The Golden Trailer Awards tap into one of the most interesting forms of entertainment advertising: the distillation of a story into snippets that grab audience’s attention, without giving away too much. Producing effective, interesting and exciting trailers is an art form, and the Golden Trailers reward the best of the best in movies and television.
With the Golden Trailer Awards well underway at this point but plenty of time remaining before entries close, Brave Dog took the opportunity to reach out to the folks running the competition. We asked them for their best tips for entrants, the pitfalls they see competitors stumble into most often, and what they look for in a great trailer.
1. What makes a standout, award-worthy trailer, both for film and TV? Are there certain elements that judges look for almost as a base level, things that all good trailers must have?
Bottom line, a great trailer is all about the hook. An effective “hook” presents the best elements / aspects of a film from the very first frame. It offers the audience compelling characters, intriguing themes, memorable lines and a fresh storyline or perspective. After a good hook, the second most-important component of a great trailer is desire – not only sparking the viewers’ interest, but further convincing them to purchase a ticket and invest two hours of their time.
2. Are there any categories that are underutilized by entrants, maybe one that more people could take advantage of but gets overlooked?
One area that has experienced tremendous growth is “Spots (Trailers and/or TV Spots) for Television Series, Streaming Series, Limited Series, Web Series and Mini-Series.” Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and Amazon Prime have all turned to the trailer industry to create powerful and compelling TV spots, which are drawing large audiences for their upcoming series and movies and generating tremendous buzz/word of mouth. In previous years this was a single category. This year, with the evolution and demand from the industry; the Golden Trailers have expanded this category to include genre-based categories (i.e. “Best Action TV Spot/Trailer/Teaser for a Series;” “Best Drama TV Spot/Trailer/Teaser for a Series;” etc.). There is also an additional category exclusively for Best Network Promo. We anticipate these categories will be popular, but since there are 16 brand new categories, there is definitely opportunity here. Many steaming and premium cable networks are looking to the Golden Trailer nominees to determine who is doing the best work and for whom, thus it is prudent to enter in to any “Spots (Trailers and/or TV Spots) for Television Series, Streaming Series, Limited Series, Web Series and Mini-Series” category for which you have created extraordinary work.
It is funny too that given the famous cliché trailer opening of “in a world…” it is surprising that many trailers with great voice overs do not usually enter into the “Best Voice Over” category, so ironically this category is too often overlooked.
Entrants should also consider diversifying their trailer into different categories to increase their chances of winning. If the requirements are met, there is nothing preventing a trailer from taking a “parallel path” by being entered in multiple categories.
Another favorite but sometimes overlooked by new entrants to the GTAs is the “Golden Fleece” category. New Entrants tend to shy away from this one for their clients, however, the studios have always had a great sense of humor with this category. Our suggestion with this particular category is that one should submit a trailer only after it has had its theatrical run.
We would highly encourage companies who pride themselves on innovation to consider all of the other new GTA categories: “Book Trailers,” “Legit Theater Trailers,” and Experimental/Guerrilla/Viral marketing tactics, which will only continue to grow in the coming years.
The full list of Golden Trailer categories is right here. Newly added TV categories are noted with **.
3. What’s the most common entry error you see? What would save you a ton of time if everyone did it?
A ton of time and headache can be spared if entrants list their press release information correctly in the entry. It is just three simple things: “Name of Entry,” “Studio/Client,” “TrailerHouse/Agency.” This information is very important in its accuracy for when the GTA Nominee press release goes out, and to ensure your company and your work get the deserved recognition.
Also, as previously mentioned, entering trailers into additional relevant categories is key. For example, if you are entering a trailer for “Most Original,” and the trailer would also be a fit for “Best Music” and “Best Fantasy Adventure,” enter it in the additional categories. There is a discount for entering supplemental categories and this could very well increase your chances of getting the trailer nominated. It is a terrible waste for a trailer not to try.
4. Are there common, easily avoidable mistakes that often cost entrants wins?
This is hard to say. If there were mistakes we see made repeatedly, we do try to help guide the process. We also try to keep the process as simple and straight forward as possible – we do not focus on arbitrary rules, rather we focus ON content. Generally, the job for award show submissions is delegated to new(er) employees so there is often a learning curve. This also results in entries NOT being diversified because the entrant just doesn’t know yet. It would be good if more senior employees shepherded the newer ones to maximum benefit to the entering company. And that is also where a company like Brave Dog comes in and helps overcome and avoid these hurdles when entering competitions, as studios and agencies all see the correlation between the winning of accolades and awards with keeping current clients happy and attracting new ones.
The 18th Annual Golden Trailer Awards’ regular entry deadline is March 31, and its late entry deadline is April 14. Find more information on the Golden Trailer Awards website.
As always, Brave Dog is standing by to assist with any awards questions or competition needs. Get in touch with our Award Experts today!