On Friday night, Breitbart News was on the scene at the 2014 Golden Trailer Awards, where hundreds of hipsters convened at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills to celebrate exceptional film marketing.
Shiny black statues adorned with a gold trailer on top were awarded in categories such as Best Action, Best Thriller, and Best Drama. There was even a Trashiest Trailer category and the Golden Fleece award, which went to the best trailer for the worst movie.
The red carpet was walked with edgy style: sneakers with suits; ankle booties with short, flowing dresses; neckties with unbuttoned shirts; and bearded men sporting Drew Carey-esque glasses.
Breitbart News caught up with actor Jay Mohr, who hosted the GTA’s 15th annual event with co-host and fellow bromance actor Neal McDonough, whom Mohr called a “magnificent man” and compared to Dean Martin. McDonough got a laugh when he said, “I love trailers. My wife and I have five children and three of them were conceived in trailers.”
In a world in which the Internet has made it easy to get almost any message across, those precious 2.5 minute previews can translate into golden revenue at the box office.
“The medium of the trailer is so suited for what people are doing online,” said Kevin Iwashina of the production company City Room Creative. Iwashina’s trailer for the movie “Only God Forgives,” starring Ryan Gosling, was nominated in four categories.
Iwashina thinks that increased accessibility to media online has accelerated the trailer business. “People love trailers. There is such a finite amount of time.” Trailers allow viewers to cut through the fat and quickly get to the meat of the story to decide whether or not the movie is something they want to see.
According to Iwashina, trailers either work or they don’t. “You get that one shot to present your trailer. The level of the trailer and the quality of the short-form narratives is so competitive that it’s only forcing trailers to get better,” he said.
And for GTA’s executive director, Evelyn Brady-Watters, that brief time that the trailer has to capture a film’s expression is, in and of itself, an art. “We love the narrative process,” said Watters, who started the GTAs 15 years ago and is very much involved in the show’s nominating and judging processes.
Brady-Watters and her sister Monica Brady co-founded the awards show in 1999. Watters told Breitbart News that the idea for GTA came during the shooting of a feature-length film. She and her sister were searching online for key talent, including trailer editors, and saw that they weren’t being recognized for their work.
With support from the likes of Quentin Tarantino, who came on board the first year as a judge, and whose participation alone awarded the GTAs a great deal of press, a new star in the trailer industry was born.
The art of storytelling is seemingly what it’s all about. A common theme which echoed throughout the awards ceremony was that all the winning trailers were the ones that told their story most effectively and efficiently.
Watters noted that “the only [trailers] that will see the light of day are the ones that have great marketing.” She said that the show is designed “with the consumer in mind… the consumer rules.” She added, “the market has spoken.”
Watters mentioned that one of the categories dropped from the GTAs was The Dark and Stormy Night. It was awarded to the most contrived trailer and, frankly, “no one wanted to enter it,” she said.
Host Jay Mohr said, “Let’s not be Hollywood tonight.” To the motto that everyone’s a winner, he said, “That’s just not true. There are going to be many, many losers here tonight,” at which the audience couldn’t help but laugh.
When Breitbart News asked Mohr if he’d ever played in a great movie with a horrible trailer, he said he’s never really noticed, but that being the “egomaniac” that he is, “I was just waiting to see if I was in it… so I think the common denominator is me. I’m bad luck,” he joked.
Then Breitbart News asked what he thought the absolute best trailer was for a movie he was in. Mohr was quick to answer: “That’s very easy. My first movie was ‘Jerry Maguire’ and the trailer had ‘Magic Bus’ by The Who. So just that fact that ‘Magic Bus’ was playing for a movie that I was in… it was too surreal for words.”
A full list of the winners in each category can be found here:
1. BEST ACTION
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE “WORLD EVENT”
Lionsgate / Trailer Park
2. BEST ANIMATION/FAMILY
FROZEN “FORCES FIRST PED”
BAD WORDS “RED BAND TRAILER”
Focus Features/Mark Woolen & Associates
4. BEST DOCUMENTARY
5. BEST DRAMA
LEE DANIEL’S THE BUTLER
The Weinstein Company/AV Squad
6. BEST FANTASY ADVENTURE
The Walt Disney Studios/Open Road Entertainment
7. BEST HORROR
THE CONJURING “Case”
Warner Bros./Buddha Jones
8. BEST INDEPENDENT TRAILER
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Focus Features/Mark Woolen & Associates
9. BEST MUSIC
THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY “Go/Cloud”
20th Century Fox/Transit
10. BEST OF SHOW
11. BEST ROMANCE
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS “A Good Life/Story”
20th Century Fox/Motive Creative
12. BEST SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER TRAILER
Warner Bros./Trailer Park
13. BEST THRILLER
14. BEST VIDEO GAME TRAILER
ASSASSIN’S CREED BLACK FLAG FREEDOM CRY “Reveal Trailer”
Ubisoft/Sunny Side Up Creative
15. GOLDEN FLEECE
THE FIFTH ESTATE “The Future”
Dreamworks/InSync + BemisBalkind
16. MOST ORIGINAL TRAILER
THIS IS THE END “April Fools Trailer”
Columbia Pictures/Vibe Creative, Inc.
17. THE DON LaFONTAINE AWARD FOR BEST VOICE OVER
THE HEAT “Can You Dig It?”
20th Century Fox/Big Picture Entertainment
18. TRASHIEST TRAILER
Magnet Releasing/Jump Cut