Questions to Ask for Clarity

Here are a series of questions you can ask yourself when you need to evaluate the efficacy of the shots in your trailer based on the intention of the shot, and how the target audience will respond to it. A lot of creative decisions can feel arbitrary; these questions take out some of the “feel” and allow you to consider with some measure of objectivity.

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Remember the Titles?

Title cards are one of many tools to help tell a story in a trailer, but most trailers don’t use them in a memorable or effective way. What is it that makes title cards for one trailer memorable, and completely forgettable in another?

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No Logo

Should game trailers start with logos? No, in most cases no. Just don’t do it, the odds are people won’t recognize it.
Read on for a more in-depth explanation of logo use in trailers!

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2+2 Storytelling, and Show Don't Tell

“Show, don’t tell” is the age old mantra of filmmaking, and it’s even more important for trailers, because advertising is literally trying to get the audience to buy something, not just “buy in” to a story. Here’s why showing works better than telling, and why telling is so dangerous.

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Reducing Story Clutter

Trailers don’t need to tell everything about a story, and there are many cases in which providing more information makes a less effective trailer. Here’s why character names and other minutiae are at the top of the list for things to leave out.

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