Hard to say what happened the last few days...
A film I produced released an unpolished short teaser trailer three days ago. See my post below about the importance of trailers... and then read on for a good example of why it's a valid notion.
As far as I can tell, it was posted originally by quietearth.com, picked up from there by io9.com, and then an article was written by Harry Knowles himself on aintitcool.com ... and from there, it went a bit nuts. It's been written about on Reelz.com, Movies.com, breitbart.tv, and a bunch of other huge sites...
It may have peaked tonight when it was discussed on the O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Network. Here's the video...
What I can't figure out is how it all happened. The concept we funded was of Bin Laden returning as a zombie, which, we knew, would have some buzz value. But was it inevitable that it went viral? How did it happen? Was it because Harry Knowles wrote it up, or would someone else have inevitably broken the story? We noticed that our Kickstarter backer numbers double every day now for 4 days... when does that pattern end? Have we peaked? How can we keep it going?
Or, more importantly, how can we repeat it with future projects?
If it was inevitable, as another producer insists is the case, then was it predictable?
A marketable trailer can deliver a powerful message, and will be talked about just as much if not more than an entire movie based on the same message. And can we sell the film based solely on the trailer?
The film is well made, packed with zombie body count and tons of action. But the trailer tells a message that already tells channel buyers and distributors that the film can and will be sold and consumed by mass audiences. The trailer is the main sales tool of every film, and a trailer that drives audience consumption answers most of the questions concerning a film's viability. Sales deals are being made at EFM in Berlin already, solely on the basis of the trailer and the trailer's success.
If it wasn't clear enough or believable enough in my last post about the importance of trailers, I'll restate it here: the trailer is everything most buyers need to know about a film to decide whether they'll purchase rights. It answers every major question: Who's in it? What's it about? What's the genre? Will people want to see it?
Work hard to make a trailer. Don't cut corners on the most important aspect of the film.