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Our favourite recent museum and gallery trailers

This week we turn our attention to captivating museum and gallery video trailers and consider just what it is that makes them so successful. Exhibition promos face similar challenges to those we discussed in regards to theatre trailers in this article, namely that paintings and artefacts that appear visually stunning in the flesh are often less impactful when viewed on the small screen.

The best trailers therefore have to provide a sense of context, drama and narrative that brings the world of the exhibition alive, as the following examples ably demonstrate.

Royal Academy – Abstract Expressionism Royal Academy Abstract Expressionism trailer

The Royal Academy’s trailer doesn’t feature a single work from exhibition itself. Instead, it borrows Jackson Pollock’s famous paint dripping technique in a high impact animated sequence full of movement and colour that cleverly highlights the big names featured in the show.

This may seem like a high risk strategy but in this instance it works brilliantly. By focusing on the physical act of applying paint to canvas it reminds us just how revolutionary the Abstract Expressionists were as artists and makes a movement that is very familiar to us feel fresh and exciting.

 

Museum of London – Punks London Museum - Punks exhibition trailer

One of the benefits with a movement such as punk is that there are still many witnesses around to tell its story.

The London Museum have utilised this rich resource superbly, incorporating a series of evocative and highly entertaining sound bites that vividly capture the rebellious mood of the period.

This living connection adds a real sense of authority and authenticity to the exhibition, something that will always resonate strongly with an audience.

 

National Gallery – Painter’s Paintings museum-trailers-3

The best exhibitions tell a story, and this trailer for Painter’s Paintings hints at many, offering a series of tantalising clues as to the relationships and connections between some of history’s greatest artists and paintings.

By pairing and juxtaposing the works of a quite disparate range of artists we are promised new perspectives and a richer understanding of painters we may be very familiar with; an intriguing proposition for any art lover.

 

V&A – You Say You Want a Revolution? 

This trailer, a kaleidoscopic collage of iconic images, figures and sounds from the period, does a great job of conveying the sense of excitement, hope and endless possibilities that people felt in the late nineteen-sixties.

With such a deeply immersive experience, so rich in period detail, it really doesn’t matter that we’re not told what we’re going to actually see in the exhibition itself. It is enough in this case just to evoke the period and what it stood for.

 

Science Museum – Wounded  science museum Wounded exhibition video  

Archive footage is an incredibly effective way to connect your audience to the story your exhibition is trying to tell, and can really bring a distant era to life.

The emotive footage seen here forces the audience question what happened to these terribly injured men once the war had ended, something that the exhibition promises to answer. Trailers that can provoke an audience to ask questions and really engage with a topic go a long way towards convincing them to book tickets.

 

Email  marliese@impactvideoproduction.co.uk today to discuss how we can help bring your creative video ideas to life

Jude Law in Obsession-theatre-trailer for The Barbican

Some of the best Theatre Trailers from 2016

As 2017 gets into full swing we thought we’d take a look back at some of our favourite theatre trailers from 2016 for some inspiration and talk about why they work so well.

There are a number of common challenges you’ll encounter when producing a theatre trailer. Often, you won’t have access to the cast or the show itself, as rehearsals will not have started when you’re making the video, and even if you do have access to this footage, you may find that material that is striking and powerful on a stage does not always translate so effectively to the small screen.

The following are great examples of highly engaging videos that successfully wrestle with these challenges to generate real excitement in the productions they are promoting.

 

Escaped Alone – Royal Court

White cup overflowing with thick black tar

Let’s start with the Royal Court’s brilliantly disturbing video for Caryl Churchill’s acclaimed new play. It’s such a simple setup. A genteel, white china teacup against a plain, white background. But this teacup is not filled with tea, oh no. Instead a thick, viscous black liquid, oil perhaps, bubbles away, gently enough at first, but with increasing violence and by the video’s conclusion it’s spewing over the teacup’s edge like an erupting volcano.

The contrast between the refined and the menacing makes for a wonderfully sinister and disorientating image that sits in the memory long after the video has finished. We are told nothing about the play itself beyond the cryptic ‘tea and catastrophe’ line, but it doesn’t matter. The video is so strange and haunting you feel desperate to find out more about it.

 

Cleansed – National Theatre

Mirrored effect of actor in trailer for Cleansed National TheatreAs we mentioned in our introduction, even if you do have access to the staged production itself, capturing footage that works on screen as well as it does on stage is often quite challenging. The National Theatre however, have managed to create a trailer made up almost entirely of performance footage that feels edgy, bold and visually striking.

They’ve kept dialogue to a minimum, instead presenting a series of quick cuts that focus on striking imagery, often in close up, and the more physically expressive aspects of the performance which gives the edit real energy, pace and momentum. The final result is a breathless, disorientating and very cinematic journey into the world of the play that generates a real sense of excitement in the viewer.

 

Educating Rita – Hull Truck

Main Actress in Educating Rita Theatre trailerThe Truck Theatre’s approach is very simple but hugely effective. The whole video is one static, mid shot of the play’s main character delivering a short monologue to camera, and with a play like Educating Rita, based as it is around a loveable central character with a great line in witty dialogue, it makes a lot of sense to make this the focal point of your trailer.

By taking the character off the stage, and placing her in a real environment (a hair salon), we get a short, intimate vignette that works really well on video and draws us right into the heart of the Rita’s world. It’s funny, likeable and has a great payoff that really makes you smile. If you’ve got a play that will make an audience laugh you don’t want to be shy about letting them know, and this video works a great teaser for the production itself.

 

Obsession – The Barbican

Jude Law in Obsession-theatre-trailer for The BarbicanIf you have a star name in your production it makes sense to make them the focus of your trailer and the Barbican have done just that in this beautifully shot trailer for their production of Obsession.

Once again, the action is transferred away from the stage, this time to the interior of a car that has just been involved in a terrible accident. A traumatised and bloody Law cradles the head of his companion in a short and disturbingly vivid vignette that is thick with atmosphere, and a sense of dread that locks itself in the mind.

It doesn’t matter that little is revealed of the plot or setting of the play. The combination of an internationally renowned actor and a dramatic, intriguing set piece is enough to convince an audience that this show is a must see.

 

Junkyard

Junkyard-trailer-550And whilst we’re here, we thought we’d show you one of our own recent trailers of which we are particularly proud.

Junkyard is a musical coming-of-age story about friendship and standing up for what matters. Written by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, This is England ‘90), with a score by  Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare in Love, Wolf Hall, Jerusalem), and directed by Jeremy Herrin (People, Places and Things, This House).

A co-production of Headlong with Bristol Old Vic, Rose Theatre Kingston and Theatr Clwyd.

We hope you’ll have as much fun watching it as we had making it!

Need a trailer for your next production? Get in touch today to discuss your ideas with marliese@impactvideoproduction.co.uk

Juliet Stevenson through camera monitor

Behind the Scenes of Mayday

We were commissioned to make a behind the scenes promotional video for the Young Vic short film Mayday, a response to the stage play ‘Happy Days’. The production was a two day shoot, one day on the set of the short film and the second at the Young Vic theatre filming the interviews.

The first day on set was by far the most challenging, staying out of the way while capturing quality footage for the promo video is tricky. The short film was shot entirely in a small bedroom so space was minimal for our videographer. These restrictions bare comparison to filming an event video reactively, where you’re always the least important person in the room (read our blog post on event videos here). There’s a fascinating article on Making-Of films at mentorless.com, about Niko Tavernise, who has made multiple such films for Darren Aronofsky.

The second production day for the promo video took place months later and was more pre planned. We watched a screening of the finished short film with the Director Natalie Abrahami and star Juliet Stevenson, then they chatted on camera about the genesis of the project and the filmmaking process.

Mayday is part of Young Vic Shorts, a program of short film created with the Guardian in response to each Young Vic main house stage production. Read our blog post on the use of short film in digital storytelling for theatre.

Get in touch with marliese@impactvideoproduction.co.uk to talk about your a behind the scenes video production.

Screenshot from promo video for Harlem Dream at The Young Vic

Guardian.com Top Stage Videos Mention

“South London will soon be swinging to a sexy New York beat if this trailer for A Harlem Dream is anything to go by.”

We were very pleased to see one of our recent video productions had been featured on the Guardian website. A promotional piece we shot for the Young Vic Theatre’s upcoming show by Dance Umbrella, A Harlem Dream, was included in a list of the best stage videos. Here is the segment:

Across the road to the Young Vic where south London will soon be swinging to a sexy New York beat if this trailer for A Harlem Dream is anything to go by. Part of the London-wide Dance Umbrella festival programme, Ivan Blackstock’s BirdGang choreography matches contemporary hip hop to the sounds and stylings of 1920s Harlem. Our dance critic Judith Mackrell is looking forward to a “new spin on a familiar form” when the show opens in October – read her full assessment of Dance Umbrella’s new direction under Emma Gladstone heretheguardian.com

Watch the trailer below and check out the other picks in the full article.

 

 

Impact Video Arts Show Reel

We wanted our Arts show reel to speak about the breadth of video work we do while shining a spotlight on the dramatic and the cinematic.

The creative license afforded when scripting and shooting this type of content is what spurs our passion for film-making. Long term relationships with theatre companies like Clean Break and The Young Vic Theatre allow us to experiment in this genre and stay at the forefront of the industry while not costing the earth as a production company. At Impact we work simultaneously in video production and online video advertising, which means we are always in touch with what type of content is and isn’t successful. Below the video is a list of clients whose work is included in the Arts show reel. Thanks to all our wonderful clients and thank you for watching!

Young Vic Theatre, The Roundhouse, Clean Break, Mahogany Opera Group, Imperial War Museum, Menier Chocolate Factory, Sound and Music, The Courtauld Gallery

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