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HOW TO MAKE
YOUR OWN MOVIE
TRAILER (IN 12
SIMPLE STEPS)
BROUGHT TO YOU BY…
#1: KNOW WHAT’S AT STAKE
Keep your eyes on the (viral video) prize
There’s no better way to MARKET your movie than through...
#2: HAND THE REINS OVER
Have someone else make your trailer
I know you know your film better than anyone else, but that’s ...
#3: KEEP IT STRUCTURED
Following the rules is even more important with
trailers
Your trailer needs to tell a mini story. I...
#4: LEAD WITH YOUR BEST
Leave out the “slow” parts & lead with your best
material
In a dream world, your film is perfect w...
#5: HOOK ‘EM EARLY
Don’t leave your fireworks until the end
Attention spans are at their all-time low, it's imperative tha...
#6: KEEP BUILDING
Always keep that conflict rising
Your trailer needs to always be ESCALATING. It needs to be getting
funn...
#7: BE EFFICIENT
Cut, cut, cut
With a movie trailer, you have to CRAM in an entire movie in just a few
minutes which means...
#8: BREAK THE RULES
Know the genre conventions, but…
Know the genre conventions of your film - what typically happens in a...
#9: KNOW YOUR MOVIE
Find the “right bait” for the “right fish”
When it comes to trailer-making time, you're going to have ...
#10: TURN UP THE TUNES
Rely on music to keep the rhythm
For a movie trailer, rhythm is everything and music can help with ...
#11: NEVER RESOLVE
ANYTHING
Embrace them loose ends
Leave your story open-ended and keep the audience guessing. Don't
answ...
#12: HAVE A GREAT ENDING
End stronger than you begin (and begin strong!)
Your audience will REMEMBER what they see at the ...
NEED A KILLER SCRIPT?
GRAB YOUR FREE
EBOOK!:
“7 SECRETS TO
WRITING A KICK-ASS &
MARKETABLE
SCRENPLAY”
Did we mention it’s
...
CONNECT WITH US!
https://youtube.com/scriptbully
https://pinterest.com/scriptbully
https://facebook.com/scriptbully
https:...
“If a story is in you, it’s got to come out.”
–William Faulkner
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How to Make Your Own Movie Trailer (in 12 Simple Steps)

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Unless you're a monolithic movie studio, chances are if you're releasing a movie then you'll need to make your own movie trailer. Here are 12 tips to ensure your DIY movie trailer experience is quick, effective...and hopefully...profitable.

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How to Make Your Own Movie Trailer (in 12 Simple Steps)

  1. 1. HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN MOVIE TRAILER (IN 12 SIMPLE STEPS) BROUGHT TO YOU BY…
  2. 2. #1: KNOW WHAT’S AT STAKE Keep your eyes on the (viral video) prize There’s no better way to MARKET your movie than through a good trailer. In the age of YouTube and viral videos, a good trailer can quickly find an audience for your film. Know your target audience. Know what they'll love about your film…and don't mess it up!
  3. 3. #2: HAND THE REINS OVER Have someone else make your trailer I know you know your film better than anyone else, but that’s exactly why you should NOT make the trailer. You know too much. You're too familiar with it. You'll fill in the gaps your trailer may leave subconsciously which could result in a confusing trailer. Plus, you're too biased. Your favorite part that NEEDS to be in the trailer, may not actually make sense there.
  4. 4. #3: KEEP IT STRUCTURED Following the rules is even more important with trailers Your trailer needs to tell a mini story. In most cases, this means following the 3-Act Structure. (Don’t just throw a highlight reel at the audience.) So, BREAK your trailer, like you broke your story. (With rising conflict, set ups, and payoffs.)
  5. 5. #4: LEAD WITH YOUR BEST Leave out the “slow” parts & lead with your best material In a dream world, your film is perfect without flaws, but in reality, there probably are a few things that don't exactly work perfectly. It may seem obvious, but don't put these in the trailer! LEAD with your best material! Even bad movies can have an amazing trailer and that's because they break down what works and leave out what doesn’t.
  6. 6. #5: HOOK ‘EM EARLY Don’t leave your fireworks until the end Attention spans are at their all-time low, it's imperative that you HOOK the audience immediately. Whether that be with a funny joke, a clever bit of dialogue, or a great song, you have to get the audience to PAY attention from the first second.
  7. 7. #6: KEEP BUILDING Always keep that conflict rising Your trailer needs to always be ESCALATING. It needs to be getting funnier as it goes if it's a comedy, scarier as it goes if it's for a thriller, and more dramatic if it's a drama. You need to take the audience to the peak and leave them there so that they'll be BEGGING for more.
  8. 8. #7: BE EFFICIENT Cut, cut, cut With a movie trailer, you have to CRAM in an entire movie in just a few minutes which means you have to be extremely resourceful when it comes to what clips you use. Opt for shots and pieces of dialogue that accomplish multiple things. Make sure nothing is WASTED and that every frame has its purpose.
  9. 9. #8: BREAK THE RULES Know the genre conventions, but… Know the genre conventions of your film - what typically happens in a comedy trailer, documentary trailer, love story trailer - but don't let your reliance on them make your TRAILER boring. You need your movie to STAND OUT from all the others. You need your audience to DECIDE that something about yours is both different and worth seeing.
  10. 10. #9: KNOW YOUR MOVIE Find the “right bait” for the “right fish” When it comes to trailer-making time, you're going to have to DECIDE what will best suit your story. Would you trailer benefit from a narration or is that too overdone? Has it won any festivals? Would tooting your horn and listing them be helpful to an audience or off-putting? Can you THROW in "Based on True Events" or will that cheapen it? Know who your audience is.
  11. 11. #10: TURN UP THE TUNES Rely on music to keep the rhythm For a movie trailer, rhythm is everything and music can help with that immensely. Rhythm will help you BUILD anticipation which is what a trailer is all about. It will also help ESTABLISH the tone of your film. Find the right music, and your job will be much easier.
  12. 12. #11: NEVER RESOLVE ANYTHING Embrace them loose ends Leave your story open-ended and keep the audience guessing. Don't answer any questions for them. You don't want to give too much away or the audience won't feel they need to see your movie. Keep them guessing, RAISE the stakes, and make them WONDER what will happen next.
  13. 13. #12: HAVE A GREAT ENDING End stronger than you begin (and begin strong!) Your audience will REMEMBER what they see at the end of your trailer before they remember what was at the beginning - so make it great! It's often a good idea to end with a joke, even in the most serious of films - it'll allow the audience to understand that even though the film is HEAVY, there are still some light-hearted moments.
  14. 14. NEED A KILLER SCRIPT? GRAB YOUR FREE EBOOK!: “7 SECRETS TO WRITING A KICK-ASS & MARKETABLE SCRENPLAY” Did we mention it’s FREE?!!
  15. 15. CONNECT WITH US! https://youtube.com/scriptbully https://pinterest.com/scriptbully https://facebook.com/scriptbully https://twitter.com/scriptbully
  16. 16. “If a story is in you, it’s got to come out.” –William Faulkner

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