How to create a movie trailer

“All the promise of a movie is in the trailer.”—A.D. Posey

Use these tips to tell an engaging story in under three minutes, from planning and shooting to editing.

The best movie trailers condense two hours of story content into anywhere between 15 and 60 seconds. Trailers give you a sense of the plot and characters of the film, but they also leave you wanting more. The magic of movie trailers tell the story without revealing the full story.

Do you want to make your own movie trailer? Here are the basic steps for creative storytelling, filming, and editing movie trailers that hook your audience.

Tell a compelling story

Trailers are short and fast. The same principles that guide the best books and films apply to trailers too. Follow the three-act story structure when you’re planning out your trailer:

  1. Introduce the characters, the setting and the concept
  2. Bring the conflict to light
  3. Finish with the climax – the most exciting part of the story – right before it’s resolved

Bring it to life

Choose the most emotional, engaging, and exciting scenes without giving away the plot. For example, if you're making a horror movie trailer, you might show the moment of suspense before something terrifying happens. In a comedy trailer, pick the funniest one-liners.

Tell the story through narration or captions interspersed with these engaging scenes. That way, the scenes speak for themselves.

Set the pace with editing

Editing transforms your collection of clips into a narrative. Use editing to set the pace and add music and sound effects to set the mood.

Once you’ve followed the standard three-part storytelling structure, use editing to add sound effects and adjust the pace to accelerate as the conflict builds.

Experience the power of Adobe Premiere Pro. Unlock your storytelling potential and share it with the world.