Tips for Crafting a Poster Teaser

As you probably know, we are collecting Poster Teasers to feature on the Plantae YouTube channel. The rules to follow and how to submit are here so I am not going to rehash those. Instead this post is going to serve as a template for those who may not know what the best way is to craft such a teaser.

Caution, potential Spoiler Warning for Avengers Infinity Wars included below as I am going to use their strategy as an example throughout this post. Specifically this one, which I grant you is more than 1 minute but it is a great example of setting up a story without spoiling the ending.

1) Think BIG picture. What are the stakes? Where does your work fit in the world? In the trailers for Avengers Infinity Wars the big picture was Thanos is coming, it was everywhere in the trailers, his face, his hand, his name, it was filled with Thanos. What is your Thanos? Now jot down a few of those main points

2) What are the important details? As a teaser you do not want to give away the ending, but you do want to provide necessary information that might intrigue your viewers. What is your system? What area is your research in? What makes your research unique? Any cool methods you want to highlight? This is the time to jot down those important details.

Back to the Infinity War trailer, it was obvious that many of the heroes would be coming together and they would face Thanos (Cap pushing against the Infinity Gauntlet, Thor’s head being squeezed, etc). All were in peril throughout the trailer, but who would stay in peril and who would not was not revealed. The final dataset (aka body count) was not given away.

3) Set the stage. Where will you film? What props will you use, if any?

This is where I start to drift away from Avengers as in a movie trailer there are lots of scenes and jump cuts. However, in your poster teaser you should strive to have it be a single cut, maybe 2 if you want to change locations. Keep it simple!

Give great thought to your location. Background can make a big difference. For example, the two selfies below are both potential areas where I could film my teaser. If I want the attention to be on me and what I’m saying, or to my props, I don’t want a really busy background such as my lab photo.

4) Once you have decided on your important speaking points, location, props, now you are ready to start filming! You can either, write out a script and practice it until it’s memorized or just improv off your points. Whatever makes you feel the most at ease is the method you should use.

There are two options for filming in selfie style: 1 – hold the phone just as you would to take a selfie, or 2 – prop the phone on something, what is NOT selfie style is having a lab mate hold the phone.

Once you have recorded your video, please trim the edges where you were probably getting into position, hitting record, moving to hit stop, etc. Check that is is 60 seconds or less. Then send it off to me! Again for full rules see the main post

Here’s how my video came together:

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