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Author Topic: Who makes the studio previews?
Paul Adsett
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 - posted December 28, 2012 06:24 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Went to see the new movie Hitchcock last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have no idea how accurate it is , but it is very entertaining.
But, once again, before the feature film, we had to sit through the audio and visual hell of a batch of action film trailers. It was literally like being in a war zone. My ears were assaulted by mind numbing thuds in 5 second increments as the sub-woofers got a real work out. Who makes this trash? Do the studios make their own trailers, or do they farm them out to some other company? The reason I ask is that they all look and sound exactly the same - uniformly offensive! [Mad]

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Larry Arpin
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 - posted December 28, 2012 07:37 PM      Profile for Larry Arpin   Author's Homepage   Email Larry Arpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul-There are specific companies who do only trailers. Kaleidoscope was one of the companies, Can't remember what others.

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Hugh Thompson Scott
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 - posted December 28, 2012 08:12 PM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
Totally agree there Paul,coupled with the very annoying quick
fade in-fade out on these modern trailers that act as a deterent
as far as I'm concerned.Gone are the days it seems where the
trailer acted as a mini movie in it's own right and actually
encouraged the cinemagoer to come and see the film,but then
the majority of modern film is just one long product placement
advert with an over loud soundtrack.

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Steve Klare
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 - posted December 28, 2012 09:04 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's not just the studios at fault either, it's the theaters too!

Example:

Here we are seven years ago taking our 3 year old kid out to his first movie in a real theater: Winnie the Poo the Heffalump Movie.

-nice, benevolent, gentle Winnie the Pooh! He who never said anything harsher than "Oh, bother!" and did nothing more violent than fall out of a "hunny" tree! -A good choice for an audience not too long out of diapers, don't want to risk accidents after all!

What trailers do they lead it off with?

-every explosion filled, car crash laden, creepy guy jumping out of the shadows with an axe at 150 decibel one they could find!

Half the theater was crying by the time we got to the feature, and it wasn't just the children either!

Which nimrod put that program together?!

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Graham Ritchie
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 - posted December 28, 2012 10:09 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You can get in the "Poo" [Smile] for doing that with trailers out here.

"Winnie the Poo" would be a "G" rated film and as such you are not allowed to attach any trailer that is rated above the rating of the film being shown, even "PG" the next one up is a "no no" however if I thought a "PG" was ok for the kids I might add it, but the general rule was no no.

Also what I did was to check all the trailers myself to make sure there was nothing in the "content wise" that might be a bit much for the kids.

The total number of trailers attached on the front was usually no more than three, with adds 15 minutes all up was the total before the feature, however most of the time a 10 minutes total was it. There were times I would even remove adds if I thought the add was not suitable for that "G" rating and usually a quick phone call to the advertising folk would sort that out and they would place something else in its place, they were pretty good once you explained things to them.

I was lucky that the projectionist "me" called the shots with all the film stuff and the people that owned the place left me to it. I dont think bigger places would allow that.

As far as volume, adds and trailers were always run at a lower setting than the feature....so no complaints.

I am not sure how things are done in the digital world.

Graham.

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Jonathan Trevithick
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 - posted December 28, 2012 10:20 PM      Profile for Jonathan Trevithick   Email Jonathan Trevithick   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That's right Graham.
When I did some projectionist work in the UK back in the 90s, the same was true. You couldn't show a trailer classified above the film's certificate. There were also certain adverts you could not show with a U (G) programme either (obvious ones being alcohol commercials).

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Steve Klare
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 - posted December 28, 2012 10:58 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Another bad thing about it is this was the nice local family owned theater: normally the "good guys" and somebody I prefer to attend! (This is the place where the owner of the theater stands at the head of the line and talks to people about what's playing while they are waiting to enter the auditoriums.}

-we got to the end of all this death and destruction and my little boy looked up at me and said "Daddy! I want to go home!".

-we talked him into holding on and once Winnie the Pooh actually showed up he was OK...

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Graham Ritchie
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 - posted December 29, 2012 01:15 AM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jonathan comments are spot on, Steve I am surprised that the cinema would do this as its really pointless.

The cinema where I worked was basically a kids movie theatre, and the school holidays was when it made its money. The thing is with trailers, is to make sure you are targeting the right audience with them eg. If we were showing say "Winnie the Poo" as well as, Ice Age, Madagascar, Yogi Bear or any other kids movie, even one thats still months off, then those are the trailers we would use.

Cross advertising using trailers is a must during school holidays. I would put eg a "Poo" trl on "Ice Age" and an "Ice Age" trl on Poo...that type of thing. The idea with a trailer is to create an interest with that age group that its aimed at, so that will force the parents to take them to another film thats of interest to them...the kids. [Smile] To place any trailer thats for teenagers on a film that aimed at young children is plain stupid, its wrong and it wont work.

I would even place a kids trl on films that are for the 50 plus age group...once again its to create a bit of interest to any grandparents out there, that might take their grandchildren to see it during the holidays.

I do remember screeing "Australia", that film did really well. The rating was low I think it was PG, and around that time we were also running "Gran Torino" starring Clint Eastwood. The Gran Torino trl was "M" rating, higher than Australia and by rights cant use it, however when I looked at the age of the audience for "Australia" I added Gran Torino which was a good one, even though the rating was higher....everyone likes Clint Eastwood [Cool] ...so I sometimes did bend the rules.

A lot of thought has to go into placing trailers not just on a film but to put them in the right order, a good one might be the last before the feature and I tag it to bring the lights down to total darkness just at the begining of it, eg a Harry Potter trl for best effect.

Graham.

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Jonathan Trevithick
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 - posted December 29, 2012 01:30 AM      Profile for Jonathan Trevithick   Email Jonathan Trevithick   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That all makes sense, Graham. Of course, some distributors used to force exhibitors to screen a trailer for their next biggest attraction before the film and these were often also printed onto the start of the first reel.
Just digressing slightly, does anyone else download their favourite old ads trailers and daysets from Youtube, edit them and show them before a feature at home?

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Hugh Thompson Scott
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 - posted December 29, 2012 03:27 AM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
Speaking for myself Jonathan, I have lots of S/8 trls plus a couple
of ad reels, why I bought ad reels beats me as it's the first thing
I remove from a recorded DVD from TV broadcast.

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David Ollerearnshaw
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 - posted December 29, 2012 05:36 AM      Profile for David Ollerearnshaw   Author's Homepage   Email David Ollerearnshaw   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hugh, I also cut ads out of my video recordings, but did sometimes put of few on the beginning and end of each programme. I did pick the better ones though.

When projecting I like of start with a couple of shorts L&L Pathe Pics cartoon, then the ads and trailers followed by the feature. Some of the ads are better than the movie's nowadays.

In our local cinemas they used to have a really glossy professionally made generic ad for different products, like diamonds then the shops title card flashed up looking like it was filmed on a sheet of card with Leterset rubdown letters.

Did this happen in other parts of the world?

Yes I also download ads & trailers from the net to make my own shows.

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Winbert Hutahaean
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 - posted December 29, 2012 07:31 AM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My curiosity, I always hear those trailers with heavy voice narration. For those live in UK, do you also hear the narration in british accent or American ones?

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Winbert

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Hugh Thompson Scott
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 - posted December 29, 2012 09:18 AM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes we have the same ones Winbert,spoken in a drawl that would
put John Wayne to shame.

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Paul Adsett
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 - posted December 29, 2012 10:04 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The most prolific voice on American trailers was Don LaFontaine. In the industry he is known as "Thunder Throat", "The voice of God", or more commonly just "The Voice". He made a great living just voicing preview trailers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_LaFontaine
If you want to see an example of great trailer making, take a look at the super 8 trailer for The Dam Busters. That one should be a benchmark for the trailer industry.

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Christian Bjorgen
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 - posted December 29, 2012 11:33 AM      Profile for Christian Bjorgen   Author's Homepage   Email Christian Bjorgen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Or most pre-2000 Disney trailers, they were always good [Smile] I remember almost enjoying the trailers more than the actual film whenever my dad brought home a new Disney VHS [Big Grin]

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Hugh Thompson Scott
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 - posted December 29, 2012 12:19 PM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
Four good examples of trailers I think are ; ENTER THE DRAGON,
TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, GOOD, BAD & THE UGLY and
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.

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Osi Osgood
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 - posted December 29, 2012 12:52 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This modern trend with the "fade in fade outs" and all that jazz is probably used to mask the fact that there really isn't much to the film being marketed ...

... but then, trailers are supposed to market something, make it look even better than what it is.

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Graham Ritchie
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 - posted December 29, 2012 02:21 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jonathan

Quite often we would get a hard locked trailer on the front of a feature, sometimes printed with the film or spliced. They were suppose to stay on the film at all times, however if we were not going to screen that film that the trailer was all about I would remove it, as all we were doing is advertising for the nearby multi-plex, that more than likely would be running it, so off it would come, and something that we were going to screen would replace it. I would then place that hard locked trl in the "film box" and splice it back on the front once we were finished with it. [Wink]

Over the years I have collected a number of 35mm adds some of them are very clever and entertaining. One such stunning colour add I did gave away, was a "Crunchie" add that featured the "Kingston Flyer" that had some really good shots of the train, Others like "Sony Bravia" I still have, I watched on TV a while ago a doco on how they made it, very interesting.

On Super8 a selection of "P.G. Tips" is classic stuff, with both colour and sound are excellent, another is on the front of the Derann release "Spirit Of America" which has a Mr Bean short on the Do's and Dont's of going to the cinema, very funny. That short can be removed and placed on any other film programme.

Over the years and in particular the 35mm kids films, would often have a Pixar/Disney short on the front, many of those would later make there way onto Super8 "For The Birds", "Gone Nutty", and many more. One Derann release that I missed was Geri's Game, they had that one but only for a very short time...pity [Frown]

Bouncing back to trailers, the 35mm Ice Age ones were often like a mini short in themselves featuring mainly "Scrat", his antics are so true to life. I still have all those trailers.

The film companys would also send us a number of "Phone Off" shorts, one of the best was from "Meet The Robinsons" where its a musical bouncing ball theme to the music of "I heard It Through The Grapevine" from the hit record Marvin Gaye did back in the 70s. The last scene of that add, was looking out from inside the boot of a car, and telling you to switch your phone off.....or else! They were fitted just before the start of any film, and I think it was a clever way to get the point across to switch your phone off.

Another 35mm add I like and still have is Blue Bird "potato crisps"- Jive Talking, the music is of course the Bee Gees from Saturday Night Fever.

Another funny one was an English add called "Nike Streaker" Its a live TV broacast of a fooball match in England when this person runs onto the pitch with nothing on except Nike running shoes. What happens is the police cant catch him running all over the pitch....as he is to quick after all he does have "Nike" on.

I must admit looking back [Roll Eyes] those 12 years of projecting film was fun.

Graham.

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Steve Klare
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 - posted December 29, 2012 04:39 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Years ago I got a print of "The Old Mill" used from Derann with an unexpected bonus. There was a set of advertisements for various Birmingham merchants spliced onto the end. There was a beauty salon featuring immense 1960s hairdoes, an appliance repair store and this spectacular camera shop where the customer was trying out a 16mm Bolex camera!

This was almost taboo in American theaters when I was growing up yet it's slowly been creeping in for years now. I still get a little bent out of shape over the idea of seeing advertisements on a screen I've bought a ticket to watch, but apparently it's not a very new idea at all...

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Graham Ritchie
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 - posted December 29, 2012 07:07 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Although very few of us like sitting through a bunch of adds, advertising does bring in extra money. We dealt with Val Morgan Cinema Advertising and remember one of the past cinema owners telling me it was worth around $40.000 a year in extra income.

Val Morgan would send me a weekly fax with the list of adds that they wanted to be screened that had to be placed in a particular order on each film starting on Thursday morning through to the following Wednesday night. They would ask for adds, trl, adds, trl in that order, but I told them its adds, trls, then feature and thats it, less mucking around and they went along with that.

The problem we had was to get them done in time with only a 15 minute gap between sessions, during the school holidays finding the time was a problem, with up to 12 features floating around and adds being moved/replaced from one film to another and so on, you had to be careful you didn't get yourself in a pickle, plus a careful double check that you cut new ones on the frame line.......or else [Eek!]

I could, if push came to shove remove all the adds, fit the new ones, thread the projector and be back on the screen in time. In doing this I would tell the downstairs staff that I was changing the adds and will try to be back on the screen as quickly as possible and just in case I was running a few minutes late.....dont worry [Smile]

The advertising people would sometimes arrive out of the blue and do a spot check in each screen ticking of that we were running them and the condition of the prints along with a report. There is a bit of money at stake so getting it right was important.

I never had a problem with the advertising folk, they were pretty good to deal with.

With digital cinema [Roll Eyes] I guess its a lot easier these days.

Graham.

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Hugh Thompson Scott
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From: Gt. Clifton,Cumbria,England
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 - posted December 29, 2012 07:43 PM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
I would think it might be Graham, but I doubt if the modern
exhibitor has your skills.

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Steve Klare
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 - posted December 29, 2012 08:16 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes,

I remember when I was in business school a marketing professor asked "A newspaper costs 40 cents to print and deliver and costs the reader 25 cents, yet the publisher makes a profit. How is that possible?"

The answer was advertising.

So I guess sitting through ads may be the price we pay for the ticket prices not being even worse than they are already.

In theaters barely getting by they could make the difference between having a theater there next year or not.

(Still bugs me!)

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Hugh Thompson Scott
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From: Gt. Clifton,Cumbria,England
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 - posted December 29, 2012 08:39 PM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
I understand that advertising does have it's place, but it has now
got to the stage where it is infringing on the main entertainment
with product placement being the order of the day.For instance
in the latest Bond film "Skyfall", we have James Bond, sophisticate
and connoisseur swigging Heinneken beer,something the Bond
character would never have done,Daniel Craig was most
embarrassed when tackled over it in an interview, but the fact
remains that advertising is ruining films,another reason why I
really don't care for modern movies, they are made for an
undemanding audience that in general is more interested in
what they are consuming than what is happening on screen.

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Jeff Missinne
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 - posted December 29, 2012 09:56 PM      Profile for Jeff Missinne   Email Jeff Missinne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I believe that a lot of movie trailers in recent years have been made by TV-commercial production houses. To the question about very slick "generic" ads with cheezy-looking local tie-ins, I remember something similar when I was a kid. They were usually seasonal, like "Shop your downtown merchants this Christmas," and were a whole series of art-card ads for local stores, backed by stock library music. Date strip makers like Filmack in Chicago turned out an awful lot of that stuff. (Or is it a lot of that awful stuff?) [Razz]

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Tony Stucchio
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 - posted January 01, 2013 05:09 PM      Profile for Tony Stucchio   Email Tony Stucchio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
For instance in the latest Bond film "Skyfall", we have James Bond, sophisticate and connoisseur swigging Heinneken beer,something the Bond character would never have done,
I beg to differ. In the Ian Fleming novels, DR. NO and THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, Bond drank a Red Stripe beer. Also in the film version of the former.
Red Stripe

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