'Man of Steel' Countdown: Trailer Madness!

'Man of Steel' Countdown: Trailer Madness!

Feb 12, 2013

There are only 17 weeks left until the release of Man of Steel and fans are ravenous for news about this realistic take on Superman. After two similar teaser trailers and one full theatrical, there was clamor for another, and Warner Bros. is ready to make that dream come true. There will be an all-new trailer in theaters sometime this April. No word yet on the exact date or which films it will be attached to.

For now, fans simply can’t wait for June 14. Instead of sitting patiently, some are having fun with video editing to create unofficial trailers and TV spots based on what little is already available to work with. For fledgling filmmakers, it’s an exercise for editing practice. A quick search on video-hosting sites like YouTube can reveal a hundred or more attempts by fans to re-create the magic of the original trailers in order to share them with other fans. They meet a varying degree of success, but a handful truly stand out that are inventive and creative ways to play with and parody the source material.

Most of these are simply created by fans of film, Superman or both. In fact, most popular upcoming movies (Star Trek Into Darkness, Iron Man 3, The Hobbit, et al.) have received similar treatments. Much like written fan fiction, they are made by people who love the original work and want to play with it, but obviously understand that given the nature of the copyrighted material that they will never make money. They simply like doing it, and, in some cases, it’s clear that hours, days or even weeks worth of work will only pay off with recognition and good practice rather than a paycheck.

This first comparison is simple, yet effective. We know that Man of Steel will be scored by Hans Zimmer and will not use any of the original John Williams themes from the 1978 Christopher Reeve film. The first is the original teaser voiced over by Russell Crowe as Jor-El. The second is the same video, but with audio from one of the trailers to Superman Returns, which includes the John Williams theme and the voice of Marlon Brando as Jor-El. Again, simple, but very effective and playful for fans of the older films.

Original Teaser (Russell Crowe)

Teaser with John Williams Music

The full trailer for Man of Steel is obviously longer and more complicated than the teaser, but some fans have put a huge amount of effort into re-creating it shot for shot. The results are a great deal of fun. There are a ton of these, but here are the best ones. 

The first trailer remake is called “Man of Bricks,” because fans made the video using mostly stop-motion techniques with Legos. A few shots are computer generated or utilize simple special effects. In fact, there is another similar version that is entirely CG and it looks great, but I personally prefer the stop-motion photography version.

Original Trailer

Lego – “Man of Bricks”

A great deal of effort went into this next remake. It uses footage from the popular '90s series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. In some cases, it takes a similar looking shot, and in others it’s just the same or a similar character. Some of it comes from the pilot episode, but there are cuts from each season, so it’s clear that whoever edited it already had a very good memory of the series.

Lois and Clark

Whoever made the Lois and Clark version of the trailer had 87 hour-long episodes to choose shots from. Here we have a version using the four Christopher Reeve films. The difficulty is in finding specific moments that can match up. It’s not as good as the last one, but it still works and it’s fun for the fans of the older films.

Christopher Reeve Version

This last one is just oddly hilarious, but well done with its techniques and editing. This group has done similar work with other trailers like Star Trek Into Darkness. It was shot entirely with an iPhone using simple costuming, props and locations. But the reason it works so well is that every cut, voiceover and moment actually lines up perfectly with the timing of the trailer. Plus it’s just really funny.



Which parody video is your favorite?  If you had filmmaking and editing skills, what would you do?

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