Marvel’s Blueprint for the Perfect Trailer

The best way for movie studios to get people to want to watch their stuff is through making a great movie trailer. Viral marketing may work. Deep secrecy may also factor in. But I still think the best way is through making a fantastic movie trailer that’ll give potential theater goers snippets of what’s the film going to be like and if it’s something they’ll be interested in. But lately, it seems like a lot of movie studios are flubbing with splicing together their movie trailers.

We’ve seen the awful new Ghostbusters trailer and the early Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailers were no picnic either. Then we get a trailer like the latest trailer for Captain America: Civil War. Leave it to Marvel to show these folks regarding how to construct a movie trailer that not only shows people what to expect but also how to get people excited for their upcoming movie!

There was just so many things good with the latest Civil War trailer. And, in all honesty, Marvel’s been pretty consistent with delivering great trailers to the public. So, I guess the question is how Marvel manages to create such awesome trailers over and over again? Well, I do think Marvel always follows the same pattern for their trailers. A specific blueprint that works well for making great movie trailers.

First off, a good movie trailer only reveals the premise of what the movie is about and never really tells the viewers the entire story. It may introduce the characters and their motives for doing stuff as well as give some hints on how the film is eventually going to play out. But it should never reveal too much. Captain America: Civil War only shows us that Captain America and Iron Man are going to face off against each other. That’s it! However, when you go look at the second trailer for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, they reveal too much! They already show that Batman and Superman as well as Wonder Woman will eventually team up to face off against Clayface… I mean, Doomsday! Heck, they even show Doomsday’s origin that he’s going to be created by Lex Luthor!

Second, a good movie trailer has to flow together properly. There has to be a sense of escalation as you’re watching the trailer. You can cut your trailer from different parts of the film and splice them together so that one of the early scenes is shown right after a scene from the middle of the film and that’s fine. It’s okay to do that as long as it seems like the finished movie trailer seems like both scenes work together properly. Marvel seems to be an expert at doing this since all of their trailers are pretty much cut in this way.

Now, this isn’t exclusive for Marvel movie trailers. In fact, I think the most memorable trailers do flow together nicely. But, if you look at the recent Sony trailer for their new Ghostbusters reboot, it doesn’t really work. Besides it being unfunny, I think the one of its biggest flaws is how they do the scene transitions after they introduce the main characters. For example, we see them racing off in the Ecto-1, then you see them making that lame “let’s go” joke and then you see them actually busting ghosts. It would’ve been better if they skipped the lame joke and just showed the scene where they’re actually facing off against the ghosts! This is why the fan recut of the Ghostbusters trailer works much better!

But the thing that Marvel does so well when putting together a trailer is that they manage to always show us something that’ll stick out. With Ant-Man, we had Yellowjacket getting hit by a toy train. With Guardians of the Galaxy, we have the extremely catchy “Hooked on a Feeling” blaring out. With each Avengers film, we get to see the heroes gathered around in a dynamic pose. And, with their latest trailer for Captain America: Civil War, we see “Underoos” string up Cap’s shield. All these scenes are there to make us talk about the film way before the film is even out!

Unfortunately, we don’t really see those kinds of scenes with DC movies. Okay, maybe we do with some of them. The teaser for The Dark Knight Rises, we see a football colosseum collapse as one of the players safely run across without realizing the carnage that’s happening behind him. And I will give props to the latest Dawn of Justice trailer as it did have this when Batman actually blocked Superman’s punch!

It took DC three tries to actually get a really badass trailer that got people excited for their upcoming film. And that’s a really long time, especially if you consider that this is supposed to be DC’s chance to show that their film is going to be worth watching. Now, just because Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Ghostbusters had bad trailers, that doesn’t mean those movies will be bad. However, I believe a trailer is a reflection of the film it’s representing. So movie studios can’t wait for its third trailer to get it right. They have to make it as awesome as possible right from the get go. Now, if they’re unsure on how to do that, all they have to do is look at Marvel and what they’re doing right.

What do you think is the reason why Marvel makes good trailers? Let me know in the comments section below!

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