Today, film trailers are longer than ever, and the editing often takes the most important moments of a film and throws them at the audience. They often show too much and we get the impression that we have seen the whole film just by watching a condescended 3 min version of it. How have trailers evolved through film history? Look at the trailer for Anatomy of A Murder for example, when director and producer directly address the spectators to promote their film. What happened to voice-over? How are they aesthetically different today?
There are a great many trailers from the early days of cinema, especially for B-movies, where all they were were a carefully condensed version of the film, just as they are today. They could range from one and a half up to even four minutes. They almost always had an excited voice over artist speaking about the characters, the locales, and the ups and downs of the plot. They even revealed big twists just like they do now, completely ruining most of the suspense just so people will know what they're getting before they go in the theater. I think the strange thing is that this style of trailer design has always been a part of the movie industry, but always for the lesser quality projects. Only now has this style of trailer moved into the mainstream except for the most special of occasions: causing our enjoyment of these arguably better quality films to be ruined before we get to see them from beginning to end. So although movie trailers for the A-list projects have undoubtedly gotten worse and less "teaser" like, disallowing us to be mystified before sitting down for the real thing, I think an article on this subject just might a bit more revealing about Hollywood's standards of the past than one might realize. – FilmmakerJ8 years ago
I like your initial question, "How have trailers evolved through film history?" By itself, that is an interesting topic to address, and I believe needs answered. However, I do wonder if a more complex analysis - such as a content analysis - is needed to fully answer the question. An exchange of opinions does little to provide an answer. In addition, I suggest that you avoid the latter questions posed at the end. Dealing with voice over and aesthetic changes are much more specific questions that can be dealt with, and deserve to be dealt with, on their own merits. Focusing on a historical trajectory of film trailers is a good place to start. The other questions can be branched off on their own. On a separate note, be sure you spell correctly. I do not believe you meant "evolitin" in your title. =) – Mark8 years ago