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How to Make a Trailer for your Indie Film

Updated: May 11, 2021

It is key for an indie film to have a solid trailer, this can make possible award winnings, as well as fundraising or investors. This is why in this article, we will let you know all about making a film trailer.

When making a trailer, you’ll find that you have a short amount of time to show what your film is about. Therefore, you’ll want to make the trailer in the most efficient way possible.

Here are some tips to help you produce a trailer that truly shows your movie’s potential.

Summarise the premise

The structure of a trailer is as important as the film.

Having an established narrative structure to build upon with your footage can help you organize your trailer and engagingly summarize your film's premise.

For instance:

Introduction: announce the setting, characters, and their relationships.

Building: here is the perfect moment to bring up the movie's main plot point.

Climax: This should be your peak moment in your trailer. It doesn’t have to be a resolution, but rather showing how the characters react to the plot point you established, and what they do about it.

Watch your pace

When making a film trailer you’ll want to have all the viewer's attention.

A solid structure can be really helpful but is also important to have a fluent sense of rhythm in your storytelling. For instance, it may be better to cut between different parts of the film, rather than have a dialogue between two characters stretch out for a long time.

We also advise having a score beforehand to edit your footage, so this can serve as a guide when editing the trailer.

Know your genre

Trailers vary greatly from genre to genre, and each has its way to grapple with the audience. Drama trailers work best when showing characters interacting with each other. This works to fully understand their relationships and motivations. On the other hand, thriller trailers build towards a feeling of unsettling curiosity. Action works best in a fast-paced showcase of its action scenes, and the list goes on...

Show production value

Production value can come in many forms: when beautiful scenery appears on the film or when a talented/known member of the cast shows or when a great action sequence occurs. This not only impresses the viewers but can also help open doors with distributors and production companies in the film industry.

When producing your trailer with these tips in mind you will truly have an easier time when it comes to editing, musicalizing, and preparing your trailer to get out into the wild and hook your audience.

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