New Project: Movie Trailer Video

cats-at-movies-300x281.pngToday’s essential question: How can I create a dynamic movie trailer with the resources available in this class?

For our next project, we will create a 60 second live action movie trailer using Adobe Premiere (if you choose to use a class video camera and computer) or iMovie (if you choose to use an iPhone or iPad). We will work in small groups to film, but each student must submit their own movie trailer. This means you will take turns filming and acting in each others’ movie trailers.

Trailers consist of a series selected shots from the film being advertised. Since the purpose of the trailer is to attract an audience to the film, these excerpts are usually drawn from the most exciting, funny, or otherwise noteworthy parts of the film. To avoid spoilers, the scenes are not necessarily in the order in which they appear in the film.

Most trailers have a three-act structure similar to a full feature-length film:

  • Act I lays out the premise of the story
  • Act II drives the story further and usually ends with a dramatic climax
  • Act III usually features a strong piece of “signature music” (either a recognizable song or a powerful, sweeping orchestral piece). It often consists of a visual montage of powerful and emotional moments of the film. Voice-over narration is used to briefly set up the premise of the film and provide explanation when necessary. Since the trailer is a highly condensed format, voice-over is a useful tool to enhance the audience’s understanding of the plot.

Movie Trailer Project Requirements

  • 60 seconds long
  • Good lighting, clear audio, and dynamic shots
  • Three-Act Structure
  • Voice-Over Narration
  • Visual Montage of Powerful / Emotional Moments
  • Signature Music
  • Movie Title and Credits (in movie preview format)

Sample Student Projects

Here are some movie trailers created by last year’s Media students:

Project Timeline

We will have 10 classes to work on this project.
The time should be spent as follows:

  • Planning – 3 days (proposal, script, still photos for storyboard)
  • Shooting – 4 days
  • Editing – 3 days
  • The project is due at the end of class on Thursday, October 4th

Part I: The Proposal

You should submit a completed proposal by the end of today’s class.
Your proposal should contain the following items:

  • Describe your movie. What is it about? What genre would you classify it? (eg. Action, Horror, Drama, Comedy, Documentary, etc.)
  • Identify your actors. They must be in this class.
  • Identify a setting for your trailer. Where will you film the action? (You may need to film in 2-3 locations for different parts of the trailer, but you must be able to film all locations during class time.)
  • Identify any props or costumes that you will need to bring in.
  • Describe how you will maintain the safety and integrity of your classmates and teacher during the filming of this trailer.

Today we will:

  • Introduce the Movie Trailer project
  • Brainstorm our movie idea and write our project proposals



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