Monday, November 24, 2014

Trailer Wars: That Guy.

[Just one of the gorgeous shots from The Tree Of Life that makes Mark Woollen's job easy.]

Little Children, The Social Network, Black Swan, and The Tree Of Life all have something in common.

All of these movies turned out to be sensational art house hits or mainstream blockbusters, but before we even had our butts in those velvet seats watching the finished product, each one was initially presented to its audience in the typical fashion -  a trailer.

What makes these movies different is they were supported by trailers that stand above the rest. Other previews will spill the beans on the entire plot or show all the funny scenes, but the trailers I'm talking about have a unique style and create art that is all their own. Each one could even be considered as mini stand alone movies that instantly propel audiences to rush out to the theater. Or maybe, just watch and adore the trailer itself.

The preview for The Social Network has been watched almost nine million times, which speaks to the popularity of the movie, but also the impact of an alluring clip.

Thanks to Vulture, now we know the secret - one guy and his company is responsible for making them all! It's not just the four movies I listed above either. Odds are that every movie trailer that left you in awe over the last 20 years was created with the help of Mark Woollen. Otherwise known as that movie trailer genius.

Without even knowing it, I was first introduced to Woollen's work during the under two minute preview for Little Children. It is an astounding work of film editing, all set to the pulsating sound of a train. Watching it now still makes my skin all goosebumpy. Back when I originally saw the trailer, I was hanging out in my dorm room. I actually called all my friends over to my laptop to watch it again. We did and then in a daze played it for a third time.

Over four years ago, being a little obsessed with that trailer lead to my first post in this here "Trailer Wars" tag. That single preview continues to motivate me to watch movie trailers on a regular basis. Maybe a new one will blow me away to the same degree. Nothing has yet, even though others from Woollen's portfolio have come close - The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty being one.

Not surprisingly, it turns out that I've featured seven of Woollen's trailers in posts on this blog over the years. Yet, I never connected that all together. Oh geez.

What a difficult task to somehow condense the idea of a whole motion picture into a two minute clip. Why Woollen succeeds so profoundly has to do with his way of consistently pulling out the heart and purpose of every movie and, with his special flare, forming the trailer with that in mind. The audience is then able to quickly care about a movie. Which just so happens to be the exact purpose of a film trailer.

It also helps that, according to the interview in Vulture, he only creates trailers for movies he honestly cares about. All his passion can be thrown into his projects. Although, that makes me wonder about him producing the trailer for 50 Shades Of Grey...

His first trailer was for a little movie called Schindler's List - a wonderful standalone piece as well, using mostly powerful images from the movie set to stirring music. Most recently Woolen's touch can be seen on previews for a bunch of this year's Oscar bait, Gone Girl, Birdman, The Theory Of Everything, The Skeleton Twins, and Boyhood.

Gushing adoringly is my strong suit, so I could blabber on about all his work for quite awhile.  Instead of reading my writing, just go watch the trailers. The entire collection of work from Woollen and his production team can be found on his website.

After scanning through the long list and watching a few as a refresher, I realized that I love every single one. Come back to me in a few days when I have finished watching them all on repeat.

The funny thing is, it never occurred to me to look up who made these trailers. It's rather crazy to only suddenly realize that everything you love is connected.

Until next time.

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