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Jake

The Cutdown - Episodes 1, 2, 3 discussion!

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I am a little late to the party, but I had the Cut Down introductory episodes queued up and I finally got around to them during a drive yesterday!

 

Good stuff! I love hearing the industry take on trailers. About the spoiler thing (and yes, I have found myself plugging my ears and shutting my eyes in theatres more than once)... I think it's a good thing to remember that ultimately, trailers are a marketing tool and they do not serve the viewer's best interest. They will and must do anything to get them into the theatre. That doesn't mean they're not made with tons of craft and creativity, and I certainly can appreciate that angle as well, but at the end of the day I must approach them with caution.

 

And especially if I know beforehand that I'll see a film, there's no reason for me to see the trailer. Movies are often predictable enough as it is and I like to go in completely blind. The best experiences I've had are ones where I genuinely did not know what I was going to get. (Which is why I like visiting sneak previews so much.)

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I've listened to the first two episodes, and loving the cast thus far! I apologize for the likely rantlike nature of my post. In general trailers and spoilers don't evoke strong feelings from me, but whenever I try to explain my point of view, I tend to get a bit, well, rowdy.

 

Trailers are not for me. I am fascinated by them, but I have a hard time of thinking of a trailer that I would not consider as a spoiler. In the theatres I have my headphones on and read some website on my phone (the excellent CRPG Addict is a perennial favourite for some reason) while the trailers are playing. Unless I am with friends. I am indeed one of those people who will see a scene taking place on a boat in the trailer, and spend my time watching the movie waiting for the boat to show up, contemplating what could take the characters to the sea. I simply can not help myself.

 

I wish trailers only conveyed a mood, a vague sense of theme and nothing more. I wish trailers had very little to no footage from the actual film. Many of my best movie watching experiences have been of movies I knew nothing about beforehand. Film festivals are excellent for this reason alone.

 

While I no longer watch as many movies as I used to, I realize I'm simply not part of the audience trailers are meant for. Trailers are meant to sell movies, and in general I'm already bought in. I do watch movies to be entertained and enagaged, but based on writers, actors, directors, rarely because of the subject matter. I simply wish I could opt out. When I heard of a new Yorgos Lanthimos movie, I already wanted to see it. In January I was thoroughly spoiled by the trailer.

 

 

(mild) SPOILERS for The Favourite

 

 

 

 

 

After seeing this trailer in the cinema, I expected the following structure:

1. The Rachel Weisz character has the Queens favour.

2. Enter Emma Stone, who has it rough

3. A contest for the Queens favour between Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.

4. Emma Stone gains the Queens favour, dispatching Rachel Weisz (at 2:00 there's the "Hell" -bit with roughed up Rachel Weisz)

5. ?

 

This instructed my entire watching experience and turned out to be fairly accurate. I needed to know none of this. From my point of view, all of the structure offered in the trailer only makes it harder for me to enjoy the movie. I know the movie is based on historical facts and thus the question of spoilers is a bit different, but the historical facts are not the point of the movie. The trailer describes the emotional arc for the characters up to the last quarter. The only thing left out is the final result of the conflict between the two main characters. I only want the basics of the setup, none of the journey. I did really like the movie, but I imagine I would have enjoyed it more without the trailer.

 

Of course, I might have been wrong in my extrapolation of the movie. Sometimes I see a trailer, and misinterpret it. Yet the language of trailers is uniform enough that this is fairly rare. 

 

It's probably not a surprise that I enjoy teaser trailers more than the trailers. For some reason the Back to the Future teaser pops into my mind. My probably all time favourite trailer is the Gabriel Knight 3 trailer. GK3 is a game, but it's a linear adventure game that kind of wishes it was a movie. Roughly half of the trailer is non-game footage, and the game footage isn't structured. It conveys the mood and the theme very well and I am sold. Anything more is spoilers. I couldn't find a good version and the compression doesn't do any favours to what is probably low SVGA source material:

 

 

Despite my rant here, I do enjoy trailers, after I have seen the movies. I also sometimes watch trailers to remind myself of the movies, instead of watching them. For example, Amélie is a movie where the European trailer pretty much replicates the film. To me, it's very much a 90 second edit of the film. Then again, Amélie is, among other things, a movie about film makers being clever, so it fits very well to the condensed format.

 

I couldn't find a decent version of the EU trailer, but it's the first trailer in the following trailer collage.

 

 

Anyways, sorry for the rant and thanks for the podcast. It is really great!

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On 7/12/2019 at 4:08 PM, unimural said:

I've listened to the first two episodes, and loving the cast thus far! I apologize for the likely rantlike nature of my post. In general trailers and spoilers don't evoke strong feelings from me, but whenever I try to explain my point of view, I tend to get a bit, well, rowdy.

 

Haha thanks, I'm glad you like the cast!

 

I've always loved trailers so I can't relate to disliking trailers, but I sympathize when I hear from people who I can tell don't require as much convincing to see a movie than the market research and surveys suggest. This is pure speculation, but I think very avid film fans are in the minority, and the rest of the people are the ones who need to see more of a movie in a trailer in order to be convinced.

 

Whenever I went to the theater and overheard people saying "What should we watch?" it blew my mind to think people go to the movies without knowing exactly what they're there to see, but I think there are probably a lot of people who do that because they're not the ones watching trailers online, reading reviews and everything film buffs tend to do.

 

I have no preferences for when people should watch trailers, but I hope the podcast increases appreciation for the form!

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8 hours ago, Derek said:

Whenever I went to the theater and overheard people saying "What should we watch?" it blew my mind to think people go to the movies without knowing exactly what they're there to see, but I think there are probably a lot of people who do that because they're not the ones watching trailers online, reading reviews and everything film buffs tend to do.

 

Such an adventurous and slap-dash attitude to life is anathema to my very existence.

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