By CJ Harris | Shadow and Act December 31, 2013 at 12:07PM
A few weeks ago I invited filmmakers to send me their projects in hopes of getting Double Wide Trailers to create a top-notch theatrical trailer for their film for free. Needless to say, a lot of incredible work came across my desk. Full-length features, documentaries, shorts, webisodes -- there is really some great work out there. Lots of folks with lots of passion. But after much deliberation, Double Wide Trailers selected Robert Poole’s 7-minute short "The Exchange" from among the submissions.
The Log Line for "The Exchange" reads: Trapped in a failing marriage, Brian seeks the help of a mysterious 'fixer' known for his ability to change the lives of his clients forever.
I found "The Exchange" to be an edge-of-your-seat, suspense-thriller. It has a great storyline, major star power (Michael Beach plays a worthy protagonist) and the production value is superb. The film is beautifully shot, so the approach to the trailer was to keep it simple and let the movie speak for itself. We started off with a rough script (below), which served as the blue print for the direction.
After the first rough cut following this script, we seemed to be missing the mark. The story was there for the most part, but where was the intrigue? We went back, slowed down the pacing and let the cut breathe a bit more. We also added two graphic cards: "WHEN LOVE IS LOST" and "HOW FAR WILL YOU GO?" Now we were cooking with grease.
The story structure was solid but we needed the right music to really bring the cut to life. I brought in Joey Padovani of Beautiful 7 Recordings to score to the cut. Joey took the time to design a custom track exclusively for this trailer. He dissected each scene and created a moody, atmospheric sound bed that drives the cut from start to finish. Joey describes his approach to the music like this: “I had to approach the trailer with a love/hate texture. Piano for the love, and strings for the unknown – fear of what’s going to happen.”
The subtle nuances in the music, the pregnant pauses, the way the track builds to an ominous crescendo. It all adds to the intrigue. The sound design takes the cut to a whole new level. Joey knocked it out of the ballpark.
But enough about the mechanics of the trailer. See for yourself:
Editor: Kamilah Amirah Bryant, SheCreatedIt.com
Audio Mixer/Sound Design: Joseph “Joeyo” Padovani, Beautiful 7 Recordings, Beautiful7.com
Double Wide Trailers is committed to helping emerging filmmakers raise the marketability of their films with a professional movie trailer that is eye-catching, inventive and most of all memorable. If you have a project in need of creative help, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to taking your project to the next level.
About the Filmmaker:
Robert L. Poole has directed a wide range of work including stage plays, documentaries, music videos, and short films. His shorts have played in festivals throughout the country. He is currently developing his first feature-length film.
Robert L. Poole
About "The Exchange"
The Exchange was developed as a part of a fellowship I received shortly after graduating film school. We were challenged to write, develop, shoot, and edit a short film (10 minutes or less) in 10 weeks using the company’s production office as our sole location. As a result the conference room became a living room, the screening room became a bedroom, and so on.
This film is just starting its festival run so having a trailer that intrigues people is a huge plus in terms of promotion. CJ’s work really breathes new life into the story which is a mashup of sci-fi, mystery, and romance. Moving forward, I would love to develop a series based off the mood and theme of this short."
About CJ Harris
CJ Harris has been creating award-winning promotional campaigns for over 10 years. As Senior Writer/Producer at HBO, CJ’s groundbreaking promos for Def Poetry have become legendary in the industry. While at HBO, CJ worked on a number of high-profile campaigns including Jill Scott’s No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, HBO Documentary Films, and Chris Rock Kill the Messenger. Her most recent work as Creative Director at BET Networks includes launching the BET Original Movie Being Mary Jane, overseeing the promotional campaigns for The Game, Black Girls Rock and Scandal on BET as well as dozens of other network series, tentpoles and movies. CJ holds a B.S. in Broadcasting and Film from Boston University. When CJ’s not shaping dope creative she spends her time watching sports and yelling at the TV. To sample CJ’s work, go to: http://vimeo.com/cjharris