Screenplay Trailers

This year’s Black List came out this week, and, aside from the obvious choices (picking Django Unchained doesn’t seem like going out on a limb much), I noticed the presence of Grim Night by Allen Bey and Brandon Bestenheider, a film I first learned about when a trailer the writers made to promote their script got a fair bit of attention on blogs I read (which is to say, io9).  The script has already been picked up in a bidding war by Universal, and I have to imagine the trailer helped build interest.

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about the viability of using a trailer to promote a script.  Clearly, it worked well for Grim Night.  The production costs probably wouldn’t be that bad.  I am pretty sure I could wrangle together a decent cast and crew to make a two minute version of The Zig-Zag Bangs Play Music for Spying without going into bankruptcy.

It’s an interesting approach to take.  A video is a much more compelling form of pitch than anything I’m going to be able to convey in a query letter or probably even in a face-to-face meeting.  On the other hand, I know how frustrating it is to try to make something online get over that critical mass that pushes it into “viral” territory, which I imagine you’d need to get the attention of a producer.

That said, it seems kind of fun.  I wonder if Bikini Kill would let us use “Rebel Girl” for the soundtrack…