Speaking to Rolling Stone earlier this month, David Lynch got on his soapbox to comment about the use of movie trailers to promote the upcoming flicks.
“These days, movie trailers practically tell the whole story,” he says in his nasal, matter-of-fact, plainspoken manner. “I think it’s really harmful. For me, personally, I don’t want to know anything when I go into a theater. I like to discover it, get into that world, try to get as good of picture and sound as possible, no interruptions – so you can have an experience. And anything that putrefies that is not good.”
This says a lot about why there was next to no information or spoilers surrounding the revival of “Twin Peaks”. Aside from the key cast, we as an audience went in with fresh, open minds, keen to discover what lay within. 4 episodes in, and there’s so many unanswered questions (not to mention we’re still not sure if some characters will return), and that forms half the excitement of viewing something new – unravelling the mystery at the same time as everyone on screen.
Before I found myself knee deep in an industry that forced me to be across all possible news items, I approached movies in the same way as Lynch. When we first started dating, my boyfriend would take me to a lot of movies and you know how much I knew about them? Absolutely nothing, bar the title. Never watched the trailer, and at most I’d know the very basic plot. And to be honest, I liked it that way. I had no preconceived ideas of what to expect, or other people’s judgements and/or spoilers in my head. Just a clean canvas, waiting for it to be painted with what I was about to see.
To be fair, as a movie reviewer, you really do have to be in that frame of mind, as well. You can’t be swayed by someone else’s opinion. But as for trailers? Along with social media, it’s near impossible to avoid them. And it truly sucks when a movie sticks all the funny bits in the trailer so you’re left with nothing but fluff when you see it on the big screen.
On the other hand, trailers create hype, they get people excited and of course it’s a key part of marketing a film. In saying that, David Lynch managed to create an incredible hype and buzz around “Twin Peaks” when we knew literally nothing about what was to come. In all fairness, however, he did have a few things on his side – first and foremost – his name, plus the fact that Twin Peaks isn’t a new concept but something fans have been waiting 25 years for another go at, and a cast of faces that people know and love.
So really, I can see both sides of this argument. And I think there needs to be a balance between what we tell the audience, and the buzz we generate. There’s a fine line between oversharing and key marketing. At the end of the day, if the movie doesn’t have what it takes, a trailer isn’t going to make any difference whatsoever.