Just as commercials are often more compelling than the programming that they frame, so too have trailers become their own source of entertainment. Just ask Evelyn Brady-Watters and Monica Brady, who founded the Golden Trailer Awards in 1999. As we approach the kudofest’s 14th annual iteration, their mission remains the same: give credit where credit is due.
“We realized that the people who created our favorite part of going to the movies were anonymous,” says Brady-Watters, the event’s exec director. “There was no recognition for this art form until the first Golden Trailer Awards. People in the industry like the Weinstein brothers and Quentin Tarantino were very supportive and thought that these people should be recognized as well.”
The popularity of trailers has exploded in the past few years as platforms that range from Yahoo Movies to Collider.com feature clips on their sites. According to Google’s Think Insights page, the 2012 top 10 trailers for games, TV and film had a combined 170 million views on YouTube, which shows one of The Dark Knight Rises trailers attracting upward of 32 million views, eventually logging more than 169 million total views across all platforms.
For this edition, the Golden Trailer committee received more than 1,200 trailer submissions from trailer houses and studios alike, representing an 11% increase from last year, indicating the growing prevalence and importance of previews as both marketing tools and creative touchstones.
Talkshow host Aisha Tyler and comedian Rob Schneider will emcee the event May 3 at the Beverly Hills Saban Theater, where 16 out of 70 Golden Trailer awards will be announced, including for Summer 2013 Blockbuster trailer, and other less prestigious accolades such as the Trashiest Trailer and Golden Fleece award, which is given to the best trailer for the worst movie.
Winners are selected by 14 judges from various showbiz backgrounds, from former Lost writer-producer Drew Goddard to producer/CEO of QED Entertainment Bill Block.
“The show is geared toward people with ADD because trailers are geared toward people with ADD,” Brady jokes.
“Everybody loves a good trailer no matter who you talk to,” says recently appointed member of the company’s Board of Advisers, Vic Garvey, who previously oversaw marketing and logistics for the Olympic Ceremonies for NBC. “It’s fascinating not only from a marketing standpoint, but from a cultural point of view. And the Golden Trailer Awards is the only place where this type of artwork is celebrated and awarded by the industry.
“It’s such a specific skill. They make it look easy to take the essence of the film and hook an audience but also leaving them wanting more. It’s also a communal part of the moviegoing experience where the audience can make decisions together.”
* Greg Sills, a showrunner referred to as overseeing the Golden Trailer Awards in Variety’s April 30 issue, and Vic Garvey, who was quoted as a member of the kudofests Board of Directors, have since parted ways with the organization and had no involvement in this year’s showcase.