“Spoiler Alert!” would accompany all blockbuster trailers if I had my way (and FYI, it accompanies this blog post too). Earlier this year the full trailer for Terminator: Genisys dropped and to say it had very little restraint is a considerable understatement. I got wind of the spoilers in the films trailer and actively avoided any Terminator: Genisys news till a some weeks later when a host on one of the nerd podcasts I follow let one slip (out of zero malice) and it pierced me like a stiletto to the ribs – the film was never going to be the same. I tried to console myself by hoping I maybe would have forgotten the spoilery John Connor details by the time the film came around but who was I kidding, the film was forever ruined.
I admit that marketing a film is an intricate and mammoth task especially when a great deal of money has been pumped into a production and there is a lot of pressure from studio execs but for a film like Terminator: Genisys that many others and I would have seen anyways, that was too much info in the film trailer that only reinforces cynicism and posits that studios only care about filling seats and not delivering an experience. Terminator: Genisys will have to be the greatest action film of all time to prove me wrong and judging by reviews I doubt that will be happening.
There is no doubt trailers have become more spoiler-heavy with major jokes and twists revealed in the name of marketing a film but I do believe there was a time when trailers were basically what we term teasers now and just stimulated interest without compromising experience but God forbid we consider the audience and their experience in 2015. Consider the trailer for T2: Judgement Day or the first Star Wars film, undoubtedly blockbusters for the ages, and how succinct they are. That module still put seats in the theatres so why the big shift? Could it be the increase in trailer run times from round 90 seconds to almost 180 seconds in some cases or maybe it’s the pandering to non cenephiles who need to see every cool special effects and twists before being sold on a film?
The bottom line is, that tactic works as some folk are pushed into theatres by spoilery trailers so what reason would studios have to be kinder and more subtle for those who care? People like the nice shiny things regardless of character and plot details and divulging seemingly key components heightens expectations and gets people talking which is the goal of whatever PR team working in the shadows. Indeed you could even say argue it’s the marketing units that oversee the cutting of trailers.
Thankfully Ghanaian filmmakers aren’t in the habit of providing spoiler laden trailers although that’s just a by-product of our drama laden industry and if we had special effects to be proud of, we would be showing them off. In truth this post only really applies to the mega blockbusters making rounds and maybe nay it is our fault for taking such films “world cup”. Lord knows when Oscar season comes around and the Scorseses, Tarantinos, and Del Toros are prepping their films, trailers will be air tight. I never throw lots of praise to our sole cinema chain, Silverbird, but the one thing they do right is keep audience away from full trailers and stick to the teaser type trailers like in the instances of Age of Ultron, Jurassic World and Terminator: Genisys which still had tons of Arnie related spoilers (he dies again people!!).
As always the adage about voicing solutions when dabbling in problems remain ever present so I feel I should divulge some tips on how to avoid spoilers. First off AVOID TRAILERS, THE BLOCKBUSTER ONES ESPECIALLY. As I write this I feel a little hypocritical because the BVS teaser came out earlier this year and it gave me a real hard on so chances are I will be sniffing out whatever trailers follow till the actual film release but as a general rule I never actively seek out trailers.
If I get a recommendation or a good review or I like the brains behind a project I see it, simple as that. CGI porn and robots riding on dinosaurs have never appealed to me and maybe I’m just the weird one because there’s a reason masterpieces like Fury Road and Edge of Tomorrow did mediocre on the financial front whilst Furious 7 sped off to the billion dollar milestone. My point still stands, avoid the movie trailers. You will enjoy the film better without the spoilery trailer bait.
My second point is AVOID THE INTERNET which some of you will only be doing after finding some success in burning the red sea. This is really the only other point unless you have people texting you spoilers in which case I will have a third point on choosing friends carefully. Avoiding the web or at least certain sections is the surest step to overcoming the spoilers because you are simply avoiding the spoiler mine field.
Information is traded at insane speeds and to a point, it really is impossible to filter what information comes through to you. There is also the small matter of social media and the innocent banter on the latest release flowing down your timeline which end up as shadow spoiler darts in your neck seeing as there really is no way to predict or control what another being is going to say or promote on their own personal Internet platform.
I wish I could say most of my tragic spoiler stories had some root in the internet but I’d be lying because I have the horrible kind of friends that text me Game of Thrones spoilers on the dawn of Monday but for the average person I believe most spoilers worm their way from the web despite delusional checks we think we have put in place so my simple solution is again Avoiding The Internet, you can’t control the information that filters through so please do not begin to try – SPOILER ALERT, it ends in disappointment and oh, John Connor is a damn robot.