After yesterday's laff-riot of a post on Bonnie and Clyde's trailer I figured I'd go for a more straightforward write-up for the trailer to Woody Allen's Sleeper—one of my favorite efforts from the now-creepy auteur's golden age, the seventies.
As mentioned before, I've bemoaned the loss of clever—or, hell, just plain humorous—comedy trailers. Most modern comedy trailers simply act as clip pieces, showcasing the funniest bits from the movies they're advertising. Although Allen's Sleeper trailer isn't immune to this trait it at least packages the goods in a humorous framing device: Aping some of the more self-important trailers for prestige pictures from Hollywood's golden age, this mini-movie opens on Allen working at a film editing bay. An excited narrator interrupts the director, "Excuse me, Mr. Allen, is that you're new movie you're working on?"
The director shrugs and replies, "This? No."
From here the trailer cuts to various clips as Allen describes the movie as an intellectual enterprise for highbrow audiences, the slapstick images belying his assertions. Sure, the trailer ain't the cleverest premise, nor done in the most amusing way possible, but at least there was a premise to the trailer. It acted as its own short film, however rushed the idea or execution.
The important thing to note here is that at least some thought, some effort went into advertising the picture. It wasn't a strictly mercenary effort. To the thousands of industry execs who read my blog, all I'm saying is, we moviegoers ask that you at least put in the bare minimum of effort. If you can at least pretend that you're not just grudgingly going through the motions so as to ensure the minimum number of tickets sold that will allow you to meet the bottom line; it'll go a long way toward engendering good will in your potential audience.