This week NYF explores the business of “Movie Trailers,” one of New York Festivals newest categories for 2015. NYF interviewed New York based Matt Winch and Jin Whang of Wink Creative to find out more about this exciting creative genre that combines storytelling with advertising/marketing.
Founded in 2010 by Matt Winch, Founding Partner, and Jin Whang, Managing Partner, Wink Creative has been creating award-winning campaigns for major studios, filmmakers, broadcast networks and emerging content distributors.
Matt Winch, an award-winning theatrical trailer editor, copywriter, producer and creative director, has over 300 motion picture marketing campaigns for major studios, premiere trailer houses, filmmakers, and independents to his credit. Jin Whang, writer/producer, creative director and marketing executive, has worked on theatrical trailers and national television campaigns for more than 200 motion picture releases. Her experience spans every genre of marketing, niche and franchise, indies and micro-budgets to global and consumer-driven campaigns. Together they form Wink Creative.
In the interview below, NYF gets up close and personal with Matt Winch and Jin Whang as they share how they first got started in the business of creating movie trailers, the evolution of the industry, their all-time favorite move trailers, their latest project, and more.
NYF: How did you first get started in the movie trailer industry?
MW: “By pure accident. When I went to LA after grad school in Chicago I had no idea there were agencies that specialized in movie trailers. I had grabbed the LA 411 book and started shotgunning my resume via fax (yes, fax) to random post houses, looking for work in commercials. One of the places had moved but a little tiny company at the time named Trailer Park had rented that space and still had the same fax number. The office manager at the time thought it was funny that I’d sent it to the wrong place and handwritten at the bottom of the resume ‘PS – I’ll do anything.’ She said “I have to meet this guy.” Then I had 3 interviews just to get a job as a runner. After that it was up to me to learn the Avid and start cutting offline spots to show my bosses.”
NYF: How has the industry evolved in the past few years? Are movie trailers for fact paced than in previous years?
MW: “The industry has evolved a lot in the past few years just like everything else. Faster computers with more storage space and processing power, the internet and a changing audience has certainly influenced its evolution.”
Then and now…
“We used to work on a 50k Avid that had only four tracks of audio available to cut with and send the cuts on ¾” tape through LA traffic for the clients. Sometimes they didn’t get back to us for 3 days with changes. Nowadays, everybody has desktop editing software on their computers with seemingly limitless capabilities and we either upload cuts to a server or have the client ‘sitting in’ with us via fiber (which means they can see what we’re doing in real time).”
“The audience is certainly more sophisticated too, especially the generation that grew up using the internet. Obviously marketing strategies have to evolve to keep the interest of those potential moviegoers. You can’t just have a booming voice say “In a world…” anymore, people make fun of that now but if they think that’s all that goes into a movie marketing campaign they couldn’t be more wrong. It’s gotten quite complicated. We’re forced to tell stories without the aid of a narrator often and sound design and slick motion graphics are an essential and huge part of what goes into it.”
JW: “You no longer have to be in a theater to see trailers. There are teasers for trailers. And reviews for trailers. The audience has engineered the evolution of trailers due to technology. It’s pop culture.”
Check out Wink Creative’s latest trailer project for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” This Netflix original, “from 30 Rock” executive producers, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock is a hilarious comedy series starring Ellie Kemper of (“The Office,” “Bridesmaids”) as a woman who is rescued from a doomsday cult. The main character starts life over as a nanny for a socialite (Jane Krakowski from “30 Rock”) in New York City armed with just a backpack, light-up sneakers and a couple of past-due library books, she takes on a world she didn’t think even existed anymore.
NYF: How do you draw the line between enticing viewers and giving away too much information?
JW: “Audiences consistently complain that trailers give away too much. What they don’t realize is that a lot of information in a trailer is often a result of those same viewers requesting it. Market research screenings and focus groups always yield one bit of info and that is that the viewer always wants more.”
NYF: How important is the narrator in the mix of building excitement?
JW: “In the year 2015 I would say no longer very important unless it’s a spoof trailer. Trailer voice-over served the purpose of giving information and anchoring a theatrical feel for film advertising. Now everyone poo poos that voice. The majority of clients also prefer no narration for trailers. For television spots however it’s a different story. Narrators are vital in helping tell a story and positioning line within a short amount of time. That voice helps bust through clutter and many viewers rely on hearing that voice for info.”
NYF: What is your all time favorite movie trailer?
MW: “The 3 minute Mask of Zorro trailer from way back when. It was groundbreaking, had a double montage and every editor I knew was blown away by it. It upped the ante in terms of the craftsmanship that went into the job and the Hal Douglas narration was so dramatic yet fun. He was always my favorite voice. If you look at it now it seems dated which is further proof to how much things have evolved but it’s still my sentimental favorite.”
JW: “ The trailer for “Bring It On.” It’s the classic example of a trailer that turned a mediocre high-school drama into an all-time guilty-pleasure favorite with some of the most quotable lines in movie history, one of which was created just for the trailer.”
For more information on Wink Creative visit: http://www.winkcreative.com/#!about/c2414
The 2015 NYF International Television & Film Awards will host their Gala at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 14th, for more info visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/tvfilm/nabshow2015/