Searching for a great movie demo scene isn’t as easy as it sounds. you need the right mix of audiovisual flair, not too much exposition, hopefully no major spoilers for those who haven’t seen the film, and it has to be long enough to have impact, but not so long that viewers get wrapped up in the story and forget to be wowed by the great audio and video.
Thankfully, there are people whose sole jobs are to find and assemble such scenes. they’re called trailer editors, and if you’re not stealing their work to make your home theater shine, you’re missing out on some great demo material.
Of course, rocking the trailer demo for a big home theater system isn’t always quite so effortless. you still have to remember which trailer is on which Blu-ray disc, and chances are good you’ll wear out your thumb skipping around to find the one you want. But if you’re demoing an aV system built around a soundbar or 2.1-speaker setup, there’s an even easier solution. Just download the clips.
Apple’s website is positively littered with gorgeous 1080p high-definition movie clips, and although they inexplicably dropped the 5.1-channel sound from new trailers a while back, the stereo sound still packs enough of a punch to rock your face off through a good soundbar. so fill up your favorite flash drive with these clips, fire up the Blu-ray player or media streamer of your choice, and kick back for one of the easiest demos you’ll ever give.
Iron Man 3: Extended Big Game Ad
|This online-only extended version of the iron Man 3 commercial, which played during the Super Bowl, positively rocks.|
The best thing about downloading your own trailers is that you can give your customers a home-theater taste of films that haven’t even hit commercial theaters yet–and sometimes an exclusive taste at that. This online-only extended version of the Iron Man 3 commercial played during the Super Bowl (which is apparently some sort of sporting event held before and after a Beyoncé concert, from what I’ve heard). The clip positively rocks–with imagery that’s all inky blacks and gleaming metal, and gorgeous falling snow–but a fair word of warning: if you’re playing this one through a soundbar, make sure its accompanying subwoofer is up to snuff. The clip is packed to the gills with pounding music, explosive superhero action, and a looping bass drop that even makes my pair of Paradigm SUB12s sweat.
Oz the Great and Powerful: Trailer 2
| The real appeal of the second trailer for Oz the Great and Powerful is the wonderful wizardy 1080p video.|
Apple also has a great little teaser for this Oz prequel that originally aired during the Super Bowl (and if I didn’t know better, I’d think half the appeal of this game was in its commercials!) but skip that one in favor of the longer second trailer from late last year. This one, too, boasts some amazing, exploding, flying-monkey-wing-flapping sound effects, but the real appeal is the wonderful wizardy 1080p video. The trailer starts with a tight, beautifully contrasted black and white intro, replete with requisite tornado action and fluffy falling snow (and at this point I’m starting to think that falling snow is mandatory for a good trailer), but quickly explodes in a full blown cineramic wonderland, packed with luscious Technicolor hues the likes of which haven’t been seen on screen since Dorothy took her first trip down the Yellow Brick Road nearly 75 years ago.
| This clip from Upside down features a pulse-pounding score and an aesthetic that pushes contrasts to the max.|
This esoteric fantasy film may be a little farther off the beaten path, but its trailer is no less worthy of a look. The story, apparently, revolves around star-crossed lovers from twin planets so close they nearly touch each other, but whose gravity fields inexplicably don’t rip one another apart. Who cares, though, really? The key here is eye and ear candy, and this one has both in spades, thanks to a pulse-pounding score and an aesthetic that pushes contrasts to the max, with stygian shadows, hyperactive highlights, and—of course—fluffy, flaky, floating white snow. I’m honestly starting to think there’s some sort of conspiracy going on here.
Les Misérables: International Trailer
| If you've got a disinterested significant other in your showroom that just doesn't understand why TV speakers are good enough for the bedroom, cue up this clip from Les Miserables with a good soundbar on.|
Thankfully, most (most!) of the falling precipitation in this extended preview is pounding rain. But that’s beside the point. The real star here is the music, and–let’s be honest with ourselves, guys–the feminine appeal. If you’ve got a disinterested significant other in your showroom that just doesn’t understand why TV speakers are good enough for the bedroom, cue this one up with a good soundbar on, and right in the middle of Anne Hathaway’s heart wrenching rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream,” switch back over to the skinny, tinny sound system built into the display. By the time the romping choral outro rolls around, chances are good she’ll offer to pay you good money just to turn the soundbar back on, never mind actually installing the thing.
The Great Gatsby: Trailer 2
| All of the elements that send director Baz Luhrman's detractors into outright tizzies are also the aspects that make The Great Gatsby trailer such a splendiferous sight (and sound) to behold.|
If Les Mis doesn’t do the trick, try out this sneak peek of Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming F. Scott Fitzgerald adaptation. If you weren’t already aware, Luhrmann was also responsible for Moulin Rouge, so don’t expect subtlety. In fact, the trailer already has many purists up in arms over its super-stylized CG New York cityscapes, sequined party scenes, and hard-hitting techno soundtrack, but... well, I’ve rather spoiled my punch line, haven’t I? All of the elements that send Luhrmann’s detractors into outright tizzies are also the aspects that make this trailer such a splendiferous sight (and sound) to behold.