Editing a trailer can be a daunting task. You have under three minutes to grab the attention of the viewer, make them love your story and characters and encourage them to hit “buy tickets now” button.
- Organize Your Media: Make sure your media is organized in your project. Time is money. If you spend time looking for a particular sound effect or music cue – you are wasting time [money]. My bins are labeled: Current Cuts, Old Cuts, Music, SFX, Grfx, Stills, VO
- Stringout Footage On Multiple Sequences: I like to create sequences that allow me to source footage quickly. For example, my sequences might be labeled: Money Shots, Best Kiss, Best Action, Great One Liners, Car Chases, Funny, Sad, WTF, Character 1, Character 2, etc
- Spend Time Finding Music: Music will make or break your piece. I spend a good day listening to music. Pull enough music for the highs and lows of your trailer. You should have a wide range of tempo, genre and instrumentals to play with. Same goes with sound design! If you don’t have a huge budget trek on over to Audio Jungle.
- Find Great References: My collection of trailer references has exploded over the last year. When editing an action trailer – download and watch every action trailer from last five years. I enjoy watching trailers with the sound on mute. Find out what works and use this for inspiration!
- Be Different: So cliché, I know! What makes your trailer different? Is it the introduction? The way you integrate graphics with the video? How about transitions between the video? Your use of music and sound design can set you apart. Do you follow the formula or think outside of the box?
Take your time and enjoy the process. Cutting a trailer is not a two-day process (although I’ve been forced to cut trailers in two days! – yikes).