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'Teaser trailers' for the real trailers: the new trick studios use to keep you watching

And some of the guys who make the trailers are not happy…

FILM STUDIOS HAVE found that they need to “tease the tease” to get our attention as we scroll through social media feeds.

Some of the biggest new trailers to hit the internet begin with a six- to seven-second tease of what you’re about to watch before it begins.

Whether Tom Hanks trying to save the world in Inferno or Ben Affleck as an assassin in The Accountant, these short trailers-within-the-trailers have been bubbling up this year.

CBS Films’ senior vice president of communications, Grey Munford, tweeted explaining the new trend after the Hell or High Water trailer went online.

The latest example arrived on Thursday when the trailer for the Mark Wahlberg movie Deepwater Horizon, about the worst oil spill in US history, went live.

If you saw it on social media, you got the six-second tease showing huge explosions and the movie’s stars. (The tease doesn’t appear on the YouTube trailer, however.)

Tweet by @Deepwater Horizon Source: Deepwater Horizon/Twitter

Movie trailer veteran Mark Woollen made the Deepwater clip through his boutique trailer house Mark Woollen & Associates. When Business Insider talked to Woollen this week, he didn’t hold back his thoughts about the teaser-before-the-trailer trend.

He’s not into it.

“I guess there’s some data somewhere that supports it,” Woollen said.

But [I think] it feels like a form of self-cannibalism myself.

Woollen said trailer houses were not responsible for the teasers of the trailers. Instead, he said, the teasers are often put together at the last second by the studios before a trailer’s release.

“You spend months going through the process of making a trailer, which is trial and error and different voices involved and research and all of that, and then the week before the trailer comes out it’s like, ‘Oh, we should take five of the best shots and put it before the whole thing,’” Woollen told Business Insider.

Woollen has become the go-to trailer guy in Hollywood for some of the biggest names in the business, including David Fincher, Spike Jonze, and the Coen brothers.

He made the trailer for The Revenant, and most recently his company handled The Lobster and Swiss Army Man. He says others who work on trailers have similar views about the teasers.

Woollen acknowledges that he isn’t fully in the conversation about why studios have decided to start this. But he thinks a big reason is that, after you’ve viewed three seconds of a video playing on Facebook or Twitter, it counts as a view. So the teaser doesn’t just grab attention — it actually pushes up a key performance metric for a film.

“At the end of the day, is it about getting numbers or making an impression and really creating real interest?” Woollen said.

“We’re taking something that a director had been working on for sometimes years and we’re making that first introduction, so to have this vomit of stuff before the actual trailer happens, it’s something that I’m not a fan of,” he continued.

There are always different trends and tropes. I don’t know when this one will pass, but maybe with enough pushback it will.

- Written by Jason Guerrasio for Business Insider

Read: Irish graduates emigrating ‘should be regarded as a good thing’

Read: Trailer Watch: Which movie should you go see this weekend?

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Business Insider
Business Insider is a business site with strong financial, media and tech focus.

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