It’s Guest Post Tuesday!
Today, we’ve got a great post from Abel Toy, who has thought long and hard about the advertising for Catching Fire and come up with some scenarios for the upcoming teasers and trailers!
If you want to speak your mind about anything Hunger Games, send your guest post in to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Warning: This post contains major Catching Fire spoilers, and possibly Mockingjay spoilers, so please don’t read this unless you have read the three books.
The trailers for the first film were done in a very cool way. They decided not to show anything that happens on the arena, so as not to give too many stuff to people before they watch the movie. Of course the most recent trailers that were released after the film show more footage, but I’m talking about the trailers released before the film here.
I have seen too many trailers giving away too much information about the films. They show big spoilers that happen very close to the end of the film, and it kind of ruins you the experience. Even if most of us here have probably read the books, there’s still a lot of people who don’t know how the story continues, and if I was one of them I wouldn’t want the trailer(s) for Catching Fire giving away too much information.
Ideally, the Catching Fire trailer(s) would show enough to make people want to see the film, without giving away major events in the book. There is quite a big problem, though. The biggest event in the books, which happens around the middle (Chapter 12 out of 27), is also one of the major selling points: Katniss and Peeta forced again into the arena.
Because what happens before isn’t really something that would make new people go to see this film. Yes, I know, it’s the second part of a really, really famous, high-grossing franchise. Yes, I know, it’s really cool and once people see it they’ll be blown away and completely happy that they did. But they still need to market this film, and while marketing it for the fans is awesome for us and makes us excited over and over again (and I’m not claiming they won’t, I’m fairly sure we’ll have some marketing towards us), we’re already going to watch it: they need to convince the skeptics.
So, how are you going to convince the skeptics without revealing this big event? That Katniss has to make a big tour around the Districts isn’t a really exciting thing to sell. And focusing on the revolution side of the story isn’t exactly telling the truth, because that’s basically Mockingjay, not Catching Fire. So, how to do it?
I have a few ideas on how to approach this, from different points of view.
The easiest thing to do. Those are usually for the people who already want to go see this film, and you show very tiny bits without really saying what’s it about, so it’s the perfect place for some fan marketing. I’m talking about less than 30 seconds clips, cause those are the best teasers!
CGI: Awesome but timely!
Here’s a few ideas, in a bullet list, because the writers of this site love them and I’m not going to be less!
- Showing an aerial shot may be too much, as it spoils the whole “it’s a clock” thing, but a few shots of the beach, the forest, the cornucopia would be great, and just showing the arena isn’t revealing. After all, if Katniss and Peeta hadn’t been chosen to go there, they would just mentor kids who do have to go there. Just scenery bits, to make us drool over the fantastic imagery. I’m not sure about it, though, cause I’m pretty convinced the CGI for the arena will be in-the-works till the last minute!
- Angry District 11. Angry District 8 in the Television (some low-res television stuff with the lines and everything, you know). Gale’s whipping. This wouldn’t be OK in a major trailer, cause it’s just selling the rebel side, but for a teaser it’s perfect.
- Peacekeepers outside Katniss’ house (if we’re going to get the electrified fence scene). Gale’s whipping (yes, I’m really looking forward to this scene, not because I hate Gale -I don’t- but just because of the intensity of it). The Hob burning in District 12. This would be perfect to show how life is getting even worse for people at District 12 after what Katniss did. Oh, evil Katniss. It’s your fault.
- I’m really looking forward for something like this: Plutarch shows the watch to Katniss. “It starts at midnight”. Then, Wiress: “Tick Tock. It’s a clock.” – Too bad it’s too revealing (or maybe not, if done right? I wouldn’t risk it, though).
- Train. Showing the various districts. Party at Snow’s mansion. Just a very short montage about the Victory Tour. Not a really exciting teaser, but at least we get to see how the different districts are.
- Snow telling Katniss to convince her. Dramatic teaser right here!
- “Want a sugar cube?” – showing some of the victors without actually saying anything about the arena would be great.
- Bonnie & Twill District 13 stuff, if it’s going to be in the movie at all.
- Drunk Katniss. Because it’s sad but also hilarious.
Lots of ideas for teaser trailers. Those are very easy to think of, in contrast to the main trailers shown next.
There’s more teaser trailers that can be done, those are just a few. What do you think they could make?
Here’s the meaty stuff. A video between 1 and 3 minutes, a basic explanation of what’s the story going to be about without revealing too much and making people want to see it. A major challenge.
There’s a lot of ways to do this, of course, and I cannot wait to see what they come up with, but here’s a few ideas:
- Snow’s visit to Katniss. The “convince me” stuff. A few clips of the tour, maybe also showing life at District 12. Gale’s whipping (such a powerful and relatively spoiler-free bit, c’mon, how can you NOT show it on the trailer?). Ending it with Katniss asking Snow if she did the right thing, and him answering no may be a bit too much, but would really make a good ending to the trailer. – We’re not mentioning any of the arena here, but we aren’t selling just the rebellion side either. And it’s quite of an exciting trailer.
- Showing a bit of Victory Tour and District 12 stuff. Snow’s big announcement. Everyone freaks out. Some clips of the victors. Some clips of the arena. – That’s what everyone of us want to see, but unfortunately it’s a tad spoilery. Oh well :(. If they ARE going to reveal it, make a good trailer out of it!
And that’s it. Can’t come up with anything more. It’s HARD. I seriously wouldn’t want to be the one who has to decide what’s the trailer going to show.
That’s it. I’d like to have an interesting conversation with you guys on the comments about this, talking about some fan-trailering (comes from fan-casting, get it? :P), what can they show, what should they show, what they CAN’T show… everything.
I just want to see Johanna, Finnick and Plutarch. And the arena, gotta love the arena.
Abel Toy (Rolpege)