Stop Teasing the Teasers

Picture this; I’m sitting at home, on the couch, endlessly scrolling down the endless list of Youtube videos, trying to fill the day’s void. I then see something particularly enticing, a Star Wars: Rogue One Teaser.

Hey, I think, this will be pretty good! So I settle in, get comfy, and click the link. However, I don’t regard the finer details, such as the fact that it’s 11 seconds long, and it actually says ‘Teaser Preview’ in the title. Too late, I’m already into it.

Black. Fade to title. A two second shot of some sort of Stormtrooper. And then, an announcement; ‘Trailer Tomorrow’. End video. Most advertisements are longer than this.

What the hell, I settled in for this? Is the need for Youtube revenue so great that you need a video announcement for an announcement for the actual movie? The role of the Teaser is exactly that; to tease the movie, to show a few clips from it to induce hype from the legions of fans. Often, the teasers are only teasing the full movie trailers, which is yet another stepping stone in waiting for a movie. As long as the trailers don’t show every critical plot point of the movie itself (I’m looking at you, Batman vs Superman), then it’s okay. Why go see a movie when you’ve seen everything you need to from the comfort of home?

Well, die-hard fans will want to see it regardless. So, what about the majority of movie-goers that just want to see a good movie, without identifying as part of a fanbase? My advice would be to avoid movie trailers altogether. For all of the good cryptic trailers which give away nothing, like 10 Cloverfield Lane,  you’ve got another with everything spoiled, like Terminator Genisys. It’s now gotten to the point where some of my friends avoid trailers altogether, just so they get the unspoiled experience they deserve at the cinemas.

But I’m getting sidetracked. An 11 second online video is not needed for a 30 second teaser trailer, especially if it is coming out the very next day. With online hangouts like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, you don’t need these announcements. Everybody is going to see it anyway, especially if the teaser preview is posted in the exact same place as the teaser. Hype is only required when it’s for something to be released long into the future, to maintain fanbase excitement, in case people forget about them. Dwindling excitement is not so dramatic that you need to post a video one day prior to what you’re announcing.

There is a rising trend of this though, mainly perpetrated by Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Time will tell to see if it is a trend that continues, and breaches into other movie genres. Given the current status of youtube views (3.5M for the teaser preview on Rogue One, 19M for the teaser itself), it could go either way.

What are your thoughts on the tiny teaser previews? Yes or no?

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A Brief Analysis of Interstellar

What can really be said about Interstellar that hasn’t already been mentioned by the hordes of cinema-goers? Whether they’re a part of Christopher Nolan’s fanbase, hate him, or even indifferent to him, everyone has something to say about this movie. Interstellar is certainly not without it’s critics, and it appears some reviewers are galaxies apart with their opinions. Is the movie primarily about the required scientific progress for the human race? Or the fragility and power of emotion that sets us apart and allows us to carry on?

As a preface, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, and it’s still in cinemas; go now! This is a unique experience that cannot be summarised on wikipedia, or spoiled through word of mouth. You need to see it in it’s entirety to understand.

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Adaptations

Here’s a fun exercise; go to your nearest cinema (or IMDb, for the lazy), and check out all the upcoming movie posters. Count how many contain the tagline “Based on…”, or some derivative thereof.

Are you back yet? No? I’ll wait.

Okay, so if I’m right, you should find quite a few of them. Adaptations landing on the big screen, from any medium, seem to grow in numbers every year. A simple search will yield many results, for novels alone.

So why are there so many adaptations on the horizon, compared to 10, 20, or 30 years ago? Is it a lazy way out to grab existing content and film it for the masses? Is it all about the easy money? And more importantly, is it doing justice to the original pieces?

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