Anatomy Of A Movie Trailer

If you've ever wondered how filmmakers chop up and reassemble a two-hour film into a two-minute trailer, you need wonder no longer. The New York Times has visualised the contents of five recent film trailers, so you can see how they're put together.

In the visualisations, the horizontal axis represents time elapsed during the trailer, and the vertical axis represents when the particular clip occurred in the original movie. Above is the timeline for the Silver Linings Playbook trailer, about which the New York Times explains:

Silver Linings Playbook follows the standard model for trailers, according to Bill Woolery, a trailer specialist in Los Angeles who once worked on trailers for movies like "The Usual Suspects" and "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial." While introducing the movie's story and its characters, the trailer largely follows the order of the film itself.

So, broadly speaking, you see a nicely sloped line, albeit one with a few blips, which starts at the start and ends at the end. Elsewhere, though, some movies mix things up a little: Lincoln's trailer, for instance, is all over the shop, while Amour's bizarrely focuses on the middle of the feature. Go take a look for yourself over on the New York Times website. [NYT]

Trending Stories Right Now