Dear Bollywood, Stop Ruining Movies With Awful Trailers Full Of Spoilers

Bollywood has often struggled with the technicalities of filmmaking but bad trailers hurt the audiences more than the production houses.

Filmmakers and production houses understand the important of a well-made, attention-grabbing movie trailer — one that adheres to these can definitely turn a movie from a box-office nobody into a blockbuster.

When a trailer really sings, its impact can be huge. Trapped is a brilliant example of this. The Rajkumar Rao starrer movie managed to capture the audiences’ curiosity with its sleek shots and wonderful edit. It left us wanting for more, and for a small budget movie, it did relatively good business.

On the other hand, bigger production houses are scared of a box-office failure. To cover up for this, they tend to throw everything at us in their trailers. A lot of moments are spoiled and hence, we walk into the theatre fully aware of the plot.

The movie therefore relies more on star-power and less on content.

There’s a simple technique to achieve an ideal trailer.

You’ve got to get people to stop eating their pop-corn or checking in on their Facebook profiles. You have about 30 to 40 seconds to hook them. Don’t assume that you need to use that time to start at the beginning of the story so that listeners know where you’re going.

The most important thing is that you have to hook people immediately whether it’s a great piece of dialogue between characters, an unexpected jolt of some kind or a wonderful piece of music. Then, you need to escalate.

If it’s a comedy you make it funnier as it goes along. If it’s horror you have to make things get creepier and creepier. Finally you have to have a great way to end the piece. The way peoples brains are wired, first we remember how something ends, and then we remember how it begins.

The humble movie trailer, once a delightful distraction seen only by punctual film goers exclusively in movie houses, is now the principal way most movies get exposure and remain in the public conscience. YouTube hits have become one of the crucial talking points in the marketing campaigns of our movies.

To understand this better, we have to look at a few trailers.

The worst trailer I’ve seen in the last 5 years has to be of A Flying Jatt. The entire trailer holds your hand and walks you through the entire plot. There’s no origin story left for you to discover in the theatres. It’s an awful trailer that only highlights that bad movies coupled with worse trailers will lead to piss-poor box-office collections.

Another example that I can think of right now is the Baadshaho one.

It was about a heist that was allegedly all about the ‘thrill’ of the ride. What it delivered though was a mess of a trailer where you’re told exactly what the movie is about but the full movie still somehow manages to do worse. The movie was being marketed as a heist movie but the actual heist in the movie is over within the first 45 minutes. The rest of it is full of padding.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is movie that could have benefited with a decent trailer. What we got was the entire plot being discussed in the trailer.

Here’s the trailer:

Soundtracks should marry the visuals but they usually don’t.

The current trend of putting a new remix of a beloved song is one of the worst trends to have plagued the industry. Bollywood needs to build franchises and movies that will be remembered for years, and we definitely won’t do it with cheap, ready-to-consume storytelling.

That Bollywood isn’t synonymous with originality is quite obvious. For years, the Hindi film industry has copied scripts, scenes, songs and pretty much everything from movies in every conceivable language. By rehashing these songs, Bollywood is not just destroying truly original and fantastic compositions, they’re also showing us that there’s no room for originality in the Hindi film industry in the current times.

That oddball documentary with seemingly familiar subject matter or story; yet an undeniably hypnotic style? The trailer is often the deciding factor here.

An Insignificant Man has one of the most significant trailers of modern era. It’s crisp, power packed and it builds the tension on which the full movie thrives on. The hype around that movie was a result of this very well done trailer.

Romance of finding a movie in the theatre is long gone and Bollywood producers are the ones to blame. Give the fans a chance with good filmmaking. Trust us. Great movies are made when the director has enough confidence in his or her work and leaves it up to the audience to judge it. Don’t kill the experience of the movie with these awful trailers.

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