I clicked on a trailer:
I couldn’t help but notice the attention-grabbing text, the compelling imagery, and eerie sounds. All good things.
But, what’s the story about? One man against humanity?
Who is the story about? One man and humanity?
A trailer is short, so you have to be brief. In that short amount of time, you have a lot to accomplish. You have to capture interest. You have to inform potential readers how to follow up on that interest. Both of these tasks were accomplished.
But you also have to introduce who readers are expected to care about and why they might care. Technically, this was done when telling viewers one man would be pitted against humanity to save humanity.
But, if you think about it, that describes a whole lot of books, a whole lot of plots, and a whole lot of characters. In other words, it’s generic, general, and, at least in my opinion, uninteresting—meaning it didn’t “arrest” my interest.
I know I’ve said this and I know I’ll say it again, but…
Plot + Character + Milieu + Theme = Story
One man versus humanity is a very generic plot.
One man is a very generic character.
Another world is a very generic milieu.
Humanity as its own worst enemy is a very generic theme.
For all that this trailer had going for it, it completely misses the mark (at least with me), because there’s nothing to hold on to, there’s nothing to remember. And there’s absolutely nothing for me to care about.