It’s hard to make a bad trailer. The movie that the trailer is teasing may be utter garbage, but a well-cut trailer can still be compelling and exciting. And the right music is a huge part of that.
X-Men: The Last Stand is a prime example. After two fantastic films from director Bryan Singer, I was psyched for the conclusion to the trilogy. I watched this trailer over fifty times in the months leading up to the movie, getting more and more excited each time. The Phoenix Saga! The mutant cure! So many of my favorite plot lines from the comics! This film ended up being a soulless franchise extension, more a product of studio execs than a work of art.
But listen to the music in that trailer! Understated, atmospheric choral work is followed with rising, epic orchestral arrangements. At 1:37, the whole thing blows up into pulsating strings. The cuts stay in sync with the epic music, giving the trailer a sense of implacable forward motion. If only the film itself had the same gravity. Or story. Or quality anything.
Now take a great action flick like The Dark Knight. (NOT The Dark Knight Rises – don’t EVEN get me started about that one.) In this trailer, at 1:42, James Newton Howard’s pounding score highlights the relentless, harrowing battle between Batman and the Joker. Notice how the truck flips on beat and Commissioner Gordon smashes the Bat Signal on a string sting.
And I’m sure we’re all excited for the just-released Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer. Disney licensed “I’ve Got No Strings” from Pinocchio and combined it with the kind of epic trailer music I mentioned before. Combining the world’s creepiest child rendition of the song with the cyborg villain Ultron uttering “There are no strings on me,” in his raspy, robotic voice, they twist the familiar and innocent tale of Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket into something dark and full of menace and absolutely and totally awesome. Notice the low brass at 1:20 and how similar it sounds to the final moments of The Dark Knight trailer. There are certain sounds we’ve come to associate with epic, blockbuster clashes between good and evil.
In modern movie making, there is no such thing as a silent trailer. Music drives the action and the narrative. But you can’t download and sync tracks from your iTunes. Muserk has all the epic trailer music you might need.
I once saw a YouTube video that featured epic trailer music, and one of the comments was, “I made some bacon while listening to this, and IT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I’VE EVER DONE.” Thus, this video was inspired. Hold onto your butts. It’s bacon time.
The track is “Hansen” by Wilhelm Dukart. It’s available on our epic playlist so go grab a license and make your own awesome videos!