Pro Tip: Supertrailers / Superteases


Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you’ve seen supertrailers and superteases before.

A supertrailer is a sneak preview of major moments from the upcoming season of a show, often seen online and in other places long before the season/series premieres.  It’s intended to whet your appetite and get you excited about the program so you’ll be hooked before the first frame hits your television.

A supertease is a scaled-down version of a supertrailer that usually runs at the end of the first episode of the season, showcasing moments yet to come over the rest of the run.  Me, I like to do them a few times throughout the season — but then, I’m the guy who likes to put Sriracha hot sauce on everything.

Supertrailers can draw from first episode content forward, but superteases don’t (or at least shouldn’t) repeat content from the first episode, because they air at the end and you’ll have already seen the content, so there’s nothing to tease.

I have a loose formula for composing these in an engaging way that you might find helpful.  It’s a totally subjective approach, but I like it.

Since supertrailers usually run three to five minutes, I try to break them into thirds, quarters, or fifths of grouped content cycling through different emotional states, mixing and matching the following:

  • Open with something loud, boisterous, argumentative (but heavily abstracted… lots of noise, but not clear as to what’s really happening)
  • Hints at storylines and conflicts to come — Intense, but not as high energy as the open
  • Something silly and fun —  Moments of the cast getting along and doing something zany or blingy
  • Something very emotional/weepy/intimate
  • Something incredibly dynamic, but abbreviated before the point of fully realizing what’s happened (bail before fallout)

By creating these small pockets of related action rather than just stringing noisy moments front to back, you’re building a roller coaster for your audience. Dips and climbs in energy make for much better superteases and supertrailers.  Make sure you also consider making major shifts in your music choices to hit home your changes in tone as you move from segment to segment, accentuating the divisions.

There are loads of supertrailers available on YouTube from shows across the reality spectrum.  Look up a few and see what you think makes them successful or unsuccessful when it comes to hooking your interest.

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2 thoughts on “Pro Tip: Supertrailers / Superteases

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  1. But how much of the farm should you give away in Supertrailers and Superteasers? You have to tell something but isn’t there a danger of telling too much? Of taking away the surprise? Of deflating the big climax? What Rule of Thumb do you use for such reveals?

    1. Hi, Scott.

      I know it’s a terrible answer, but I cut these the way a network wants them, whether they reveal too much, too little, or just as much as I secretly hope they’ll accept. Big music and energetic cuts give the sense of urgency without giving up the whole magilla, but sometimes, the net just wants to see it all.

      That said, I prefer to obscure the big moments by using alternate angles in superteases and supertrailers so the real deal will seem fresh when the audience finally reaches it in full, glorious context. If Fred falls down the stairs in scary footage on camera A in the program, the tease will be the reaction shots on B and C and maybe some “oh my gosh” audio off-camera mixed with the sound of Fred thumping down to the landing.

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