Hitchhiker’s Trailer

April 20, 2005 at 5:18 PM (General)

As I mentioned in the last post, the second of the two movies I am really waiting to see is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

I had the opportunity to see the new trailer for the movie yesterday (it was actually released a while back but I only downloaded it yesterday — here is a direct link to the medium-res trailer, which is about 12 MB in size), and I must say it is one of the best trailers I have ever seen.  It begins with a voice-over, introducing the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as a standard repository for all knowledge and wisdom in the universe.  Then, as the Guide opens, the voice-over begins describing what the book has to say about movie trailers.  While this is happening, footage from the movie is shown.  Here is a transcript of the Guide’s entry on trailers.

Movie trailers are designed to give you an idea of the film in question, in a very short space of time.  Typically, they begin with the introduction of the main character, who will very shortly have something so utterly fantastic happen to him, that someone just HAD to make a movie about it.  (Arthur Dent’s character is shown and he is apparently not too happy about his house being demolished, and certainly shocked at seeing huge spaceships in the sky).  Often, this section is preceded by the words ‘In a world’… (the Earth is shown being destroyed by Vogon ships) …but sometimes not.

Trailers also normally employ a deep voice (narrator’s voice turns deep, like a typical movie trailer voice), that sounds like a seven-foot tall man who has been smoking cigarettes since childhood. (narrator clears throat)

The goal is to create a piece of advertising that’s original and exciting, yet intelligent and provocative.  In other words, lots of things blowing up… (explosions happen) …occasionally interrupted by a girl in a bikini (girl in bikini shows up).

Generally trailers also feature heartless, evil villains, hideous creatures, dolphins, physical violence and of course, the promise of true love.  And lastly, there is a final montage, often set to rock music… (you see a montage, set to rock music) …that is designed simply to blow away whatever synapses you have left in your brain.

This culminates in a reveal of the main title, like so… (the movie’s title appears on the screen, read out by a deep voice) …followed by the release date (April 29, 2005) so that the audience might plan the next few months of their lives accordingly.

This was certainly a remarkably imaginative trailer!  By the way, the end music is from Danny Elfman’s score from Men in Black, which suits this trailer really well.

Oh, and the movie’s official site — which, by the way, was launched 42 days before the movie’s release date — is also very nicely done.  Especially the ‘Guide to the Guide’, which even gives you a recipe for Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters.


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