a videographer sitting at his desk editing a video

How Professional Video Editors Cut Movie Trailers

Today, I have another captivating story to share with you, focusing on the art of trailer editing. Trailers are short, powerful, and deceptively simple pieces that require a unique set of editing skills.

Have you ever wondered how editors deconstruct a minute music cue to make it fit within a two-minute trailer? Or how they simplify a two-hour story into just a couple of minutes without leaving viewers confused or overwhelmed? These are the challenges that trailer editors face, and in this series, we will explore how to overcome them.

Did you know that there are specialized editors who dedicate their careers to cutting trailers? Big studios pay millions for their expertise in creating trailers that appeal to their target audiences. But what if you need to promote your own project without a big studio budget? Fortunately, this is a skill that you can learn.

To help you master the craft of trailer editing, we have gathered a group of the world’s best trailer editors. These talented individuals have decades of experience working with major studios and networks, creating trailers for blockbuster movies like Captain America: Civil War, Suicide Squad, The Jungle Book, and many more.

In this series, we will break down the fundamental techniques and skills of trailer editing, providing you with actionable tips and insights that you can implement right away. We will cover topics such as cutting a trailer with style, editing polished professional montages, and the importance of sound design and music in trailers.

One key aspect of trailer editing is telling a story with style. Style is often more important than the story itself in trailers. By pacing out the story beats and adding accents and style moments, editors can keep viewers engaged and prevent the trailer from feeling monotonous. We will analyze examples and delve into the techniques used to achieve this.

Another crucial aspect is creating picture montages. However, many beginning editors struggle to cut them properly, resulting in chaotic and confusing sequences. We will provide tips on how to establish cause and effect, consider focal point locations, and group shots effectively to create micro-stories within the montage.

Trailer editing encompasses various roles, including writer, director, graphics artist, and music expert. It requires making decisions about sound design, music selection, and copywriting to create a polished and engaging trailer that captures viewers’ attention in a busy and distracted world.

In the next video, we will explore the world of trailer sound design and music. You will learn powerful techniques and workflows for adding the perfect music to your cut and enhancing it with a variety of trailer sound effects.

Remember, when you put creative content out into the world, you are asking people to give you something valuable—their attention. By creating a polished, focused, and professional trailer, you can give viewers a reason to take notice and engage with your project.