Creators behind China’s Golden Trailer Awards nominees discuss the future of China’s movie trailer market

By Huang Tingting Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/28 18:18:39

Zhang Qi Photo: Courtesy of Nurostar

A screenshot of the Golden Trailer Awards-nominated trailer for Youth Photo: Courtesy of Nurostar

Three China-produced movie trailers have been nominated for the 19th Golden Trailer Awards, the winners of which will be unveiled on Thursday.

Established in 1999, the US award aims to honor the best in film and TV marketing.

Three trailers, four awards

Two trailers for Feng Xiaogang's film Youth received nominations this year. The first is competing for the Best Foreign Music Trailer and Most Original Foreign Trailer awards, meaning it will face competition from trailers for films including the Golden Globe-winning The Square, while the second is vying for the Best Drama TV Spot (for a Feature Film) title. Both trailers were produced by Chinese company Nurostar.

This is not the only nomination the company has received. The company's trailer for 2017 Chinese mainland crime thriller Peace Breaker is also one of five nominees going up for the Best Foreign Drama Trailer award. The three trailers are the only China-produced nominees in this year's competition.

The trailer for Chinese movie Monster Hunt 2 has also been nominated in the Best Foreign Animation Family Trailer category, but this trailer was produced by US company Trailer Park, Inc.

"We saw on the list quite a number of the industry's strongest competitors, so we feel honored to compete with them," Nurostar's CEO Wang Sixiao told the Global Times.

The last time that a China-produced film trailer won a Golden Trailer Award was in 2013, when Beijing Trailer Movie Culture Media's trailer for Painted Skin: The Resurrection was awarded Best Foreign Graphics in a Trailer.

The nominations this year have a special significance for the company. Wang noted that while the Painted Skin: The Resurrection trailer was recognized for its technical skill, "entering these three categories means we are being recognized more for our original ideas and creativity."

Growing strength

About five or six years ago, some domestic films didn't even have a trailer, but nowadays "there are producers who are willing to pay 500,000 yuan ($78,244) for a film trailer," Wang told the Global Times.

China's trailer market has been growing especially fast over the past few years as more and more producers in the industry recognize the power of short videos during a time when Chinese people are getting increasingly accustomed to watching GIFs and video clips online.

A combination of commercial and art film, an ideal movie trailer should be kept short and try to approach and embrace the audience slowly rather than bombard them with a collection of exciting cuts, "or else people will soon lose interest and turn their eyes elsewhere," said Zhang Qi, founder of Nurostar and head of the Youth trailer project, in an interview with the Global Times.

The 75-second Youth trailer that received two nominations features no narration or intense moments at all, yet was reposted a total of 1.88 million times after it debuted on Sina Weibo's short video platform Miaopiao in May 2017.

"Youth is a story about a group of young people, but the film is set at a time that is a bit distant from audiences today," explained Fan Zhaoshuo, a member of the Youth trailer production team.

"As such, we tried to include segments that focused more on the sound and atmosphere that the young roles in the story experience to weaken the generational distance that audiences may feel," said Fan.

Talking about Chinese companies' strengths compared to their North American counterparts, Zhang said that it was difficult to compare the two as "we deal with different audiences." However, he admitted there was a time when many Chinese trailer production companies just imitated the output of US companies.

"However, Chinese trailers now are largely distinct from foreign-made ones as we're forming our own styles and ways of communicating with local audiences," Zhang told the Global Times, mentioning that a number of US studios have also hired Chinese trailer production companies to cut localized trailers to market their films in China.

"Although their trailers were proving popular in the North American market, they weren't performing well in the Chinese market since they weren't fitting with the tastes of the Chinese audience," Zhang noted.

Despite its rapid growth in recent years, the Chinese trailer market is still far behind the North American market when it comes to size.

"Right now, the North American trailer market is about eight times the size of ours and even though it is already a mature market, their budgets are still growing," said Wang.

"I believe China's trailer market has great potential for growth in the future," he noted.

Newspaper headline: On the rise

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