Re-Cutting Trailers


The phenomenon of re-cutting movie trailers emerged during late 2005 after the widespread popularity of Robert Ryang’s take on the trailer for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Instead of a bleak and blood-filled horror flick, the resulting edit portrays the film as a light-hearted romantic comedy. The widespread popularity of this bootleg trailer resulted in numerous imitators, most notably Brokeback to The Future. These trailers are both a parody of the films they’re representing and the conventions of cinematic trailers.

What is the task?

The re-cutting trailer assessment task sheet is available to download >> Media – Re-cutting Trailer Exercise

Using Adobe Premier PRO, students are to create a trailer for a selected movie. Students are given digital versions
of both PSYCHO and THE DARK KNIGHT – both fall under the genre of thriller, drama, action (and perhaps even
horror). Your task is to re-cut either movie and create a conventional MOVIE TRAILER. The objective is to use
carefully selected clips, sound and narration to completely change the genre and the audience’s expectations.

Where do I start?

Over the next few weeks, students will be  presented with a number of tutorials to build their confidence and understanding of Adobe Premier PRO.

With these basic skills, students will begin the “re-cut trailer” exercise. To help get started, the following document will assist in preparing the movie clips and importing them into Premier.

Students have approximately 2 full weeks to complete the task.

DOWNLOAD the “Get Started” PDF document here >> trailerEX_getstarted

Conventions of movie trailers:

This clip from YouTube explains the common conventions used in Movie Trailers. This has also been discussed in previous lessons. To make YOUR trailer ‘believable’, you are advised to follow these conventions/patterns.

Lets break it down:

  • Trailers begin with a ratings advise followed by a studio logo, such as 20th Century Fox
  • Montage of clips – voice overs used to convey the narrative. Don LaFontaine is the most famous voice-over artist who recorded more than 5,000 film trailers.
  • Text on the screen
  • Music overlapped – has a list of the most commonly used tracks in trailers
  • Finally, the title and credits
How to export your trailer

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