Timeline – Milestones in the History of Previews of Coming Attractions

1894 – Thomas Edison develops motion picture camera and projector

1897 – Hand etched slides used for on-screen advertising

– First filmed advertisement: Admiral Cigarettes

1904 – Lubin Co. makes commercially produced advertising slide

1909 – Development of feature film and star-system elicits specialized film ads

1912 -“What Happened to Mary” (1912) receives first (text-only) trailer

1915 – Development of the animated herald, “scene” trailer

1916 –            Paramount announces official trailer policy

1919 –            National Screen Service opens in New York

1920’s – National Screen begins 40+ year monopoly of trailer production/distribution.

1924 – “Unit Men” system of trailer production begins

–            Trailer formula devised: graphic copy, titles, scenes and cast runs

1933 – Invention of Optical Printer

1930’s – Hosted, special shoot trailers proliferate

1940’s – Golden age of trailers:  “Citizen Kane”; “Maltese Falcon”; “Grapes of Wrath”

1946 – Post WWII ticket sales decline begins

1948-53 – Consent Decrees force Studios to sell exhibitors

-Hitchcock hosts extraordinary trailers

1950’s – Exhaustion of National Screen formula

1955 –            Saul Bass develops key art concept

1960 – Studio bosses relocate to New York; Madison Avenue influences film advertising

1963 –            Pablo Ferro creates first contemporary trailer:  “Dr. Strangelove”

1964 – Andrew Kuehn re-invents art and business of trailermaking. “Night of the Iguana”

–            Editing houses now making trailers

1970 – Studio bosses return to Los Angeles

1972 –            Birth of the blockbuster; TV advertising expands

1975 –            “Jaws” blockbuster success underlines trailer’s importance

1979 –            Movie advertising market research applied to “Apocalypse Now”

1988 –            Era of non-linear digital editing begins

1994 – Internet era begins; Video Gaming emerges as major client for trailers

1990’s – Editors become stars of the trailer industry

1998 – Release of online and “mobile” trailers changes style (appearance, editing, emphasis).

2000 – Consumption of trailers shifts from theatrical, singular and collective experience to personal, repeated and home experience.  Temporal relation to film marketed likewise transformed.

2004 –            New 3-D era changes (slows pace of) trailer editing style given viewing constraints.

2011 – Simultaneous release of films theatrically and to home audiences makes DVD release trailer obsolete.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *