After David Pogue’s public complaint last week that some movie trailers go too far in misleading consumers about the movie, he was contacted by the director of both “National Treasure” flicks, Jon Turteltaub, who offered his opinion on the practice: “What’s funny is that the filmmakers do exactly what you do. I was watching the final trailer for my movie, saying what you said: ‘Ummm….that’s not in the movie, that’s not in the movie, THAT’S not in the movie.'”
He more or less washes his hands of the practice, which isn’t surprising since he has nothing to do with what goes into a trailer—it’s all marketing drones and studio fat cats assembling it, using dailies that are sent in during shooting, writes Turteltaub.
But he also offers the industry a good business reason for not lying to consumers—it won’t help move your product in the long run.
For me, the biggest problem that comes up is when the trailers and TV spots don’t reflect the essence of the movie they are selling… The studio often feels that the movie they made isn’t a movie they can sell… so they sell it as a different movie. What happens is that the wrong audience sees the movie on opening weekend, and the word of mouth is all wrong. Great movies can get lost because of this.
“Movie Trailers: The Final Cut” [New York Times]
“Can A Movie Trailer Be Accused Of False Advertising?”