The fine folks at Filmmaker IQ are at it again. Our own Erik Davis spotted this history-of-the-movie-trailer video “lesson” that takes viewers through the evolution of the coming attractions in cinema. Starting in 1913, which the website calls “year zero” for the movie trailer,” we learn that an ad manager created a promotional short for the Broadway play Pleasure Seekers. It featured actual footage from the performance and was a hit with audiences.
Eventually a gentleman by the name of William Nicholas Selig banked on the popularity of print serials that were featured in the local newspapers. Taking these pulpy stories, he adapted them into a film version — like The Adventures of Kathlyn. The story would continue week to week, each episode ending with a cliffhanger to keep the audiences coming back for more. This teaser template evolved as Hollywood approached its Golden Age and the National Screen Service changed the making of movie trailers forever.
See how the coming attractions as we know them, often mini movies themselves, came to be in this informative clip.
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