Teasers, trailers, and previews.
The length of a trailer depends on where it’s going to live online or be shown to audiences, and also when in the cycle of a movie’s marketing campaign it will be released. Earlier previews are shorter and only a few seconds long, and later previews are longer, with narrative arcs of their own.
Teasers are very short, usually about 30 seconds to one minute long. Teasers are usually released early in a movie’s marketing campaign, and they give the audience just a small hint of what the movie will look like.
A trailer teaser is a new kind of teaser, meant to arouse interest in the release of an upcoming, longer trailer. It’s an ad for a future ad, essentially. Marketing campaigns for big-budget movies often put out a short clip to drum up excitement for a trailer prior to the release of a longer piece of video content.
These especially short trailers can be repurposed — and reoriented — for social media sites such as Instagram or Twitter, where audiences will see a single scene as they scroll through their feed. If the longer trailer has been released, a teaser trailer can be accompanied by a call to action (CTA) to view it. “Use a short trailer to drive traffic to a longer one,” says Martin.
Trailers are the most familiar kind of preview, usually 2 to 2.5 minutes long. Trailers typically run prior to feature films, though they used to come after the feature, hence the name. Trailers contain the most information about a movie. They usually show moments from several scenes in the film and run the gamut in terms of emotion or mood. Full trailers also show off the cast more than other previews. A longer trailer often shows most or all of the movie’s main cast, names the director, and mentions other relevant details, like if the movie is based on a popular book.
Editing, genre, and sound effects.
How you edit a trailer depends on what kind of movie it is. A slow-paced period drama uses slow transitions and dissolves, but trailers for action movies can smash cut to an explosion or other burst of activity. The intro of a horror trailer might start slow with more gradual edits to build tension, but then amp up the pace with a series of quick cuts featuring brief glimpses of the enticing frights to come.