When you consider how many film trailers children are lured into watching -- at least twenty minutes' worth anytime they enter a theater or pop in a DVD, often for movies they'll never get around to seeing -- it shouldn't be too surprising that fan-made trailers have surged in popularity as an artistic outlet in their own right. They're also now frequently assigned by English and Film teachers, especially since pretty much anyone with a smartphone can join in the fun. The results tend to be unpolished, utterly charming in a "Son of Rambow" sort of way, and a hundred different flavors of unintentionally hilarious. Here are ten of the best, not coming to a theater near you.
10. "Go Ask Alice"
The classic anti-drug primer (long ago debunked as "a true story") is one of the easiest projects to put a contemporary spin on, since they can wear their own clothes and film mainly on campus. However, they do have to provide their own "heroine."
9. "A Wrinkle in Time"
For titles with greater demands in the SFX -- see also, practically anything Madeleine L'Engle has written -- you may have to rely on some prodigious subtitling. (Be sure to stick around for the victory dance at the very end).
8. "Bridge to Terabithia"
These kids have made the bold decision to entirely forgo the weepier aspects of Katherine Paterson's story and focus entirely on the parts that involve running around in the woods waving sticks at each other.
7. "To Kill a Mockingbird"
There is something very Wes Anderson about this re-imagining of Harper Lee's 1960 novel. Atticus Finch in a blue hoodie -- too cute!
This has got to be the most emo survival drama ever committed to film -- it's like what Gary Paulsen would have written if he'd been soaring on sugar-free Red Bull and SSRIs.
5. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"
Did I somehow forget to mention how many thousands of these trailers are made using "The Sims" or other simplistic virtual tools? In this installment of the beloved J.K. Rowling series, Harry and his friends become trapped in the Uncanny Valley and must fight their way through the Polygon Forest to escape.
4. "The Hunger Games"
From the plastic bow and arrow to the paper airplane "hovercraft," this director's techniques seem to hearken back to the early days of cinema. We could have the next Fritz Lang on our hands here.
3. "The Giver"
Kudos to Josh and Vineeth for discovering all the pulse-pounding action and wacky comedy that Lois Lowry probably meant to get around to exploring in her 1993 novel. I'd really love to see their take on Number the Stars.
2. "The Hobbit"
Sorry, but if you can make it past the twenty-five second mark without laughing, you are a robot person who hates fun.
Is there anything cuter than kids reading off of cue-cards? Thank goodness everyone seems to be having a good time, otherwise I'd have to wonder if this was a hostage situation.