A trailer being shown before screenings of “Transformers” has been causing Internet buzz and audience intrigue reminiscent of previous blockbuster hype that has been lacking in the previous few years. The reason for this may be of the recent outbursts of sequels and the announcement of films years before their release. This new trailer is flashy and unexpected, giving audiences the surprise element they have been craving in their movie going experience.

The trailer for the film is mysterious and shows little. There is not even a title attached to the project produced by “Lost” co-created J.J. Abrams which features the logo of his film production company, Bad Robot. The trailer is shot verite-style with hand-held cameras. It features a bunch of college-age people at a going-away party in New York City. Suddenly, the light go off followed by explosions and roaring in the distance. They run to a rooftop to see Manhattan on fire. The last image shown is the head of the Statue of Liberty crashing into the pavement. The release date is shown to be January 18, 2008 along with credits for director Matt Reeves (“Felicity”) and writer Drew Goddard (“Lost” and “Alias”) .

The clip appeared on YouTube hours after its release, causing Paramount Pictures, who is tied to Bad Robot, to get the clips removed. A website, www.1-18-08.com was created for the film, but all that is on it is two photos from the trailer, the first labeled with the time 12:01 a.m. Jan. 18 and the other at 12:36. After the trailer was taken off of YouTube, more videos popped up, this time with discussions about the trailer and theories about what it could be about.

This is the kind of trailer that movie buffs have been looking for, one that doesn’t go into detail about the plot, one that shows no Hollywood stars, and one with so much mystery behind it. As obsessed as people are with learning every detail about every movie before it comes out, even gaining access to films online before they hit theaters, they can also appreciate the movie industry’s attempt to reclaim its dominance over audiences by pulling a curtain around themselves that the curious are unable to penetrate.

This approach has been both successful and crippling to films in the past. When “The Blair Witch Project” came out eight years ago, audiences were so intrigued by the unique, documentary-style that it held that the buzz surrounding it turned it into a hit. On the other hand, last year’s “Snakes on a Plane” which was hyped to be a cult classic and biggest film of the summer plummeted at the box office. This shows that aside from the hype, the movie has to be able to carry itself on its own once the marketers take off its training wheels and gives it a much-needed push down the street.

For related articles visit http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07194/801295-254.stm or to see a list of other successful movie trailers backed by successful movies visit http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07194/801296-254.stm.

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