Trailer analysis

Trailer als Werbefilm für einen Spielfilm kennenlernen und das Verhältnis Trailer-Spielfilm einschätzen können

The trailer of a film is often the first thing that causes a potential viewer to consider a film for any length of time, spend money on it or decide they are not interested in it. Just as a book cover with its blurb advertises the book, the trailer should reflect the plot and genre of the film, show it to best effect and make people curious about it. How does this work with Run Lola Run?

A trailer is a short promotional film for a feature-length film that is intended to attract the attention of a potential audience. For this purpose, the trailer provides insights into the most exciting and/or funny scenes and shows sequences from the film in a concise form. The scenes are usually shortened and usually not shown in the order that they appear in the film itself. The main purpose is to get the audience as enthusiastic as possible about the film in the shortest possible time.
Just like the main film, most trailers follow a three-act structure. They start with an Exposition (Act 1), in which the characters and the core of the plot are introduced. In the second act, the story picks up speed and intensifies to a dramatic climax. The third and last act is often effectively accompanied by an impressive motif from the film music (for example, a piece of music with a high recognition value or stirring orchestral music) and often consists of a quick montage of the most impressive and emotional scenes of the film. Sometimes the most popular actors in the cast are shown at the end.
Because a trailer is an extremely powerful way of telling the story, there is often a powerful off-screen narrative voice that tells the audience the key message or ideas in the film and provides important explanations of the images.
In 1913, the advertising manager Nils Granlund produced the first trailer ever shown in an American cinema. It was a short advertising film with which he wanted to promote the musical The Pleasure Seekers, which had its premiere on Broadway on 3 November 1913.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Task 1

  1. Read the excerpt from the interview with Mathilde Bonnefoy, the editor of Run Lola Run.
  2. What was that feeling? Can you describe that? [Note: feeling that the editor felt while viewing the raw material, which led to the feel of the later finished film.]

    Bonnefoy: We also did something that was very helpful: while we were viewing the material, we had to note small excerpts – for a teaser trailer that we had to cut. We had to do that ourselves before the film was edited so that the film would somehow have a chance of being sold. That's why we kept those little clippings on one side while watching, and cut the teaser first of all. And ¬– probably instinctively – we took very aesthetically important moments, not so much action-related, but moments like camera movements or turning the head, or moments that have an almost abstract aesthetic quality. We cut it all together and made a very short teaser that was full of energy and urgency, with very quick cuts. Even the names of the actors flashed overhead: you saw the head for three frames, then the name for three frames, etc.

    The energy of this teaser became our inspiration for the editing of the film, because when it was finished we understood that it was basically exactly the essence of the film: that the film is not as much – as most films ¬– one is a psychological film, or an action-driven film, in which there is a beginning, a middle and an end, but that the action in this case is actually almost a minor matter and that what it is really about is a feeling. And that feeling is that of the urgency of love. So we had to bring this urgency to the fore. Of course, we did that with speed and, on average, pushed the accelerator pedal extremely hard. With the help of this teaser, which stayed in our heads the whole time and which we looked at again and again, our matrix for the film developed. That's how we found the soul of the film.

    Source and complete interview as PDF:,
    Video interview on

  3. As Mathilde Bonnefoy explains in an interview, the rhythm of Run Lola Run had already developed during the first viewing of the raw material. She describes the rhythm as the feeling of the "urgency of love". Work out how the two characteristics of urgency and love are represented stylistically and in terms of content using suitable still images from the German trailer. Highlight still images by tapping on the camera icon in the video.

German trailer

Task 2

  1. Compare the German trailer with the US version. Select essential images by tapping the camera icon in the video. and compare them in the workspace. Write your findings on the note cards.

German trailer
US trailer
  1. Explain which of the two trailers you think is more appropriate for the film. Include suitable statements from Mathilde Bonnefoy's interview excerpt from Task 1a in your explanations.