The Less You Know – Avoiding the Hype

How many times have you been sat in the cinema, or on your sofa, watching a new film and suddenly realise that you’ve seen this all before; you knew that was coming, or you’re waiting for this to happen because you’ve already seen every trailer that’s come out?

It’s one of those annoying little side effects of the modern age, like screen glare and texter’s thumb. We are so saturated with publicity media that it’s actually doing us harm. We’re inundated with information about upcoming films, games, TV shows, anything really and if it’s not through our own, sometimes unintentional research, it’s through a conversation with a friend.

Not that that it’s a bad thing, I just remember when I could get away with watching one trailer for an anticipated film and be pleased about it. That’s not the case anymore, especially with big block busters. First there’s the announcement image, then the teaser trailer, then trailer one, then the red band trailer, then the extended red-band trailer: the previews go on forever!

After a while you feel like you know the movie better than you know your best friend. This isn’t aided in the slightest by the fact that movie previews tend to show you at least four or five scenes from the final act, leaving you, the viewer, waiting for that shot throughout the film. It’s distracting when you’re sat thinking to yourself, ‘there must be quite a bit of film left because I haven’t seen that bit yet.’

This is completely preventable I know, but when you’re so psyched for the newest Marvel flick, or Tarantino epic, you can rarely help yourself, it’s all there and so easily accessible. It’s all down to self control. But is it worth missing out on prematurely indulging in trailers, previews and hazy production set photos?

Um, yes.

I am a complete media devourer. Trailers, screenshots, interviews, rumours, anything is fair game as far as I’m concerned. Or at least that’s how I used to be.

bwaaah... Bwaaahh.... BWAAAAH

This was the most pleasant of surprises.

I know it is three years old at this point, but since I saw Inception I’ve really tried to reel in my media gluttony. See I saw Christopher Nolan’s Inception on release day.

By mistake.

A friend and I just so happened to be near a cinema and he proposed seeing the new Nolan film. I asked him what it was about; “Dreams I think” was his reply. Now I like dreams, and I loved his Batman films so I agreed to it. We were amazed, void of the hype it absolutely blew us away.

Compare this to the Dark Knight Rises, a film I followed from its conception, through the difficulties and lapped up every morsel of information the production threw my way. Now I wasn’t disappointed with the film, it just didn’t strike me in that completely fresh way that the ‘blind approach’ had.

And this doesn’t just stand for films; Games, TV, even books in some cases, suffer from the hype. If I had a penny for every time someone said something along the lines of ‘It didn’t live up to the hype’ well, I’d have a tonne of pennies.

Granted, sometimes it doesn't pay off.

This was, less pleasant.

So if you’re like me, and suffer from being constantly numbed by trailers and pre-release material I can only offer you this advice; stick to one, maybe two trailers and leave the discussion until after you’ve seen the film. And if you can then go to see films, play games, read books where you have no clue what to expect. It’s a really refreshing experience.

And for any film companies out there who, for some reason, are reading this. Please stop putting out so much preview material, and treat your trailers like you used to, as teasers, not spoilers.

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