How to Make a Blockbuster Movie Trailer in 5 Steps

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

Movie trailers serve as great marketing tools that advertise on behalf of your movie. It provides viewers with a sneak peek of what they can expect from the full drawn movie. Usually, the trailers highlight the main point of a movie and can set its tone for being sold ahead of a wider audience group.

How to Make a Movie Trailer

You can attain further creative possibilities by adding multiple overlay tracks in your movie trailer. It also becomes possible to superimpose clips atop a background video. Great trailers can garner excitement for the movie without giving away its main secrets. After watching a good trailer, the audiences are left yearning for more and will get themselves a ticket for the main movie. Today we are going to discuss in detail the steps of creating movie trailers to gain maximum attention.

VideoProc - Best Movie Trailer Maker

You might get suggestions for the best movie trailer maker like Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Final Cut, Pro, Vegas Pro, etc. However, these big names require pro-level editing skills. To make a punchy movie trailer in the easiest way, you can start with VideoProc, a simple video editor on Windows and Mac.

Best Movie Trailer - VideoProc
  • Rearrange your footage by cutting, trimming, merging, rotating, cropping, etc.
  • Modify cuts by stabilizing, denoising, adjusting saturation, brightness, and contrast.
  • Add effects, filters, subtitles, logos, and time codes.
  • Fast render and export a movie trailer in seconds.
  • Process UHD 4K movies without lagging and quality loss.
  • Support lossless codecs, ProRes, WAV Lossless, FLAC Lossless Audio, etc.

How to Make a Movie Trailer in 5 Steps

Step 1: Establish the genre, characters, and atmosphere.

Your audience needs to develop a rough idea about the film genre within the first ten to thirty seconds of the trailer. Thus, you can skip introducing the basic facts of the movie and jump straight to the main characters. Trailers usually set the mood of the film by showing a quick clip of the main characters either doing or saying something.

For instance, in action movie trailers, there must be fast cuts of car crashes, explosions, hand to hand combats, and so forth. And all of these make them in the film category of actions.

Movie Trailer Genre Example

Step 2. Select and arrange movie clips for making a trailer.

A trailer is nothing but a collection of individual movie clips. But there is a generalized rule for collating all these clips to form a high-impact trailer. The line of rising action of trailers usually starts high with a cold open. It might even include a button meant for a final action scene or one last joke.

The Trailer Line of Rising Action
The Trailer Line of Rising Action

The main function of the cold open is to hook the audiences' attention. This can either be through a funny scene or an exciting action sequence. A cold open is usually followed by the film logos and ultimately makes way for Act 1. Herein the purpose and characters of the story are induced through exposition. It might even post some questions to get the audience's brain rattled.

Next, the trailers make way for Act 2 with the audience aware of the basic premise. This Act reveals the central conflict and might even introduce the main villain. The main aim here is to keep the audiences wondering about how the main characters will handle the situation, but don't be a spoiler.

Ultimately, Act 3 surfaces by paving the path for the most dramatic music. The climax is often followed by grandiose dialogues which sum up movie scenes while being non-specific to the movie plot. The trailer ends at the peak of the climax and the audiences are presented with the title card.

3-Act Trailer Structure

Step 3. Add music and sound effects.

Music has a very big role to play in film trailers as it helps in setting the mood for the entire movie. The best trailers effectively use audio for magnifying the impact of action sequences. You need to be especially cautious while choosing and adding the music to the movie trailer so that it carries a strong sense of rhythm with the main storyline.

A narrator can quickly and succinctly tell you the plot, key themes, and feelings. Besides sound design is also a great ingredient for conveying emotion, especially when the plot may struggle to do so. For example, heavy bass enhancement in action and suspense movies quickly sets the tone of the movie trailer and tells the audience that there will be some tense moments and they will be surprised.

Movie Trailer Sound Design

Step 4. Add texts and motion graphics.

You can give context to the onscreen footage by adding texts including adding subtitles for the voice over, 3D titles for the preview sequence, visual effetcs, release date, and some important information. But you need to be very careful about using this option. Excess usage can come off as very distracting and even make the trailer look very cheap.

Movie Trailer Graphics

Step 5. Save and share the trailer.

Once you are done with all the steps mentioned above, you can share it with a wider audience. For doing this, you can select various social media channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or even post it on your website or blog. The trailer should also be saved in your computer after being converted to popular file formats.

Tips for Making a Blockbuster Movie Trailer

#1. Show as little information as possible as you don't want to end up divulging the whole plot before the movie hits the theatre screens. But you also need to make sure that the audience doesn't get confused.

#2. Use visuals that stand out and allow them to speak for themselves. Excessive usage of generic texts is a big no-no. Rather you can arrange the movie characters to explain all the details. Here you can take the example of the Mad Max movie trailer which uses just one text "From George Miller".

#3. Appropriate usage of music and audios which can be found in the trailer of Inception. It made use of a foghorn noise which has now become a staple of every epic large-scale trailer of modern times. However, recent movie trailers such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Thor Ragnarok can be seen making use of covers of classic songs.

#4. Highlight the film's talents. A list of famous casts, big-name directors, producers, or screenplay writers will draw audiences who might not be interested in the story but some lovely crew. The cast run often appears in movie previews during the final act of the trailer as it's reaching its climax.

FAQs

What does a movie trailer consist of?

A movie trailer consists of the storyline, most noteworthy shots, main characters, the sound and music, the voice over, motion graphics and effects, release date, and an ending with an enticing hook.

How long should a movie trailer be?

Typically, the length of a movie trailer varies from 90 to 150 seconds. And film marketers found that whether it can encourage people to watch the whole movie depends on the first 6 – 8 seconds. So most noteworthy and exciting cuts should better be presented in 8 seconds.

What is the difference between a trailer and a teaser?

A movie trailer is an indecently released part of the movie. It intends to give the audience a better idea about the content. While a teaser is shorter than the trailer and just gives the audience a glimpse of the tone and characters in the film.

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the marketing manager of Digiarty Software and the editor-in-chief of VideoProc team. She pursues common progress with her team and expects to share more creative content and useful information to readers. She has strong interest in copywriting and rich experience in video editing tips.

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