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How are movie trailers distributed?


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#1 Charles Lawrence

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 10:42 PM

I am an amateur/student photographer who's main career has been in web development. I have been increasingly interested in cinematography in the last year and have been trying to find ways to bridge my love of cameras, movies, and the web.

After spending an hour the other night watching and analyzing new movie trailers on apple.com/trailers, it occurred to me that I didn't know how the trailers are made and how they are distributed. There are dozens of sites (if not more) that offer movie trailers. However, after many exhaustive hours of searching and reading, I still don't have a clear picture of how they are distributed from the various studios to companies such as Apple and TrailerAddict (http://www.traileraddict.com/).

One fascinating bit of insight that I learned was that many trailers are cut using dailies, finally explaining why so many trailers feature scenes that are never in the movies themselves. I've even started noticing in some trailers where different scenes look completely different because some were "unprocessed" and others had gone through the processes of getting them ready for the final cut. I know my terminology is probably incorrect, so I apologize for that. It's like the first time a more experienced photographer broke down one of his photos and explained the different kind of lighting he used. The photo went from being beautiful without knowing why to one that I could take apart and understand its various aspects. It was such an enlightening experience that for many days afterword, I couldn't look at a normal scene on a street without mentally examining it and thinking about the possible compositions and lighting.

I'm hoping some experienced folks here could enlighten me as to how the trailers for movies are made available to the wide variety of sites that show them.

Thanks!
Charles
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#2 Joseph Arch

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 02:59 PM

Where do you live?
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#3 Ben J

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 04:59 AM

I've been wondering about this as well. Who is responsible for creating the trailers? Marketing team?
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#4 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 02:18 AM

Marketing team?

Yes, of course. But there are many different companies that do nothing but cut trailers.
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#5 John Sprung

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 02:03 PM

Post on the main show typically has to be done as fast as possible, just to make a release date or air date. The trailer has to be done weeks quicker. Trailer editors, therefore, are a special breed. Insomnia is almost a prerequisite. In the old days, we had to print IP/IN on everything the trailer guy wanted. We usually hired our own, rather than using a trailer company.

As for how the trailers were distributed, it was handled by a company called National Screen Service, which also did the posters.





-- J.S.
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#6 Dominic Case

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 05:34 PM

There was a time when trailers HAD TO only include shots that were in the finished film - otherwise there was the legal issue of misrepresentation.

Now, as John points out, trailers have to be ready way before the final film is finished (which is often only days before the premiere and world-wide release - no pressure on the lab to get prints out on time!). So often scenes are shot just for early teaser trailers months before even the shoot is finished, let alone post.

In this neck of the woods, some studios now send a digital master of the trailer by satellite to the lab, where it's downloaded, recorded out to film, and printed. Saves a couple of days of shipping and givs the lab a back-up in case the neg gets damaged in printing.

And of course the master is there for DCP digital release copies.
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