Friday, June 12, 2009

The Lonesome Trail

I'm so glad I invited input on trailers and thanks (in no particular order) to Frank, Chris and Eleanor for commenting, even if I did lie about the prize.

Clearly I am not the only person to think that a trailer is a visual logline - yup, Frank, my exact words in the sealed envelope, as opened by the lovely Samantha, in front of invigilators. (Samantha loves to open up in front of invigilators.*) And you said it too Eleanor.

That's it really. Protagonist, Antagonist, Goal + Barriers (conflict), Setting.

Now we just have to get clever and choose the right bits. (Eleanor, I promise we won't do anything to cause you to come round and kill me.)

Chris, I wonder how different it needs to be if it really is a visual logline?

What's on the turntable? Still quiet, I'm currently on my way back from Derby and wrote this last night on the train.

* My tribute to the late great Humphrey Littleton.


FrankA said...

It's not the prize, it's the winning that counts! :)

Adaddinsane said...

Can't deny it.

Eleanor said...

Yeah, I think Frank won. :)

Good answer.

Chris Regan said...

I think I'm coming at it from a filmmaker's point of view rather than as a writer. You mentioned you had a producer and a director involved so I'm guessing you want investors to put money into the three of you as a package. In which case you want a trailer that shows off what they can do as well as how strong the story is.

As an example, the trailer for Ten Dead Men was over 3 minutes long. The concept is an ex-hitman is double-crossed and left for dead so comes back for revenge - you don't need 3 minutes to show that. And you wuoldn't usually see a trailer that long in the cinema. But for the purposes of selling the film we wanted to show the full extent of what we were able to do - so it became kind of a montage of fights and explosions more than being about the story itself.

Again, it's a bit different because our trailer was put together in order to sell a finished film. I guess my point is you're not trying to hook an audience on a story, you're trying to sell the idea of a finished product.

Another way of doing it differently - I've heard of a couple of examples (e.g. Saw and the recent UK film Underground) where the film-makers have filmed a sample scene and used that to attract investment. It's sometimes easier to put your time and money into one really well-filmed scene that sums up the tone of the film rather than filming different bits.

Overall I think you just need to discuss it with the director and producer. They might, for example, have ideas or have access to locations/props they they want to incorporate.

Sorry for the long comment - I might repost this on my blog! My point is that if you're putting together a trailer in order to get people to read/invest in the script then it definitely should be a visual logline and nothing else. But it might be worth getting your producer and director to consider any other elements they can use the trailer to promote the three of you and to show what the finished film could be.

Adaddinsane said...

Hi Chris: Long comment was fine, it's good stuff. I entirely agree with you - the target public is always the primary concern.

I am in discussions with the director about this - and the producer when she gets back from her jolly-days :-)

I can pontificate all I want but essentially I know nothing.