Mar 08

Where Do I Find Clips For My Trailer?

Where Do I Find Clips For My Trailer?

Your trailer needs video to tell it's story. You can either film the film yourself (which is really fun, try it if you haven't already) or use existing clips. This guide will help you put together a professional-looking teaser trailer for your story, and find clips to help tell your story.

The act of using using video from TV, film, and games is common place in the "pitch" process in Hollywood. Here's a short description of what we mean:

(A producer) rolled a five-minute “sizzle reel,” essentially a trailer for an unmade film. Made by the prospective director, who was the visual-effects supervisor on “Gravity” and “Avatar,” it comprised bits from twenty-three films, as well as from commercials for video games.

This is an example of a professional movie producer pitching a film that they need millions of dollar for, and they've cut together the trailer from previous works. If this technique is good enough for a multi-million dollar production, it is definitely good enough for your story on Reupp!

So where do you find these clips? Youtube is the most obvious choice, containing the greatest catalogue of movie trailers, gaming videos, etc. You will need to download these videos locally in order to grab clips from them, check out these sites to do it:

You can also use a browser extension, here is one for the Chrome browser:

If you don't have Chrome, try and google "Extension for downloading videos" and include the name of your browser.

Ok great, now that you have your tool to download videos, start searching for clips!

The best way to find clips is to think about what you have seen before that has inspired you, and what best describes your story. In other words, don't limit yourself to only films or only games, the best trailers combine all these mediums with different clips that all feel like one single unified story.

For example, lets say your story is a cop detective, film noir type. You can start with a a clip from Max Payne:

Max Payne

After this, then use some film clips. There are a few to choose from, but the new-ish "Sin City" comes to mind:

Sin City

These are two modern stories, but don't forget about the classics! A clip from an older movie/TV show that fits the vibe of your story will not stand out, it will only add to the uniqueness of your trailer!

We would then add a clip from the movie "Chinatown"


Now we have 3 clips from 3 very different sources (and mediums!) but the trailer still retains one solid storyline, and looks and feels like the same story.

If you have taken clips from multiple sources, and now your trailer feels too random and hard to follow, use these tips to make it feel like a single story:

  1. Use a voice over. If you add your voice to the trailer, you can replace the audio that might be totally different from your story and insert dialogue that fits. Also, if the entire trailer has only one voice, it will seem more like a single story.

  2. Use your own music. This tip is similar to the one above, but a single song that plays the whole time will connect things nicely as well.

  3. Use a filter. Think like Instagram or Snapchat, where a video filter applied to all the clips will give each one the same effect, making it all appear to have come from the same "movie". Adding filters to videos can be complicated, but if your video software allows for it, give it a try!

Effects NoEffects

If you need more assistance if the creation of your video, check out our other guides here:

How to Make a Fanfiction Trailer

Another technique involving using video game engines to create video clips is also a good idea! An example of this is the popular web series "Red v Blue"

Red VS Blue

They use the game engine to tell their (very funny) stories. All they have to do is provide the voice overs and dialogue, and the entire story unfolds using the game engine as animation! This is very clever because with obtaining animated video is often times very difficult, and using this technique you can use the game engine to put your characters in whichever situations you want, and have the dialogue (or narrator voice over) do the rest of the work telling the story.

Another great tip, don't just focus on the content from games/Tv/film itself. A lot of the marketing material (Tv ads, trailers, etc.) are perfect for your story! These clips are already short, to the point, and meant to do exactly what you are trying to do, which is tell a (basic) story while selling or "pitching" the viewer to what to know more. Using promotional material from other works, if you edit them together in the right way, can be a great way of getting people excited about your story. Just make sure to use the above tips in order to make the trailer uniquely yours.

Using clips from several different Ads can keep people interested, but it's up to you to make it work for your own story. You will need to have the right mix of fast-paced action, storytelling, character introductions, all while maintaining a single flow and feeling to the trailer. If you are having trouble creating a feeling of a single story, try using the same sources for most of the clips.

Tip: you can also use different clips using the same actors, but not necessarily from the same movie/Tv show/game!

Same actors, different stories

Good luck finding your clips. And when you are done, don't forgot to upload your trailer to Reupp!

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