The internet is clearly an awesome thing. I can use it to get recipes for sauceless buffalo wings (hint: dry rub) or find directions to buried pirate treasure (I assume) and can use readily available satellite imagery to pinpoint addresses, houses, and possible viewing locations in backyards for … doing … bird-watching stuff. Also, the internet gives every one of us morons a voice that, for some reason, some people enjoy reading. So me complaining about the internet is kind of like complaining about how much nitrogen is in oxygen – take it out and we all suffocate. But I’ll be damned if early on-line trailers and viral clips haven’t killed part of the movie going experience.
Recently I hit up a showing of The Hangover at the Arclight Cinerama Dome. I like the experience of going to the theater. This gigantic, curved screen was built to show off 65mm film (later) and a synchronized 3 camera set-up. Yes, three cameras filming the same scene and then the movie is projected by 3 projectors. We’re talking huge here. A favorite part of my experience was showing up early while the commercials (ugh) are still running and before the previews begin. I would eagerly settle into my seat and insist everyone around me sit down and shut up while I got pumped over what new movies were going to be coming to a theater near me soon! But now, getting there early means jack shit because I, and everyone with an internet connection, has already seen the previews.
Hell, there was a time when people would pay to see a movie just because a specific and highly anticipated trailer was going to be attached. Now, you just wait until about 15 minutes after the first midnight showing and watch it on YouTube. Or studios try to curb your illicit viewing by just releasing in high-definition a few days early. This is bullshit. It’s killing the experience. Watching the previews used to be fun and exciting – you never knew what you were going to get and sometimes you were tickled pink over some unknown film popping up. Now, I watch the trailer for The Proposal and think – wait this movie didn’t come out already? Then I rewatch the same trailers again and again. Yeah, sure, we could all just not watch the trailers online, but then we’re left out of the conversation. Or its like sitting a plate made of pizza stacked with donuts in front of someone on a diet. Sure, they normally won’t eat that stuff, but if you put it in front of them, they’ll gobble it up.
I try to avoid watching trailers online these days unless it’s vital to my understanding, reporting, or discussion about what’s current – but often it is. Though at The Hangover I saw a trailer for 9 that I hadn’t seen before (I did see an earlier one), and it blew me away. I thought – hey man, seeing a brand new preview in a giant theater is awesome. Fuck your computer screen – I don’t care how many p’s are in 1080 on your monitor, it’s not the same as being in theaters. Studios don’t cater to fans on any other level. They make shit films full of shit decisions but when it comes to trailers they are all of a sudden gracious and giving? Stuff it. Make people work for the trailers. Let them premiere in theaters for at least a full weekend before you release it online. Let me taste the excitement with my eyes! (That’s not how eyes work, or so you would be led to believe). All I know is I’d rather not have the option of seeing trailers premiere on the internet – give me back the spectacle. Pair your trailer with a great movie, and give me a treat. Put it on the internet and on TV later. Every time I see a brand new trailer in theater, I get a little starry eyed. Every time I see the same trailer I’ve seen on the internet here, there, and in pop-ups, I go past my boiling point.
What do you think about trailers premiering online or releasing simultaneously?