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Friday, July 18, 2008


I normally don't cut trailers for short films. I think it's way too hard to do it, and I feel that I'm doing it at the risk of 1) giving away too much of the story or 2) making my films look worse than they really are.

Normally, Hollywood trailers are 2 and a half minutes. 2 and a half minutes for a 90-100 minute long film is reasonable, but if a 10 minute short film has such a long trailer, I'm already showing a quarter of the film. That's as bad as doing a 25-minute long trailer.

However, a certain film festival (name withheld so that I can save myself the embarrassment of not being selected) I've submitted both short films to have stated that trailers for submissions are optional. I felt a little conflicted, then I thought, 'why not?'. Might as well try it out. So I ended up editing a trailer for each of my film, CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY and my latest one, FLEETING IMAGES.

I started working on the trailers last week, both I aimed to be only around a minute long, which was all right (but still that's like doing a 10 minute trailer for a full-length film). The first one I managed to slap together in an hour or so was FLEETING IMAGES', however, it was quite a challenge because my latest short film isn't exactly a traditional narrative film, it's really more like a video essay/ documentary. The images I used were elliptical, and the film, which has no dialogue at all, would've ended up becoming totally incoherent.

So what I did was only to preserve the melancholic and introspective tone of the actual film for the trailer, using some of its voiceover narration, accompany it with some of nicer shots of the film. The shots were pretty fleeting, I hoped it was fitting for the title of the film.

And here's the FLEETING IMAGES trailer.


CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY was more complicated. Needed more than a night to finish it off. I had to choose between one particular tone of the film and go with it. In my demo reel, CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY was made to look somewhat melancholic, but I figured it wouldn't be the right feel for its trailer. Better to stick with the comedic tone and build up the intrigue of the plot. And I went for a mockumentary-feel. It was originally longer, with me putting in some quick shots of some additional (and most visually appealing) scenes, but Sebastian pointed out that I've accidentally revealed the main plot twist of the film. I agreed with him after thinking about it for a while and cut the trailer (20 seconds) shorter.

Here's the CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY trailer.


What do you think of them?