The Golden Trailer Awards celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, as the increasingly popular event acknowledges the work of film marketers and companies that create previews, commercials and posters worldwide.

“It’s just getting bigger and bigger every year and we’ll have several firsts with this year’s show,” says Evelyn Brady-Watters, GTA executive director.

One of those firsts includes the show becoming a twice-annual event starting this year, a result of its rapid growth. “GTA 15 kicks off the summer blockbuster season, and then our new live online show in November will celebrate all the big holiday releases, as well as the Oscar contenders,” she says. “So that show will serve as a palette for people to check out all the great new trailers, and decide what they want to see. That’s a huge first for us, and we’ll get a big-name host, and do it in a studio.”

Brady-Watters promises that both shows will be “fast and furious, highly entertaining, and looking forward — as trailers are cut six to 12 months in advance of a film’s release. And we’re geared to an audience with attention-deficit. You won’t have to worry about any big speeches.”

This year’s competition drew a record 1,364 submissions, up more than 160 from last year, with nominees in 70 diverse categories ranging from serious to lighthearted, including Summer 2014 Blockbuster Trailer Award, Trashiest Trailer, Most Romantic Trailer, Best in Show, and the Golden Fleece Award — the statuette that goes to the best trailer for the “not best” movie.

Brady-Watters reports that the 3-year-old Most Innovative category “has really popped this year, with crazy clever campaigns that are so far out of the box.”

She cites Lionsgate “photo-bombing their own ads for their horror films, including ‘You’re Next’ with this very creepy hand-done billboard.”

New categories include fantasy/adventure, “as there’s been so much demand with films like ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Star Trek’ for their own category,” she notes, along with a Fantasy/Adventure TV Spot and Documentary TV Spot.

Also new is the Viral Video or Campaign, and Vine category, “which again goes along with the short attention span of everyone who’s on their smart phones or online these days,” she adds, “and content providers taking advantage of all the new technologies and apps to market their films.”

Brady-Watters says the Golden Trailer Awards are also seeing more direct studio participation, and that “almost every studio has submitted directly.”

Warner Bros. leads with 51 nominations (including “Gravity,” “The Lego Movie”); Universal (including Focus Features) is second, with 32 noms, followed by 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight, Lionsgate and Disney.
On the agency side, Ignition Creative worked on 52 of this year’s nominees, Buddha Jones earned 24 noms, AV Squad tallied 23, and Trailer Park has credits on 18 nominees. Aspect Ratio and Zealot Productions round out the top five vendors with 13 nominations each.

In terms of trends, she notes that “just six years ago” trailers targeted specific genres and demographics. “But now we see trailers that are more anecdotal and informative about a movie’s characters.

“A great recent example was ‘The Lego Movie’ trailer campaign. They rolled out a bunch showcasing the characters’ quirks and humor, and people loved them because they’re really entertaining — free treats from the actual movie.

And you got completely charmed by a movie you might never have rushed out to see otherwise. That’s the power of great trailers.”