You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Golden Trailer kudos: short and sweet

Awards show prides itself on finishing early

How do the Golden Trailers differ from just about every other awards show? They pride themselves on being short.

“It’s an achievement to finish early,” says executive director Evelyn Brady-Watters. “We shoot for 70 minutes, you get the best action parts of the trailers, the packages come in around a minute for four nominees, there’s a party before and a party after. It’s a rocket ride.”

“It’s an ADD crowd,” says executive producer Monica Brady.

The sisters, who started up the Golden Trailer Awards in 1999, won’t say whether they’ve caused Attention Deficit Disorder, or just contributed to it (“We’re doing what we can,” jokes Brady.) But their influence on the art of trailers — billions of which are watched online and other devices undreamt of when the GTA started — seems unquestionable. The latest results will be on display tonight at the Music Box theater in Los Angeles, as the 12th annual GTAs are announced by an international panel of jurors that includes producers J. Todd Harris, Amy Hobby, Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Andrew Kosove.

“When you put a spotlight on something, it naturally raises the caliber,” says Brady. The Golden Trailers have brought “attention, incentive and accountability to trailers,” says Watters-Brady. “And the feedback online keeps people honest.”

With submissions at an all-time high of 1,050 this year (and the GT’s first international venture taking place in Mumbai, India, in December), the organization is in discussion with networks for a possible holiday show this winter, which would be a natural vehicle for studios to promote the films that are already being promoted in the trailers — if not to the plot-spoiling extent they once were. The sisters still joke about the 2000 trailer for “Castaway” that showed Tom Hanks making it home from his island. “That one made us want to start a ‘What’s Left?’ award,” jokes Watters-Brady.

But the common plaint that trailers give away too much isn’t something the sisters agree with. Not anymore. “An editor once pointed out to me, ‘If I’m giving away the movie in 2 minutes and 30 seconds,’ there wasn’t much there to start with,'” laughs Brady. “A lot of people think it’s a problem, but the trailer needs to leave you wanting more, without giving away the third act.”

Trailers are tighter now they were when the Golden Trailers began, says Watters-Brady, and more polished. At the same time, some problems are perennial. “Comedy trailers are more difficult to do, especially since everyone thinks the best jokes are in the trailer. But look at ‘Bridesmaids.’ Great trailer, and the movie still delivered.”

The year of GTA No. 1 was the year of “The Matrix,” a watershed for movies and trailers. The sisters didn’t know if anyone would show; the DGA theater was full. “Everyone came to the awards,” says Brady, “but they were like ‘We know what’s going to win.’ ” This year, 16 awards will be given out during the show; dozens — including honors for posters, posts and TV spots — will be announced prior. What’s being celebrated is an art form unto itself, and one whose popularity is only increasing.

“It’s like novels and short stories,” says Brady-Watters. “And what people are saying is that they prefer the short story to the novel. When they can get them on demand, that’s what they like.”

Hitting the mark | Trailer shops cue music | Sound gardens | Where trailers are the star attraction | Kicking off summer a year early | Golden Trailer kudos: short and sweet | Golden Trailer nominations | Overseas trailers more permissive | The hit list

More Film

  • Heather Parry Live Nation

    Heather Parry Fired From Live Nation Productions

    Live Nation Entertainment announced Thursday that Heather Parry will leave the company following a Variety investigation into allegations of workplace bullying. Parry ran Live Nation Productions, the TV and film arm of the touring conglomerate, for three years. In December, Variety reported that Live Nation’s human resources department had been repeatedly warned that Parry was [...]

  • A still from Sea of Shadows

    Sundance Film Review: 'Sea of Shadows'

    It’s a decidedly grim circle of life that moves us all in “Sea of Shadows,” a tight, troubling documentary eco-thriller that charts a compelling course of consequence from Chinese black-market apothecaries to the near-extinction of a rare whale in the Sea of Cortez, hitting on Mexican crime cartels and institutional corruption along the way. Austrian [...]

  • Matt Smith, Thomasin McKenzie Circle Edgar

    Matt Smith, 'Leave No Trace' Star Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie Circle Edgar Wright Movie

    Matt Smith and “Leave No Trace” star Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie are in negotiations to join Edgar Wright’s next film, “Last Night in Soho,” sources tell Variety. Details are vague about the psychological horror movie, other than it being set in London’s Soho district. Anya Taylor Joy is also in the cast. Production is expected to [...]

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

  • Michael B Jordan denzel washington

    Michael B. Jordan to Star in Denzel Washington's 'Journal for Jordan'

    Michael B. Jordan is in talks to star in Sony’s “Journal for Jordan,” a drama that will be directed by Denzel Washington. The movie, penned by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Virgil Williams, is based on the true story of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Dana Canedy’s love affair with First Sergeant Charles Monroe King. King kept a journal [...]

  • Sylvester Stallone

    Sylvester Stallone's Superhero Drama 'Samaritan' Lands at MGM

    MGM is developing the superhero drama “Samaritan” with Sylvester Stallone attached to star and produce through his Balboa Productions. The studio has acquired Bragi F. Schut’s script, which centers on a boy learning that a missing superhero, who vanished 20 years earlier after a battle, may still be alive. MGM will develop “Samaritan” with Stallone [...]

  • Kendrick Lamar

    Oscars: Kendrick Lamar and SZA Will Not Perform 'Black Panther' Song (EXCLUSIVE)

    Despite the Academy’s efforts to secure Kendrick Lamar and SZA for a performance of the Oscar-nominated song “All the Stars” from “Black Panther” on the upcoming Oscars telecast, the duo will not be a part of the show, Variety has learned. The reason, according to a source close to the situation, is logistics and timing. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content