What's the Difference Between a Trailer and a Preview?

Is there one? Or is a trailer and a preview the same thing? Also I think 10 minutes of whatever they are called is ridiculous on a video movie. Thank goodness a a have a ff button on my VCR.

Also for those of you with DVD is it worth it(the money)?

I can help you with your second question. Not all DVDs are preview-free. Some, bless their manufacturers’ souls, have zero previews and send you straight to the DVD menu, where you can choose to see the movie or the supplemental material, or whatever other options there are. Other DVDs have tons of previews. So you can’t really get away from them with the DVD medium.

I was under the assumption that a trailer was what you saw on TV or before other movies that give you brief scenes from a given movie that attempt to get you to shell out eight bucks to go see the thing, while a preview was seeing the movie, in full, before its actual release date as in sneak preview.

WIGGUM is right. But among the viewing public, the two terms are interchangeable because theatres show “previews of coming attractions”. However, when we are putting together selected bits of a film in order to promote it, we are making a “trailer”.

If it’s a “trailer”, what exactly is it trailing? Preview makes sense, I can find no rationale for “trailer”.

In many cases it seems that the preview/trailer is just the movie with the boring parts removed. Perhaps they could come out with DVDs with just previews and save us all the fast-forwarding.

The other night I went to a movie and after a long string of trailers, came the Loews theater chain’s little promo for itself. I thought, at last, the feature is next. No! Another trailer started! This one was billed as a “sneak preview.” I wondered: they’re gonna show a whole extra movie now? No, it was just another trailer!

Seems the term “sneak preview” has no meaning any more.

ishmintingas, some “trailers” are attached to the front of the movie so you can’t show the movie without showing the trailer. A studio will do that so that when you see movie X you will automatically see a preview for movie Y from the same studio. The other trailers are presumably chosen by the theatre chain to highlight movies now or soon playing at other venues in the same chain.

AudreyK, my experience with DVDs is a little different. Some DVDs do start out with some form of “preview”, but if I press the “menu” button on the remote I can exit the preview and go directly to the menu.

Finally, I have an inexpensive DVD player and I think it’s well worth the money. DVDs have many good features: several audio tracks (including different languages, sometimes a director’s commentary and/or other commentaries), the trailer for those interested in seeing those, information about the actors, perhaps deleted scenes, optional subtitles, etc… The subtitles are especially handy for those “what did he say?” moments when the actors may be hard to understand, and of course for the hearing-impaired.

frolix8, I have heard, perhaps it was even here, that the reason it is called a trailer is because it is made after the movie is made by taking excerpts from it.

At first ‘trailers’ were shown after the movie, but nobody stuck around to see them so they were moved to the beginning. The name stuck.

They’re called trailers because they used to come at the end of the movie. (All the credits, etc. used to come at the beginning, remember? Some genius figured out it would be better to sell people future product rather than the one they already paid for.) Now the term is interchangable with “preview.” In fact the green screen (or red in the case of an “R” preview) states “The following preview has been approved…blah blah.” Seeing a movie before its release date is a “Sneak Preview” if you have to pay for it, and a “Screening” if you get in free. (Also known as a “Press Screening” or “Word-of-mouth Screening.”) A Sneak Preview usually is shown with a currently running film by the same film company, which you sometimes get to stay and see as a “double feature,” but not always. Arnold is correct in that some film companies send prints with trailers attached to the head of the film (although most chains splice their policy trailer in between it and the actual film.) Most send them “in the can” (unattached, but accompanying the print) or by themselves through the mail.

I fast-forward through the previews on the ones that have them, too. But with other DVDs, I don’t need to FF at all-- it goes directly to the menu after I pop in the disc. It doesn’t even show that FBI warning still.

The term trailer harkens back to the day when a film always included a newsreel, animated short, and/or live action one- or two-reeler. The previews would come after these items, but before the main feature, so they were called “trailers” because they were on the tail end of the assorted opening items.

I was a movie theater manager of a major chain for years and never once experienced this. Trailers always came in separate spools.