Introducing the Year of the Trailer

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Remember those days before the internet, when a great movie trailer could provide an almost magical peek into the future?

If you’re anything like us, you have fond memories of being scared silly by that first Blair Witch teaser. Or of loving the fake trailers from Grindhouse even more than the features they accompanied. Or of buying a movie ticket for Thirteen Days with Kevin Costner just because you heard the Star Wars Episode I trailer might be playing before it.

Here at Kickstarter we view the trailer as an art form, a medium unto itself — and a great way to get audiences excited about you and your work. Don’t believe us? Just ask Richard Gale, whose “Spoonkiller” trailer garnered millions of views on YouTube all the way back in 2009, spawning enough sustained interest to allow him to successfully fund a feature-length version late last year. Or talk to the team behind Kung Fury, who made a trailer — launched in conjunction with their Kickstarter — years before the short was finished, and took the internet by storm.

But spec trailers are still a nascent form in the independent space, often made only for private fundraising purposes, if they’re made at all — and finding the time and money to produce a trailer on spec can be tricky. Still, there’s an entire world of potential fans, supporters, and collaborators out there, and what better medium to rope them in early than the trailer?

That’s why we’ve decided to make 2016 the “Year of the Trailer” here at Kickstarter. Each month, the Film team will curate three to five new campaigns from some of our favorite filmmakers. But not for new feature films — for trailers. Some will be for actual films that the director intends to make someday. Others will just be trailers for trailers’ sake: exciting, out-there ideas that might not work quite as well in another medium.

Our goal is to give our community an opportunity to experiment, to make small-scale work and build audiences outside of the bigger, longer-form projects they might be working on. The budgets will be small, but the ideas will be huge; the run times short, but the benefits long-term. We think it’s going to be fun, and we hope you’ll consider supporting a few of these trailers — or launching a trailer of your own!

We’re kicking off the Year of Trailer with four campaigns from Sundance Film Festival alumni, all live on the site. Check them out, and check our curated page each month for more new projects:

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And Then She Is the Darkness (Jennifer Reeder)

An outcast teenager finds a book of spells in her coma-stricken mother's belongings. As she and her stepsister explore the spells, they begin to fall deeper and deeper into witchcraft — and each other. 

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Soothsayer (Trevor Anderson & Fish Griwkowsky)

Weaving together elements of documentary, fantasy, storytelling, and performance, this sprawling Russian triptych braids together three stories: a family legend, a painter's vision, and an epic fairy tale.

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We Were the Wilder Ones (Kenny Riches)

A Western set in Riches' home state of Utah, drawing inspiration from a family photo album.

Wreck Negative (Brumby Boylston)

Set in 1989 on an alternative timeline where the Western U.S. expansion never happened, an American Indian girl sets out to save her father's horse from the outlaws who stole it.

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