Monday, 21 June 2010

@maverick99sback Has Taken The Blog!

The One Where I Chart The Good And Bad In Movie Trailers, Through The Alien Quadrilogy (Real Word. Fact.) Also The One Where I Realise I HATE Twentieth Century Fox.

So this is... weird.

I'm actually writing this on GCs Blogger account - due to a spat we had at lunch, where we both moaned, then looked at the ceiling... then at the floor... then at the ceiling...

Still. This. Could. Work.

This week... Movie Trailers!

Movies trailers are an odd breed.

There is a great interview with Ridley Scott on AICN, where by they discuss the trailer for Alien. In a time before the Internet, and movie magazines, they couldn't advertise things about movies, even if they had found out. It's barmy for me to think of that. I remember vividly getting into Dads car after finishing school, and being excited if he bought Empire. He had to "vet" it first, there was a lot more swearing and nudity back then. Odd now, when I really want and need that in a magazine, they've stopped. Oh well.

So... back in the day, people go to see a film, knowing next to nothing about it. How cool is that? Something that with the Internet, especially, we'll never have again. Not many people can avoid all types of media, so you'll catch something.

When you compare it to 1986, there's a stark difference. The first 30 seconds are the first twenty of the film, shrunk down. Something a trailer is capable of doing. Which poses it's own questions, really. If a trailer is capable of doing that... why do we need he film? Why spend two hours with James Cameron, when a two minute trailer just gave you it all, in a fraction of the time?

Although I don't like the Aliens trailer, it is a classic case of keeping things from the audience. It's not all in there. My favourite shot, of Hicks and Ripley leaving the lift, would have been new to me at the cinema.The music is immense, and although they suggest that above, a lot is kept back. Compare that to some modern trailers... they literally build to the "money shot". There's even a term for it.

And the thing is, a trailer can mis sell it, on this basis. Mission:Impossible is my favourite example. The shot of Ethan Hunt flying at the camera, as the chopper blows him onto the train... I watched that over, and over. The film, which I love, is nothing like that would suggest. I'm OK with that. Actually, I'm not.

Mis-selling, is mis-selling. As doomed as the production was, Alien3 could have at least given us a trailer that would attract others to see it. By 1992 though, especially with Twentieth Century Fox, it's all about the money. As a result, they throw in MVO (Mr Voice Over), telling us "The BITCH is back". That's the tag line. And the most quoted line of Aliens, see. So what they are doing is tapping into our emotions for the other films in the series.

That's all good, but when people leave that cinema, word of mouth is King. They don't get what they think they are going to get? Bye bye Box Office. Superman Returns being the best recent example of that. Even though, again, what the Director did there, was the brave thing. The anti-Hollywood thing. Human nature means we moan about repetition though... and when someone dares to change that repetition... well, then we want the repetition again.

Alien Resurrection is a classic trailer. What it does is throws in all of the one liners, gives us glimpses of the only redeemable bit underwater, and KEEPS all the bad stuff out. Nice editing Twentieth Century Fox man. And nice use of green writing, that screams Retro, even though that's not what you intended. Thanks also for showing the New Born. Maybe if you had known AvP:R was going to "top it", with the PredAlien, you wouldn't have been so shy. Screw you, Twentieth Century Fox.

To prove my point, by the way, (or one of them), I'll leave you with the 2007 Alien Re-release trailer...

Jump over to my Blog this week, and check out my Top Ten Trailers.