Fake Movie Trailers: A Manifesto

The craft of making a movie trailer is sacred. It takes time, care, skill, and most importantly a movie. A trailer is the introduction to a film. It is how a person learns of a movie. It is where the plot takes shape, where characters are introduced, where the soundtrack sweeps you away from the real world. Trailers are more important to a film than many people realize. But only a select few can make trailers. The average person cannot and will not participate in the creation of a movie trailer. It is a specialized job done by professionals.

So what of the common man? How does he take part in that sacred process of trailer making? Well, it must be with a fake trailer. Not only must a person want to make a trailer, but they must also have an idea for an entire film. For to make a film trailer, there must at the very least be the idea of a film. The fake movie trailer is a craft all its own. Originated from real movie trailers, of course, but they take a certain level of creativity. One must have an idea for a fake film. Then one must edit or shoot to make a trailer that gives the audience the impression that this film truly does exist. A great fake trailer aficionado can make a trailer so bold, so real, so powerful, that viewers will rush to theaters hoping to buy tickets in advance, only to realize too late that there is no movie to buy tickets too.

This goal is the same as that of a real trailer. Fake trailers are greatly influenced by the real. Fake trailers follow a similar format to real ones. They ought to reveal parts of the plot, the characters, the score, and scenery. But like real trailers, fake trailers must walk that line. They must reveal enough but not too much. A fake trailer should not quench one’s thirst, but merely give a taste. Reveal something, but not everything. Real movie trailers leave people waiting for months with anticipation. Fake movie trailers should do the same.

The rules for a fake trailer are broad. Use footage from a previous work. Shoot your own footage. It doesn’t matter. Fake trailers can be about a character you make up or one as famous as Superman. The only crucial point is that the fake trailer must be for a movie that does not exist. Otherwise, a fake trailer maker is free to let their imagination run wild. A fake trailer about the next Spiderman movie? Certainly! A trailer about a psychopathic comedian? Of course! A trailer about a man-eating bear who endures an existential life-crisis? Delightful! Fake trailers should let the imagination run wild. So go, enjoy yourself. All you need is some basic editing software, a love of film, and a little too much free time, and you are free to enjoy the spoils of the fake movie trailer genre.