Why Slow Intros Are Bad For Game Trailers | Video Game Trailer Academy

A lot of game trailers start with shots of the environments. With a few exceptions this is a bad way to start off a game trailer because players want to see gameplay as soon as possible!

The tl;dr:

Slow tracking shots through game environments are an ineffective way to start a game trailer because players want to see recognizable gameplay as soon as possible, and those shots do not help them understand much more than what the art direction looks like. Big AAA games get away with it because of production value and because they’re frequently shown at live events which people cannot skip through when watching.

If you’re going to use environment shots:

1. Limit them to 1-2 at a time
2. Intercut them with footage of player interaction
3. Make them story rich and SPECIFIC to your game as possible.

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Video Chapters

00:00 – The reality of slow intros to trailers
01:30 – Why environment shot intros are bad for game trailers
03:45 – Tips for effectively using environment shots
04:05 – Augmenting environment shots with story
04:48 – The bare minimum of showing player interaction
06:03 – Example of good slow environment intro
07:05 – How slow intros can work for live events
08:00 – Recap and tips for using environment shots

Trailers shown (in order of appearance)

The Talos Principle Official Teaser Trailer –
The Sojourn Launch Trailer –
Mission Impossible Fallout Official Trailer –
John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum Trailer –
GREYHOUND Official Trailer –
Astroneer Release Trailer –
Gigantosaurus The Game Announce Trailer –
Metro Exodus Sam’s Story Launch Trailer –
Demon’s Souls Remake Official Reveal Trailer –
Gleamlight Announcement Trailer –
Incredible Mandy Launch Trailer –
Firewatch June 2015 Trailer –
What Remains of Edith Finch Official Launch Trailer –
The Flame in the Flood Launch Trailer –
Amnesia A Machine For Pigs Teaser –
The Bradwell Conspiracy Reveal Trailer –
Dear Esther Official Trailer –
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture Launch Trailer –
Sunset Launch Trailer –
Horizon Forbidden West Announce Trailer –
The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Official Trailer –
The Last of Us Part II PSX 2016 Reveal Trailer –
Metro Exodus Story Trailer –
Doom Eternal Official E3 Story Trailer –
The Talos Principle Launch Trailer –
SOMA Story Trailer –
The Witness first official gameplay trailer –

The Talos Principle OST – Welcome to Heaven
Astroneer OST – Main Menu
Incredible Mandy Theme Song – To the Butterfly
The Bradwell Conspiracy OST – Austin Wintory
Sunset OST – How it Might Have Been
The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Theme
The Last of Us 2 Main Theme – Gustavo Santaolalla


“Movie trailers have a new trick to keep you watching — and the people who make them hate it”

“Why movie trailers now begin with five-second ads for themselves”

The Last of Us 2 Crowd Reaction – PSX 2016


Hi, I’m Derek Lieu and I’m an indie game trailer editor!

Over many years I worked as an editor, and started making fan trailers for games until eventually I got jobs at game trailer houses in Los Angeles where I worked on games like Mortal Kombat X, Shadow of Mordor and lots of LEGO games. Independently I’ve helped make trailers for games like: Half-Life: Alyx, Firewatch, Dead Cells, Subnautica, Spelunky 2, Ooblets and BattleBlock Theater.

#gametrailers #indiegametrailers #trailerediting

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