Make It So: The Trailer Film Of Trailers

Awhile ago I mentioned how Serdar and I had discussed the way film companies could act as incubators for smaller, less pricey movies. The risk is lowered, the chance for success is good (and perhaps higher without Save The Cat efforts), and goodwill would be made. Basically, a skunkworks.

Well admittedly we don’t know if anyone is doing this, though I’d like to fantasize that big studio execs read our blog and hang on our every word. Or at least try to find ways to mess with Scott (I suspect that Charmed remake HAS to be that).

But a similar idea struck me – it actually came during a movie outing with a local group of gamers. We were discussing “Machete Kills.”

Now this Danny Trejo vehicle may not seem to be something that leads to particularly deep thoughts about movies and media. But let’s consider its origins.

“Machete Kills” is the sequel to “Machete” a film that is actually based on a fake trailer in the infamous Tarantino film “Grindhouse.” “Grindhouse” contained a number of fake trailers, many very witty parodies of films, one of which spawned another film, “Hobo With a Shotgun.”

So this gave me an idea. Right now my guess is you either assume the idea is awesome or horrible, and there’s very little ground. But hold on with both your enthusiasm or disgust, and hear me out.

I think Tarantino gave us a way to do a “discount” version of the film Skunkworks.

Imagine this . . .

A group of hopeful filmmakers band together, the more the merrier. They should have distinct film plans in mind, about fifteen to twenty in total.

Then using their pooled talent and money, they produce trailers for each of their ideas, and release them as one giant film. They release a film consisting only of trailers of possible movies.

They could distribute it online and as DVDs. They could Kickstarter both the trailers and the film itself. Anything that gets the word out and of course helps them at least make back their investments.

Of course getting the word out is key because the goal is to use the trailers to get attention for the film ideas.

Hopefully one or more of the trailers will go viral – just like the “Machete” and “Hobo with a Shotgun” trailers did. Each trailer that goes viral gives a chance for the others to be noticed. Each trailer that goes viral might just become the seed of a successful film or television show or comic.

A few successes, and the entire effort could be done again. With a chance to breed more adaptions and more success. And you get your skunkworks done simply.

Is this viable? I confess I’m actually not sure – you’d have to actually do it to measure it’s viability. But the pieces at least seem to be viable, the economic cost is comparatively low (all of Manborg took $1000), and there’s a path to follow.

Any brave souls out there want to try this?

– Steven “Manager With A Chart” Savage