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Patrick Cooper

Trailers featuring footage that does not appear in the film they're promoting

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It's not overly common but once in a while there are film trailers that may include a bit of footage that is not seen in the film itself. There may or may not be legitimate reasons why this is done. And obviously, the reasons would vary on a case by case basis. Has anyone here done such a thing with good, legitimate reasons? Or do you think it's deceptive?

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A shot that doesn't work in the film might work in a teaser or trailer. They paid for the shot so why not use it to promote the film? It's not like they're using a whole scene that got eliminated from the final edit. I agree it's a little weird, but then it's still the same actors in the same locations in the same story.

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Trailers are often cut and released while the movie itself is still in the middle of post -- the editor is under no obligation then to match his cut to whatever the trailer editor chose. If a shot sells the movie even though it didn't make it to the final edit, that doesn't bother me too much unless it is misleading.

 

I've certainly seen many trailers where an actor delivers some angry line in response that in the final cut, the editor felt played better in silence.

 

One shouldn't take marketing too seriously...

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Trailers are often cut and released while the movie itself is still in the middle of post -- the editor is under no obligation then to match his cut to whatever the trailer editor chose.

That's what I figured - at least with big productions. I also have a query regarding say an independent filmmaker supplying a film and it's trailer to a film festival. Suppose there was just one very brief shot featured in the trailer that did not appear in the film (and it is not misleading) - would festivals generally be forgivable of that?

Edited by Patrick Cooper

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I worked in trailers (and still do sometimes) for a while. Most of today's trailers are cut by speciality houses. They are delivered an extremely rough cut of the film to work with, sometimes a six to twelve months before release date. The trailer house will use that to cut a promotional teaser with, not knowing what is in the final cut. Once the film has picture lock, the trailer house will do another revision with the material as seen in the final product. Generally speaking, things like visual effects in trailers are the first shots worked on and are done very quick. So early release teasers, generally don't represent the film.

 

In the past during the film days, it was common practice to use unwanted material for trailer cutters because they'd literally get outtake reels on 35mm to cut from. A lot of films of the past even had special 2nd unit crews who's job it was to specifically shoot material for teasers. Once people switched to computer based NLE editing, trailer houses were one of the first to migrate. This allowed them to cut from an entire feature without having to deal with prints and such.

 

Remember, trailers are just marketing, so their job is to get asses in the seats. Most trailers are deceptive for that exact reason and studio execs have their fingers meddling in them even more so then the final film.

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A bit different but in my opinion far worse .. are films shot with 3 or 4 endings.. shown to pre release audiences.. and then the most popular ending is chosen.. !!.. talk about lack of courage of your own convictions..I really wonder what director would ever do this.. unless they have a big tax bill..

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A bit different but in my opinion far worse .. are films shot with 3 or 4 endings.. shown to pre release audiences.. and then the most popular ending is chosen.. !!.. talk about lack of courage of your own convictions..I really wonder what director would ever do this.. unless they have a big tax bill..

Welcome to hollywood, where the "people" dictate what the artist makes.

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It's not overly common but once in a while there are film trailers that may include a bit of footage that is not seen in the film itself. There may or may not be legitimate reasons why this is done. And obviously, the reasons would vary on a case by case basis. Has anyone here done such a thing with good, legitimate reasons? Or do you think it's deceptive?

 

Er....um....who would do such a thing?????????

 

R,

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Welcome to hollywood, where the "people" dictate what the artist makes.

 

Well I guess its like the old TV thing.. do people want crap TV or are they dragged down to that level .. the latter I believe..

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The trailer for my student short I used shots that didn't make the final cut. My thinking was well I paid for the film and the shots looked great why not find a use for them even if it didn't represent the actually film being shown.

 

Another short film I did I made an accidental double exposure. I had the camera running in Retour by mistake. It was a shot of A criminal peering through a wooden fence superimposed with a red police spinning bubble lamp. It didn't fit in the movie but looked awesome in the trailer.

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Well I guess its like the old TV thing.. do people want crap TV or are they dragged down to that level .. the latter I believe..

People don't want to think. They want to hit the theater or turn on the television as an escape from their life. The problem is, our lives today are so frantic, so full of fantasy, mass-produced entertainment feels like they need to be over powering. So they spend all this time producing products which are way over the top in a desperate attempt to extract every penny they can from the audience. Marketing today is so unbelievably crazy, it never ceases to amaze me we get anything done.

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Well yes always going to be the.. escape life for 90 mins type films.. and TBH I really see anything wrong with that.. as long as thats isnt the only type of film we can see.. and so far personally i think there is sill plenty other good films around..

 

broadcast TV has become really bad.. now even Discovery.Natgeo etc seem to be churning out exploding things and such rubbish.. but on the other hand there are these really good TV drama,s around now.. since the success of Break Bad etc.. I just stick to Netflix now !

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Pay TV/Internet drama's have gotten so good, it's scary for filmmakers. I don't even have the time to watch much of it, but the few shows I have been dedicated to watching have been so well produced, its really shocking. Reminds me a lot of when Law and Order first came out, how well that show was produced, but even better!

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I remember promo photos for the original Star Wars film, that depicted storm troopers astride giant lizards. But nowhere in the actual film did such a scene exist. Lucas would later create such a scene in the revisionist version of the original film.

 

Trailers are always misleading anyway, even when using shots from the final film. They can't help but be misleading since they operate in a completely different format - a few minutes (if that) in which to tell a 'story' where there are more questions than there are answers.

 

There should be more creativity put into trailers.

 

Indeed I think it would be a lot better if they didn't use any shots from the final film at all. To become short films in their own right. Made by the filmmakers themselves rather than by a promo department.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper

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Actually Lucas did make a big lizard for a stormtrooper to ride -- there were location photos of it on some sci-fi magazines from 1977 that I own, and it appears in the original '77 version of the movie (available on the Special Editions DVD on the second disc in a non-anamorphic transfer). I don't think the lizard prop worked well, or at all, because Lucas ended up putting it in the far background of this shot that starts on the lizard but then pans over to the stormtroopers investigating the crashed pod.

 

These frames are from the '77 version of the movie:

 

starwars77_1.jpg

 

Camera pans to:

starwars77_2.jpg

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Trailers are often cut and released while the movie itself is still in the middle of post -- the editor is under no obligation then to match his cut to whatever the trailer editor chose. If a shot sells the movie even though it didn't make it to the final edit, that doesn't bother me too much unless it is misleading.

 

I've certainly seen many trailers where an actor delivers some angry line in response that in the final cut, the editor felt played better in silence.

 

One shouldn't take marketing too seriously...

 

I went with a bunch of friends to see one of the Halloween films in the late 80s (I can't remember which one), but the theatre was sold out, so I was forced to watch "Avenging Angel", the sequel to "Angel", about a teen who gets As in school but is a prostitute at night. Hollywood.

 

Anyway, in the promo the actress says "When you get to Hell, tell 'em an angel sent you!", then she pulls the trigger on the revolver she's holding.

 

I waited the entire movie for that scene, but it was gone. No where. Nada. A couple years ;later an editor told me that sometimes trailers are made up of scenes that are a mix of stuff used in the film and cutting room floor fodder.

 

Just thought I'd share. :)

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Actually Lucas did make a big lizard for a stormtrooper to ride -- there were location photos of it on some sci-fi magazines from 1977 that I own, and it appears in the original '77 version of the movie (available on the Special Editions DVD on the second disc in a non-anamorphic transfer). I don't think the lizard prop worked well, or at all, because Lucas ended up putting it in the far background of this shot that starts on the lizard but then pans over to the stormtroopers investigating the crashed pod.

 

These frames are from the '77 version of the movie:

 

starwars77_1.jpg

 

Camera pans to:

starwars77_2.jpg

 

 

Thanks David. Yes, in the promo photo (I must have seen it in a magazine at the time as well) the lizards were quite prominent, rearing up like a horse might. There were two of them from memory, side by side, each carrying a storm trooper. Yes, I guess the corresponding shot(s) in the film must have ended up on the cutting room floor.

 

C

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I think there's a few official Lucasfilm VCDs with footage and scenes dropped from 1977 Star Wars. I can't remember if they made it into the trailer or not.

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David, you should check out the Star Wars Despecialized Editions: *snip*

 

Does that video express your opinion on the films and their author?

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It's just an option to be aware of if one is interested in seeing the original 1977 version of the film in HD. I do happen to agree with the author about ownership of important works of art and the responsibility to preserve such works for the public trust. Hence the Library of Congress rejecting a print of the Special Edition version of the film instead of the original version for their archives.

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