We have all seen trailers or previews of upcoming movies. My wife Doris and I try to see one or two movies a week in a theater. So, we see a lot of trailers. Some good and are some bad. While my hat is off to anyone who actually makes a movie and gets it to the big screen; it is the trailer that turns people on or off a new film first. I have said many times to Doris, "I am going to try and miss that one." Other times, we both say, "We’ve got to see that one." A lot of time, energy and money go into a three minute trailer.
In the case of our film, a lot rides on the trailer. Obviously, we want to get the trailer out so those of you who have been interested in our endeavor will know that we haven’t given up. Also, we want to win over new hearts and generate expectancy.
Other reasons include, sending the trailer to film festivals trying to generate interest or get accepted for entrance into their program. However, my main reason for working so hard to get the promo just right is because I need corporate sponsorship. Allison and I have gladly contributed our time and resources but very soon we are going to need an infusion of cash to make certain that our story has every opportunity to find a wide audience. Too many film makers seem to put all their money into making the film and think someone else will come along and carry the baby the rest of the way. My job as executive producer is from concept to sell-through. This means that I must not only make the film but generate enthusiasm in the public conscientiousness.
To me a corporate sponsor for this project is going to be a Louisiana based company that distributes nationally or internationally. It is going to be someone who cares about the perception of our state. And based on Louisiana, it will probably be a sponsor that has something to do with food. I have five prominent goals:1. To have this documentary play in every movie theater in the state of Louisiana.In a trailer, it is not really important to tell what the film is all about as it is too wet-the-whistle to know more. The audience must buy in and a trailer does that. I know you are probably tired of me saying that we have amassed some 70 hours of video tape for this film. It is daunting to think about whittling that much info down to 90 minutes but to select from all that for just 3 minutes is truly painful.
2. To place a documentary DVD/book, DVD of the Original film and a copy of the original Tarzan novel in all 292 middle schools in this state as a resource. Louisiana history is taught in the eighth grade.
3. To make every effort to enter every film festival possible in the U. S. and the rest of the world.
4. To have the film play on national television on numerous networks like History Channel, Biography Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, PBS and any other channel who will play it. Also, air play through internet channels.
5. To be sold in Wal-Mart. (please don't write or call me cautioning me about this one, I really just mean that I want to find a way to get this story into the hands of people who wouldn't normally run across it.)
I keep 3"x 5" index cards in my pocket. I make lists and doodles any time I have a minute. Lately, my notes have concerned what is important to put into the trailer. The Monday after Christmas, Allison and I sat down and viewed every sequence or time line that I had divided the best of the best into. I had already spent months going through each interview and b-roll footage trimming all the fat away and dropping these golden nuggets into individual sequences. Our viewing took two full days of watching, discussing and taking notes.
On Wednesday morning, we sat down at the computers and began assembling the preview or trailer. I sat in amazement watching Allison's fingers flying over the keyboard. She grabbed, cut, pasted, trimmed and sliced. I listened to her talk about what made a good trailer. Tears welled up in my eyes and I had to give her a giant hug. Everything I had done to push this boulder up hill had brought me to this place. I could not go any farther without her picking up the ball and charging ahead with me. We worked together for days without even a cross word. It was such a blessing.
There were just too many things that I had felt were important to have in the trailer. Finally, after me trying for two days to get Hitler into the preview, Allison said, "dad, you’ve got to leave something for the film." It was hard for me but she was right. While Hitler is a negative emotive force image, he was too powerful to show without giving any context explaining his purpose. Had he been included, every viewer would have been paralyzed in their processing and missed anything that came after it.
It was important for the trailer to show that:1. When people see the trailer, they realize that the world has always been a troubled place. Too often we see the politics and calamities of today as being terrible and something new. Somehow by reducing history into a phrase like World War 1, we are satisfied that we have reduced its impact into a little bubble. There has never been a simpler time -- ever. Time has always been and will always be and inconvenient struggle.Hopefully, this trailer will cause people to want to see the documentary, read the documentary book, watch the original film with appreciative eyes and heart and be introduced or reintroduced to the master of adventure, Edgar Rice Burroughs.
2. Tarzan of the Apes told a powerful story and was ground breaking in its dealing with African Americans, location filming, women’s suffrage and theatrical impact and more.
3. Edgar Rice Burroughs was a tremendous writer and creator of characters that continues to make a difference with audiences today.
Well, we hope you enjoy the trailer and that you will spread it to everyone you know through email, Facebook, twitter and by talking it up around the water cooler at work. Thanks.
AT OUR YOUTUBE LOCATION
Alternate ERBzine MP4 Location
Short Al Bohl
TARZAN Rooted in St. Mary Parish
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