How does the man behind the trailer inspire the movie?


How does the man behind the trailer inspire the movie?

Mark Woollen has created trailers for many oscar-nominated films, including Boyhood, The Everything of Everything and Birdman. He talked about how he made a film for the premiere of the audience.


This is fresh air. My name is David Davis, and he is terry gross, who closed this week. The Oscar movie trailer has no category, but our guest Mark Woollen has created a trailer for many of the oscar-nominated films. This year alone, he made “boyhood”, “all theories” and “birdman” trailers, and won best picture last night.


MICHAEL KEATON :(as Riggan) did we end up here? This place is terrible. It smells like a curse. We have everything.

Unknown actor # 1 :(as a character) you’re a movie star, remember?

Unknown actor # 2 :(as a character) who is this person?

The unknown akus :(as a character) he used to be a bird.

KEATON :(as Riggan) I like that poster.

Unknown actor # 3 :(as a character) you write this adaptation?

KEATON :(as Riggan) I did, yes.

Unknown actor # 3 :(as a character) and you are directing and starring in your adaptation? This is ambitious.

Davis: mark wool has chosen images, dialogue and music to make the trailer, and the trailer will be on impulse within a few months of the release of the film. Since he went to high school, he has been editing movies and videos professionally. In the past few years, he has produced “12 years of slave”, “Dallas buyers club”, “Nebraska” and “she” trailers. One of his first trailers was the film schindler’s list. Terry gross introduced him to his work and how he made a film for the audience.


(laughter) Mark Wool, welcome to FRESH AIR. One of the frustrations I encountered when I was watching the trailer in the theater was that some of the trailers basically told me the whole movie. They showed me the last act of the film. I think, like, well, I don’t like the stories they show me, I know the whole thing. Like, why do I even bother to go now? Why did they do that?

MARK WOOLEN: I know, I know. I really hate it when I see terry trailers doing this. This is something we avoided in the movies we made. I mean, I think last year was definitely an example, we looked at David Fincher’s Gone Girl. This is we take part in the whole movie, is actually in the first hour of movie to begin to work, because the audience once to go to the movies, there are a lot of things to find, and we don’t want to destroy it. So we’re very careful with this activity.

But, I know what you mean. I do see examples of this in the trailer, which comes down to all of these things. You know, big studios often use this data and point out that they’re moving in this direction – the more viewers, the more likely they are to go. I don’t have to do that. It’s not something we do at work, but it does happen.

GROSS: you made a great trailer for the movie I really liked. This is the coen brothers movie “a serious man,” it’s about, you know, a guy — is he a college professor? – he just had this belief crisis, with a midlife crisis and a marital crisis, and he knew he didn’t know it was time to ask for help. Maybe a rabbi, but rabbi’s busy. It’s not – you know, he didn’t get the help he sought from rabbis. So you made a trailer for that. Do you want to tell the story behind the trailer?

WOOLEN: of course. Over the years, I’ve made a few trailers for the coen brothers for their movies, back to “big Lebowski,” I’d say. And they always want to — you know, their movies are very unique, and the characters they create are always worth the difference.

I remember “serious people,” they said, you know, we made an unconventional movie, you know, we needed an unconventional trailer. And this moment in this movie is probably about – I think it’s probably about five or six seconds, and the head is being blocked by the blackboard. And we’re kind of — it’s always been a consistent moment with us. We’re kind of wondering, is there a way — you can set up a trailer at that moment, just a few seconds?

So the notion that we’re starting to play this role is — you know, he’s in this cycle of despair and frustration that’s happening. It feels like he’s the kind of – the head is the perfect metaphor. So we basically use it – you know, I talked about the rhythm of the trailer, and the man’s skull on the blackboard to beat the sound really became the basis for the trailer, and determine the rhythm of the trailer. We also started looking for other interesting sounds.

You know, sound can be so amazing – it’s an amazing trailer tool. So for a time, a secretary coughed up some sputum. So, you know, it’s first of all as a boom, the board boom, and then a boom, ah (ph), boom, ah (ph). Then he bumped into his car and was added to the remix. We rode bikes again, remixing these sounds, so it was a boom, ah, crash and so on – and so on. That’s how he built it when he told his story. It feels right.

MAO: very effective. Why don’t we hear how this trailer came out, and we’ll hear the head banging on the blackboard as a soundtrack to the trailer.


MICHAEL STUHLBARG :(like Larry Gopnik) please help me. I have a marriage problem.

SARI LENNICK :(as Judith Gopnik) honey, I think we should start talking about divorce.

FRED MELAMED :(like Sy Ableman) Mary, we’ll be fine.

STUHLBARG :(like Larry Gopnik) you can name it.

ARI HOPTMAN :(as Arlen Finkle) larry, we’ve received a number of letters that vilify you and urge us not to grant you tenure.

STUHLBARG :(like Larry Gopnik) I need help.

MELAMED :(as Sy Ableman) we’ll be fine.

(car music sound)

STUHLBARG :(like Larry Gopnik) I’m trying to be a serious person.

ALAN MANDELL :(as a rabbi) HMM.

MELAMED :(as Sy Ableman) we’ll be fine.

STUHLBARG :(like Larry Gopnik) I tried to do the right thing and become a member of the community.

Mandel :(as rabbi mashaq) um.

MELAMED :(as Sy Ableman) we’ll be fine.

(car music sound)

STUHLBARG :(like Larry Gopnik) please tell him I need help.

Mandel :(as rabbi mashaq) um.

STUHLBARG :(like Larry Gopnik) please.

MELAMED :(as Sy Ableman) we’ll be fine.

(car music sound)

STUHLBARG :(like Larry Gopnik) I need help.

Mandel :(as rabbi mashaq) um.

MELAMED :(as Sy Ableman) we’ll be fine.

(car music sound)

STUHLBARG :(like Larry Gopnik) (sigh).

(door closes)

Claudia wilkens :(Marshall’s secretary) rabbi is busy.

STUHLBARG :(like Larry Gopnik) he doesn’t look busy.

Wilkerson: [masak’s secretary] he’s thinking.

GROSS: this is a trailer for the Coen brothers film “serious man”, made by my guest Mark Woollen.

So we talked about giving up the whole story, and you explained that you don’t like that, you don’t do it. Then, like animated movie trailers, I know most of you are like the Indian art things, but the action movie trailer will usually have a lot of explosions and sound and gunshots, and then the percussion sound seems to have replaced before those in the action movie. Now it’s like percussion.


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