you have to do it in under two minutes.

A good trailer starts strong, and it ends even stronger. Most trailers have a cold open that hits the ground running with an exciting, funny, or dramatic scene to grab the audience’s attention. From there, it should calm down for a bit and build back up to the climax. This type of pacing is critical, and it’s one of the main reasons many trailers fail to deliver on their promise.

The next important element is finding the right music to match your trailer’s tone. You can find great royalty-free music at stock sites, or you can create your own music to help set the tone for your movie trailer. If you’re making a serious action movie trailer, for example, then an orchestral epic score will probably work best.

When it comes to the editing, a good trailer uses creative bookending and intercutting techniques to tell your film’s story. You can also use a three-act structure (abridged, of course) to establish characters, introduce a conflict or complications, and then raise the stakes and tease the conclusion. This basic story framework has worked for thousands of years, and it still works today.

In this trailer, for instance, the editing works well to build suspense by cutting between different shots of the protagonists’ journeys. This helps the viewer to see how they are evolving and gives them an idea of what’s in store for them by the end of the film. The final shot is a perfect example of this, as it is both heart-wrenching and uplifting at the same time.

You can also use testimonials in your trailer to bolster your film’s credibility. Whether it’s a quote from a prestigious magazine or a review from a respected critic, this will give your audience an added sense of authority and help them to trust your film.

Lastly, don’t forget to promote your trailer on social media. Posting links to your trailer on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube can increase the reach of your movie and help you to drive ticket sales.

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