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Old June 26th, 2008, 06:01 PM   #1
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Baldwin / Madsen Indie Feature Trailer

Hey all,

I haven't posted here in a long time but have been a member here since way way back when. Used to post a lot of my short films back in the day, such a great site!

Anyways, I just finished editing a trailer for a film I also edited which is in talks to be put in theaters but it's very borderline so keep your fingers crossed for me! The budget was ~2.5 million and was shot on a couple of F900's, captured and edited in FCP using a DVCPRO HD codec as our offline, all done at my home edit bay and is currently being onlined, color corrected and mixed at a local post house (the trailer has not been color corrected yet). Let me know what you think!

http://www.definingfilms.com/ltgbtrailerh264.mov
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Old June 26th, 2008, 09:32 PM   #2
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Freakin fantastic :)

That looks awesome! I want to see that movie!
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Old June 27th, 2008, 07:45 PM   #3
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Wow, 62 views and one comment? No good? Bad straight to video feel? Not funny? Anyone? It's a trailer, public opinion is highly valued on this one ;)
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Old June 27th, 2008, 09:05 PM   #4
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Wow, 62 views and one comment? No good? Bad straight to video feel? Not funny? Anyone? It's a trailer, public opinion is highly valued on this one ;)

The trailer indicates to me that the movie doesn't know what it wants to be. Not dramatic enough to be a drama. Not funny enough to be a comedy. I'm left thinking... "so? what's this about?"

Does it have distribution yet?
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Old June 27th, 2008, 10:02 PM   #5
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Thanks, great feedback...

No distribution yet, they all seem to be torn whether or not they see it being in theaters (or so the producers are saying this) and they're still in deep talks with a couple different companies (Weintstein, Thinkfilm and one other)

As for the trailer and what the film is about, my first stab at the trailer was much more about the story, guy gets married, is duped into marrying a "gold digger" and then learns the pickup game and applies it to business. The producers and director felt that it told too much of the story and didn't want the film to be classified as a divorce movie so they wanted to go more vague, which I have been worried the new version is too vague...
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Old June 27th, 2008, 10:23 PM   #6
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Yikes. You're in a bind! :)

I suggest you (and by you I mean the producers) decide what type of movie you want to try and sell... is it about picking up women? Is it about the business world? Is it about relationships? Pick one and cut the trailer to that. Sell this movie to me as a story about guys learning to pick up women... you've got my attention. Sell this movie to me as a corporate ladder climbing flick... count me in. But sell the movie to me as both... and I get confused and walk away.

By the way... I should point out, your editing work is smooth, it's just a story confusion issue.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 10:45 PM   #7
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Yeah, it sort of ended up being a committee film (well, what theater driven movies aren't) especially since it was a first time writer / director with an indie film and investors had their own strong opinions. The first cut of the film was 3 hours (that's with really fast paced editing, there were TONS of scenes, many with little coverage) and so it sort of ended up having a splash of all three elements (pickup, business, marriage) but never really focused on one particularly. The film finally was completely re-arranged and rewritten with a new VO track faked as a conversation between Thomas Ian Nicholas and Baldwin where originally Baldwin was just a handful of scenes in the third act of the film, now he's a major player throughout, sort of styled like The Usual Suspects where there's a conversation going on which is what you're seeing but without the now cliched twist at the end. Anyways, it was a long hard road of 6 months editing and I'm so close to the material and the directors and producers are so close to it that I've been posting the trailer around just to hear feedback because it's so hard to step back sometimes. Jokes and lines becoming meaningless after hearing them for 6 months in every variation known to man ;)

Anyways, it was a great learning experience and the next step for me in terms of budget from my straight to video Lionsgate days, which I doubt are over :(

Again, thanks for the feedback Dylan.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 04:31 PM   #8
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Well, all I can really suggest is to make 3 cuts of the video, one representing each of the "themes" of the movie, and let the producers decide which they want to represent the film. As it is, the trailer is loooong. You have to be able to sell the story to the viewer in a 30 second cut... right? Longer for distributors of course, but still shorter than what you've got. The material is there to do it easily, you just have to be much more ruthless in your editing, which is hard with good material, but should be easy to do if you try and limit it to a certain theme.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 05:51 PM   #9
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If I were still getting paid to do recuts, I would definitely do that. Unfortunately, it'd be on my own time and they simply have different ideas and "tastes" to put it lightly than me ;) so they'd probably pat me on the back for effort but never use them.

As for the length, they wanted a "full length" trailer and examined others online such as Iron Man, Burn After Reading etc. etc. as examples - they all clock in from 3-3:30 so that's what my time goal was set at... I do agree we need shorter versions but I think for what they need right now (website trailer, for distributors to see and keep them warm) a longer version is ok. If the film does squeak by into theaters I'm sure the distributor will hire one of the local trailer houses to put together a whole marketing package complete with revamped trailers, teasers etc.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 04:25 PM   #10
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Risk / Reward

My experience is mostly in the business world so I will give my feedback with that in mind.

What do you risk by cutting three versions and what do you gain if one is accepted as the final trailer?

I can't imagine how long that has taken you to do so do you really want to give up on it now? Take it all the way home baby! At the very least you'll get an A for effort :)
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 09:47 AM   #11
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My experience is mostly in the business world so I will give my feedback with that in mind.

What do you risk by cutting three versions and what do you gain if one is accepted as the final trailer?

I can't imagine how long that has taken you to do so do you really want to give up on it now? Take it all the way home baby! At the very least you'll get an A for effort :)
I get what you're saying but it's not like I'm waiting around doing nothing and decided not to cut any more, I'm swamped with other projects. And second, editing is how I make a living. For my first several years working as an editor professionally I worked so much without pay, way after hours, weekends and it was worth it to get started but there has to be a point where you say my time is worth getting paid especially when you're trying to balance your personal / home life (now married) and trying to start saving up for the first house in the very expensive market of LA etc. Previous clients were starting to expect certain editing things done for free when they shouldn't have. Sure I'm not a clock out at 5 guy and never will be especially when I'm on a feature getting paid a week rate, my life is pretty much just that film but when we're talking about all the extra stuff after the fact that really adds up quick and clients start thinking "oh that's not hard for him, I've seen him whip that up" along with other projects swirling, you have to make sure you're not killing yourself for nothing. And with this trailer, this is what the director / producers wanted, they wanted it setup this way with it being a lil' vague about the story and they wanted all three of those elements portrayed. They love it and even though we're not always on the same page - the client is happy, which typically I'm happy except in extreme artistic choice situations involving the film itself...

:)
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 10:23 PM   #12
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It made want to see the movie

I left wanting to know what happends. Seriously. Too many trailers give away too much and when you go see the flick all the good parts were in the dam trailer:)

I just thought I would pose the question as I know it's easy to not see the forest via the trees. I also know how people will just take what you do for granted when you consistently go above and beyond.

I wish you much good fortune in the future!
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