Features | Written by Ben Bradley 21/07/2021

Tips for Creating Captivating Video Trailers for Free

Previously, movie trailers were not very popular. They were filmed and released only for attentive moviegoers. But now the situation has changed dramatically. Trailers are one of the most effective ways to popularize a movie today. It is through trailers that viewers can find out about the movie they may want to watch.

According to research, one trailer was viewed by more than 289 million people just in 24 hours after its release. That is another confirmation that trailers are at their peak. But creating a trailer is a completely different story. A trailer should convey the story, value, and tone of the movie in less than 3 minutes. A wonderful trailer includes a sense of rhythm that helps create excitement and excitement in the audience. In this article, we will try to give some tips on how to create a good trailer and which video editing software can be used for this purpose.

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Tips on Creating a Good Movie Trailer for Free

Don't Forget the Trailer is a Story Too

The trailer should not be cut off the best and most epic shots of the movie. You must remember that the key to a good trailer is a strong narrative. That does not mean that you have to convey the entire history in 2-3 minutes, but you should still find some strong narrative in the entire plot of the movie. You have to realize that you are creating a short version of the same story, and therefore your task is to find the main theme that can fit on one line and build the whole story around it.

Like most storytelling, the trailer is also a three-act structure. Start by customizing all characters and situations. Then you should move on to the second act, which consists of building a struggle through which the characters must go. And at the end – the third act, where you have to hint to the audience what the ending of the movie will be, but in no case shows it.

Target Your Core Audience

You need to make sure that the trailer you create is consistent with the movie. That means that the trailer has to work as an addition to the movie. In no way should it be different and contradict the full story.

Don't Spoil the Plot Twists

It's no secret that the trailer itself is a spoiler. That is because it shows certain moments and, in general, what will happen in the movie. But such teasers only increase the attention and interest of the audience. What you really can't do is add a third act. This act can completely ruin the whole movie because the audience will no longer be interested in watching it.

Everything has to be balanced and the trailer is no exception. You have to find a sweet spot in the storytelling, but not show what is happening in the movie. This will leave many surprises for the audience. The main thing is not to overdo it and not make the audience uninterested to watch the movie after the trailer.

Don't Be Too Mysterious

Earlier we talked about balance. So, you need to find it in everything. The trailer shouldn't reveal much, but it shouldn't be too cryptic at the same time. After all, a lot of mysteries and incomprehensible things spoil the atmosphere and magic of the movie. Ideally, you shouldn't give the audience a lot of information, but give just enough for them to understand what the movie is about and whether they like it.

Don't Forget About the Characters

A good strategy is to give the main characters a moment to define them in the trailer. You have to give the actors some time in the trailer so they can reach their full potential. In this case, your audience will be delighted with the main characters and actors. Viewers will be able to identify themselves with one of the main characters or even actors.

Show the Most Unforgettable Scenes

Every great trailer should capture the viewer's desire to watch the movie. The best way to do this is to showcase the most visually dazzling and emotionally captivating scenes.

You can use free video editing software to cut the most captivating scenes and combine them together.

Use a Voiceover

Even though a trailer is very short compared to a movie, using voice-over is a good strategy. With the help of the off-screen head and text on the screen, you can explain the required exposure to the audience. There are various uses for voice-over here. You can record the voice separately and then overdub it onto the trailer using video software such as  Online Video Editor by Movavi. Another option is to take dialogue from the movie and use it as a voiceover.

Choose the Music That Sets the Tone

Did you know that the efficiency of a trailer is increased several times thanks to the right music? Choosing the right music improves the perception of the movie. For example, you can choose a blood-chilling song for a thriller movie, or a fun and light pop song for a romantic comedy. You should also pick certain music for a specific point in the movie. That is only necessary to enhance the emotional effect of the scene. But instead of creating and recording a song yourself, you can buy a song or music from the library of available songs. Some of the top video software even offer in-build music libraries where you can select tracks from.

Use Correct Editing Techniques

A trailer is only a cut of frames from a movie, so you can't make a great trailer without using video software with a wide range of features as:

  • Adding sound effects. This technique helps to create smooth transitions between scenes.
  • Changing video speed. This technique adds dynamics into your video helping to establish an emotional connection with the audience.

Shotcut, Lightworks, and FXhome are some of the video editing software allowing users to create high-quality movie trailers for free.


Сreating a trailer is a very difficult and time-consuming process that requires a lot of imagination and creativity. You have to make sure that the audience is interested in your movie. By following the tips described above, you can create a good trailer without spending a lot of resources on it. But it still has no ideal limit, because only with the constant improvement of your skills can you reach the top.