It’s easy to get distracted and spend an afternoon sifting through newly released trailers on YouTube. With the overwhelming prevalence of content-streaming platforms, movie studios have a direct line to their audience and no longer have to rely on previews at the theater. This has led to trailers becoming something of an art form. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the short teasers that are less than a minute long. These short teasers have to condense the appealing parts of a movie or show in under a minute; as a result, they’re easy to share and create more hype than any long trailer ever could. Here are 3 of the best short teasers for upcoming media.
Netflix’s original series “Stranger Things” has already cemented itself as a cultural touchstone with its ’80s-inspired visuals and pop culture references, so it comes as no surprise that any news about the upcoming fourth season would be met with excitement from fans. However, the short teasers that Netflix released at the end of September garnered attention for what it didn’t show, not what it did. The iconic theme only plays for 10 seconds before being cut short by distorted growls and the buzz of electricity, while the logo of the show is consumed by dark tendrils. The screen cuts to black before announcing: “WE’RE NOT IN HAWKINS ANYMORE.”
Even though the show has stepped away from its iconic setting of Hawkins, Indiana before, this teaser seems to indicate that viewers will see their favorite characters in an unfamiliar place for an extended period of time — but the answers that the trailer withholds are the most enticing. There are already YouTube videos with over 1 million views exploring potential hidden messages in the teaser, with one of them being over eight minutes long. The fact that fans are analyzing a short teaser with as much scrutiny as they are, especially considering the trailer’s lack of characters of dialogue of any kind, is a testament to the show’s intricate lore, which can be difficult to pin down. As more trailers and footage are released in the lead-up to the show’s fourth season, fans are sure to be dedicating more time and resources to analyze every frame and screenshot they can get their hands on.
“The Crown” is another Netflix original that is building anticipation for an upcoming season through the use of short teasers. Because of the time-jumping structure of the series, Queen Elizabeth II will be played by Olivia Colman after Claire Foy played the role of a younger Elizabeth in the first two seasons. Actors and actresses being replaced can create issues for fans who have come to love the previous portrayal, and it’s hard to keep those fans confident when there is a nearly two-year gap between seasons. The last time viewers saw Foy’s portrayal was in December 2017; the upcoming season starring Colman will be out in November of this year. The new footage from Season 3 shows that the cast and crew are aware of the massive steps they’re taking and have worked to keep the change from being off-putting to viewers.
In the 30-second clip, Elizabeth and members of her entourage observe two profiles of the queen: one is of Foy, and the other is of Colman. A member of Elizabeth’s entourage tells the queen that she now looks like a “settled sovereign,” although she has not changed much. Elizabeth considers this, but remarks that there have been “a great many changes,” but “one just has to get on with it.”
Worries about the main actress’s replacement should be soothed by the self-awareness that the trailer displays, as well as by Colman’s perfect imitation of Foy’s practiced accent. There is still a lot to prove; Foy won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her performance as Elizabeth II, as well as over a dozen other nominations and awards. However, Colman is no stranger to accolades herself, having won the 2019 Academy Award for best leading actress for her portrayal of Queen Anne in “The Favourite” as well as a multitude of other awards and nominations. Fans of “The Crown” that have been patiently waiting for two years can rest easy knowing that the new season will be understanding and addressing their fears.
The upcoming satire “Jojo Rabbit,” from Taika Waititi, has received a large amount of press before its release, but it wasn’t due to any trailer. Allegedly, Disney executives expressed concerns that “Jojo Rabbit” was going to be too edgy for a family-friendly company like Disney to release since the film was acquired by the media conglomerate after buying 20th Century Fox. It certainly seemed that way: Waititi’s satire of Nazi Germany will be dealing with a milieu of dark and distressing topics, such as the anti-Semitism that was omnipresent in the country as well as the Holocaust. It’s natural to worry whether or not Waititi could possibly make a comedy out of such circumstances.
When the short teaser for “Jojo Rabbit” arrived on July 23, it made clear that the movie would truly be an anti-hate satire as well as a comedy. A Nazi commander shows off during target practice by holding his pistol between his legs, or while in a heroic action movie pose; a group of boys in Hitler Youth uniforms jump into what looks like an indoor public pool; and Waititi himself appears as Jojo’s imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, before cracking a joke about how people used to say “nasty things” about him and gesturing to himself, as if to say “Can you believe it?” The presence of a young Jewish girl that is being hidden in Jojo’s house makes it clear that the movie will be tackling serious topics, but that the tone as a whole will be very tongue-in-cheek.
Disney’s concern over the potential controversy of the film is reasonable, but the satirical tone of the movie is obvious even in a short teaser that’s only a minute long. It’ll be best to wait until the release of “Jojo Rabbit” on Oct. 18 to see whether it’s worth being worried about.
When trailers last for such a short amount of time, it becomes crucial to use every second to show off the best and most important parts of a movie or TV show. Short teasers leave no room for error or useless footage, and it leads to an advertisement that is both entertaining and informative about its related media. There are plenty more coming out soon that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats in anticipation for these new movies and shows.