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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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