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Why I don't watch movie trailers anymore.


Years ago I gave up on Hollywood marketing.  They basically show you the entire movie now in a desperate effort to get you to go watch their movie opening weekend.  Worst of all they'll show you all the best parts in an onslaught of marketing.  


My simple rule is:  If I already want to see it, I won't watch the trailer. 


One of my all time best movie experiences came on July 16th 2008.  My friends and I were at the midnight showing of the Dark Knight along with thousands of other New Yorkers.  Half way through the movie, every one of us started freaking out when we realized that the Batpod (Batman's bike) was actually INSIDE & part of the Batmobile itself!  Non of us knew this.  The audible gasps of joy and surprise in the movie theater could be felt from New Jersey.  It was a fantastic movie experience.

Two years later, I had already begun my habit of avoiding trailers.  I had spent many months avoiding everything about Iron Man 2.  The midnight showing was only 2 days away.  When suddenly… I'm checking out the front page of my favorite tech site, Gizmodo… and BAM!  I read a headline that said: 


"Watch It: the Iron Man 2 Briefcase Suit Scene."


I FREAKED OUT.  I was so upset.  Months of closing my eyes.  Ruined by a single headline.  So when I watched the movie 2 days later… I didn't have some brilliant movie experience when I saw a suitcase being driven to Tony Stark.  I already knew.  No surprise.  It was still cool.  But I knew it was coming.


I've avoided every Trailer/Review/Interview/Clip/Tweet/FB status relating to Avengers.  I couldn't be more excited to see my childhood comic books come to life.  And every single second will be brand new to me.  I am now evacuating the internet until after I see it on Friday to avoid spoilers.


To quote Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, Wall-E) on Jeff Goldsmith's brilliant creative screenwriting podcast:

"When I was going to school... In high school and loving movies I remember teasers truly teasing me... And I remember E.T. Was just 3 fingers going around a door & a date... & i feel like We've become such an impatient society... And we want our cake 2 years before its time to have our cake... that you're losing a lot of romance & ammunition out of making people have to wait... And making them want to know more... and anticipating something…"



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Reader Comments (5)

Not watching trailers is fine if you're into watching Blockbuster movies. But if you're more into indie cinema whereby often you have little or no information to go on about the film or director/writer, well then a trailer is one of the few points of call for information.

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKarl

I completely agree, yet, to take a page out of Hillman Curtis' book, I watch them thoroughly afterwards. Trailers, are a bite size morsel of beautiful storytelling when done right (Example: A Single Man). As a writer and storyteller, there's much to learn from the cadence each of them bring in their own way.

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRon

When we went to see "Magnolia" we hadn't a single clue what it was about, or who was in it, or anything. I think we were the only people in the theater that actually enjoyed it.. Zero expectations.

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersmann

I started doing this about 5 years ago. I saw a 10 second teaser for Transformers from comic con. I was a pan of the Optimus Prime pick up truck with the metallic robot noises playing. Almost a year later I saw the movie and had managed to avoid EVERY trailer. It was awesome to see the robots for the first time in the theater.

I still remember setting Dark Knight and avoiding every trailer. I knew about the Joker as a villain but nothing else. Only when I was in line buying my popcorn did I see a poster with Harvey Dent. It was almost ruined. I think it was okay since I still had no real clue if 2face would actually make an appearance.

I shut my eyes and hum a tune at every preview for something I know I'll see. If I decide after one full preview that I want to see it then I never watch out again. I do the same thing with scenes from the coming week on Game of Thrones.

I've always wanted to just be able to go into a theater and be told you will see a good movie and suddenly some random awesome movie comes up. You but a ticket and suddenly Star Wars 7 is on.

May 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMe too

I was literally impressed with awe inspiring Mind Movies that rekindled my desire to lead a happy and contented life, after losing my right arm in an accident.

August 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTom

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