Honestly, not a great year for trailers. A lot of the big blockbusters phoned it in or continued to overuse what Inception started. Meanwhile, a lot of smaller films were trying so hard not to showcase their strangeness that the trailers pulled their punches. And a whole lot of trailers were just okay. No matter, I still found 10 I thought were best. I will once again note that creating trailers is indeed my day job, which means I might know what I’m talking about…maybe. Most trailers work, in that they sell the movie, but I think these 10 do a little bit more. Also, this list is for films released in 2012 only. I don’t understand lists recapping 2012 that feature nothing but movies from 2013, but that’s just me.
10. The Impossible
Let’s call this the War Horse spot. Like that trailer from last year, this one, when watched on a computer, is perfectly fine indeed. It maybe commits trailer sin by showing way too much of the movie, but it works. However, when watched at the multiplex, something about the U2 cover and the barrage of tragedy wrecks me (like War Horse last year). If you achieve tears in that short time, you’re making the list.
This was the early teaser from way back when. At the time, no one had any idea what the movie was so I thought it rather bold to introduce it this way. They embraced being different by selling the weirdness. Showing off how gorgeous the movie looks doesn’t hurt either.
8. Cloud Atlas
This trailer is on here solely because I’ve never seen this done before. They made a weird hard to explain mega-movie, so they made a mega-trailer to go with it. Even after five minutes I still didn’t know what the movie was about, but I sure was intrigued. The music use is perfect too with the film’s great score over the first half and M83 over the second.
You promise the end of something, and it’s going to feel big. I think the cutting and steady build of this trailer is top-notch. Other trailers just use every shot in a mess of a montage, but these cuts are precise and it makes a difference.
This trailer is all the more impressive when you remember how excited you got versus the sad reality of the movie. It helps that they homage one of the greatest trailers ever made. Beyond that, the copy is clever and the cutting makes this remix work.
I really dig the WTF structure of this piece. It begins like a clip, a random clip at that, before diving into a crazy montage. It feels dangerous and alive like something major is about to happen…and then it just ends. What a tease.
It’s a Norwegian coming-of-age comedy dealing with sexual awakening. But instead of going the American Pie route they made this. Droll in the best of ways and the song couldn’t be more perfect. Masturbation shots will only win you bonus points.
3. The Master
I really dig all the teasers that were made too, but this trailer was my favorite of the bunch. Each bit of music, all from the film (Bonus!), signals a nice shift. The collage of bites and images are chosen dutifully. There’s a lovely mystique surrounding the whole enterprise.
Maybe all trailers should use choir versions of heavy songs because it always seems to work wonders. The copy is direct. This trailer says, “This movie is not fucking around”. Every time I’ve seen it with an audience, the auditorium goes into a stunned silence. It’s strong work.
This also uses music only from the film and it uses it well. Simply put, it feels like a natural extension of the movie. Plus, “bird” bite, “tree” bite, “lightning” bite, so many great bites.
What was your favorite? What did I forget?