The ‘No-Trailer’ project

Greetings, peoples.  I am taking the time here to make a little announcement.  First, some exposition.

Most of you already know this.  I watch waaaaay too many movies.  More than that I consume a great deal of meta-film information which means, news reports about movies, movie trailers, viral marketing, production information, speculation the list goes on.  As a result, I know everything there is to know about movies.  More than everything.  Nobody can tell me anything about what’s coming out that I don’t already know.

I’ve begun to realize that I don’t know what it means to be surprised by a film anymore.  I’ve actually gotten to the point where it’s a disturbing proposition to think about not knowing what’s coming out or who’s starring in what role or which director decided not to direct the Wolverine sequel.  In short all this meta-info threatens to detract from the experience of watching a film for the first time.  Movie trailers in particular are the culprit here since the marketing strategy for films these days is to tell you the entire plot of a film before you see it.  So, in the interest of preserving a more pure and reasonable film watching experience I make the following pledge *ahem*:

“I, Alex Wilgus, shall not watch any movie trailers for films I am anticipating seeing”

I know what you’re thinking.  It’s not possible.  Well, I say it is.  But first, some qualifications:

First, ‘teasers’ are fair game.  A ‘trailer’ is not the same thing as a ‘teaser’.  The ‘teaser’ is a preview that comes out like a year before the movie is released and reveals very little footage or story details.  It’s usually set to music without any information in it whatsoever.  I’ve always found these previews to be all the advertising anybody needs and actually do a great job at advertising a film and whetting the appetite.  A ‘trailer’ gives you your dessert first, showing you all the cool parts without any of the meat of the story.

I saw ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ teaser before Harry Potter last weekend and realized that this was all I wanted to know about this movie.  Instead of seeing a long, exhaustive trailer, getting my expectations sky-high and then bandying about whether or not it ‘lived up’, I want to be surprised.  This may help me to better judge a film based on its own merits.

In addition, I shall earnestly attempt to limit all other consumption of meta-movie information.  Goodbye SlashFilm.  You’ve been good to me.  This one is going to be a little harder, since it’s become almost a compulsion by this point and I’m probably going to end up in a padded room drooling into my straight-jacket, but I must be brave.

Ultimately, I will report next summer on how this has affected my viewing experience of films.  Perhaps it will not change.  Maybe I’ll find that it’s better to watch every trailer they put out.  Maybe I’ll find that trailers are just better than movies in general and stop watching movies and just watch their trailers.  Who knows?  Only one way to find out.


About alexwilgus

Twentysomething from Texas. Living in Chicago. Working for a living. Writing for life.
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One Response to The ‘No-Trailer’ project

  1. Sally Wilgus says:

    Well, good night, Alex!! I’m shocked I got no mention in this article. I’ve been preaching the “no-trailer” for years, but no one listens to me. I’ve spoken the very words you used that we need to be surprised when we see a film. That is the way the film gives its best performance. I won’t go on but had to give myself some credit. So proud you see the light — and don’t see the trailer.

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