There is an ongoing issue with trailers lately and it has been bugging me for a while. A trend needs to be bucked and hopefully I can be the one to start the revolution.
In the summer of 2010, The Social Network trailer was released. It was a movie a lot of people scoffed at, but the trailer was undeniable. Those two and a half minutes were some of the most captivating moments in film in the last several years. A huge part of that trailer was the music playing behind it.
The song playing is a choir being accompanied by a piano while singing Creep by Radiohead. This was the launching point of trailers using choirs to sing famous rock songs. It was cool when David Fincher did it, because it fit in the trailers narrative. Instead of just having Thom Yorke of Radiohead singing, it was a group of people coming together, just as Facebook has brought together groups of people. While yes, the choir sounded great and had a great ominous effect on the tone of the trailer, it served a purpose.
An example of a trailer using a chorus to sing a popular song that failed is the 2016 Oliver Stone movie Snowden. Now I enjoyed this movie, but not as much as the documentary it is based on. My opinion of this movie does not reflect my thoughts on this trailer.
This trailer uses “When the saints go marching in”. Oliver Stone is known to be outspoken against the US government and this was his way of being edgy. There is no need to have a slow and somber version of this in the trailer. If anything, it detracts the viewers from the real message of the movie and takes you out of it. The trailer would have been immensely more intriguing had he just used a simple score that gets the point across.
Next up is Girl on the Train; this movie uses a song that is already stripeed down, Heartless by Kanye West, but they decided take further action. Had they just used the original version of this song, the trailer would have attracted a different and younger audience, but with this, they are just disguising the fact that it is a Kanye West rap song about heartbreak.
Finally the worst of the lot, Ghostbusters (2016). They ruined any chance they had with this version of the song. I would love to ask the editors why they felt that having a piano cover of Ghostbusters was nessecary to have.