In a world where movie theater attendance has slumped to a 25-year low, more people are watching movie trailers than ever before.
These promos are “that one form of advertising that you actually want more of,” explains Jon Penn, CEO of the National Research Group, a prominent entertainment research firm. And thanks to an increase in online availability, they’re also easier to find, watch, rewatch, analyze and share theories about.
This trailer boom has lead to an increase in the number of trailers being cut and a robust job market for professional trailer makers. More work can mean more competition, too, as a studio will often hire several vendors to work on the same trailer, picking their favorite as the face of their film’s campaign. That means trailer makers are constantly one-upping each other to be the most eye-catching and innovative of the bunch.
“We’re constantly hustling,” says Carrie Gormley, president of Theatrical Advertising at Create Advertising, one of over 100 “trailer houses” operating today.
It's having an effect on the milieu. Trailer industry mogul Mark Woollen says that these days, “trailers have become their own form of entertainment” that can be enjoyed “the same way they listen to a song."
In fact, there are now premieres, critics, and even a version of the Academy Awards, called The Golden Trailer Awards, focused solely on trailers.
VICE News attended the ceremony to find out what it takes to craft two minutes that will make you laugh, cry — and maybe even cough up $15 for a movie ticket.