Spectre

Movie trailers can be tricky. They can make or break a film months before it hits screens. More often than not, they are rather banal. Over the past two decades, the majority of trailers have fallen into an incredibly formulaic structure (even more so than Hollywood product itself). And making a trailer is often tricky.

READ MORE: Watch: 10-Minute Video Essay Explores 120 Of The Cinematic Kiss

You want to show the audience what the movie is about, but you don’t want to spoil it. You want them to get to know the characters, but still leave room for surprise. And you want to show off the greatest parts of the film without really showing the greatest stuff (how awful is it when you know how a climactic battle will end because of a trailer?).

To help break down trailers and how they work is a new video essay from Now You See It, “The Problem With Trailers.” The essay takes a glance at the evolution of trailers and the tightrope walked between selling tickets and preserving the magic.

Similarly, the Playlist put together a roundup of the best trailers of 2015, breaking down some of the best pieces of 2-minute cinema of the year. Check out the video essay below and weigh in with your thoughts on the trite (but still occasionally exciting) genre of movie trailers in the comments.