Otto Urban created this video essay under the supervision of Jiří Anger and Kevin B. Lee at Charles university in Prague. First published in Notes on Videographic Criticism on March 4, 2021.
How did you come up with the idea for this video essay? What drew you to movie trailers in particular?
Trailers are usually the first experience with the film for many people. They are almost everywhere. They precede movies in the cinema, and on the TV and on the internet. Even when you do not want to see them you will accidentally come across them. There are a lot of people who choose a film they want to see after they watch the trailer. Many trailers use their “best” scenes from the movie. I began to think about it when I saw a trailer before the movie. During the film I could anticipate what was going to happen because I knew that there were some scenes in the trailer I had not seen yet in the film. Therefore the movie could not end surprisingly because of that. You are also prepared for the development of the movie plot. There are so many indications you can detect from the trailer of a movie and they can change the way you watch the film.
Why did you choose the desktop documentary format? What did it allow you to say/show?
I saw Kevin B. Lee´s Transformers: The Premake and desktop audiovisual essays and I thought it was very interesting. I wanted to show how I got to the trailer on the internet. You can see on YouTube other recommended videos which are attached to the movie. The desktop format allows you to show the work with the topic.
There are some video essayists who work as freelance movie trailer editors in their free time, and I’ve heard others draw connections between the movie trailer and the video essay as a format. Do you see any similarities between the two?
In my opinion it depends on what kind of video essays you are doing. You can choose among many approaches to make a video essay. Movie trailers contain scenes from the film. Video essays are more movies than trailers. I am very interested in the topic of how a trailer changes our way of watching the movie. I would like to get more into the topic and perhaps to make a bigger project.