Top 10 Trailers – 2013


A lot of strong work this year. Sure sure, plenty of big films continue to paint by numbers with their marketing but sometimes that’s all you need.  Maybe being a little more diverse and toning done the copycat mentality would help but that’s asking a lot of Hollywood. Here are the 10 I think deserve special attention as the standouts of 2013. And I mean 2013. Just trailers for films this year (Wes Anderson can have his day in the sun next year).

I will once again note that creating trailers is my actual day job. Make of that what you will.

10. Room 237

There’s not a lot to this clever little gem but it’s basically perfect. For a film about people obsessing over The Shining, they made a slightly altered version of that film’s original trailer. It definitely doesn’t hurt that the original trailer is one of the best of all-time. If it doesn’t make you smile then you probably won’t enjoy the documentary.

9. Nebraska

This one is all about tone and personality. It has some of the best trailer voice-over work I’ve heard in some time. That’s partly because VO isn’t really in vogue at the moment. No matter. The deadpan melancholy sets up the plot succinctly and conveys the film’s approach to the material with ease.

8. Gravity

Great example of pulling the rug out. Then it’s just brilliantly cut flashes of absolute terror with the blunt copy, “Don’t…Let…Go”. So good I forgive them for adding in all the fake sound effects.

7. An Oversimplification of Her Beauty

Sometimes when you’re small, you gotta do something to rise above the pack. I dig the unconventional and meta approach employed here. It’s telling you about the movie while also commenting on how these trailers typically look with festival mentions and critic quotes. It even pauses to reflect on its own creation. Wonderful stuff.

6. The Conjuring

It’s not the smoothest of the bunch but it does something I wish studios would try more often. It’s essentially just two scenes allowed to play out with minimal editing. If you’re wondering if this film will deliver scares, wonder no longer. The film has so many great moments that it could actually afford to spoil one of its best. Clap, clap.

5. Laurence Anyways

This one’s epic. It goes through the whole movie but I’m still left wanting more. Part of that is the structure and pacing. It’s almost an engrossing short on its own. The other part is the wonder of a music cue melding seamlessly with the material.

4. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I’ll admit a lot of its inclusion is due to how I first saw it. Unexpectedly, and extremely rare these days, I caught it in theaters before it hit the internet. It made it feel fresh. Early reviews suggest this one is better suited to this shorter format. Oh well. It’s still a great looking music video.

3. Upstream Color

Opaque and confounding. The rare trailer that fails to illuminate anything while simultaneously earning more of your curiosity. I love the texture on the graphic cards and the esoteric nonsense written on them.

2. American Hustle

Ladies and gentlemen, Led Zeppelin. If they allowed more people to use their music it’d be ridiculously worn out by now. Here, it’s exciting. The copy is simple but complementary. It’s not just letting the music do the lifting. It’s working it.

1. The Wolf of Wall Street

Until I can witness this beast for myself, the trailer is in serious contention for best film of the year. It’s instantly quotable, the music is insanely appropriate, and the “MORE” copy is clever without being full of itself. More please!

What was your favorite? What did I forget?

Bonus: Here’s a fun one for a revival I was sad I missed out on in theaters:


One response to “Top 10 Trailers – 2013

  1. Pingback: Bryan’s 2013 Awards | Shooting the Script

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