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An extension censoring spoilers in movie trailers and replacing them with useful information

Image credit: Szabo Viktor (unsplash.com)

Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković Jan 22, 2022
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A browser extension to censor movie spoilers in trailers and replace them with useful information about the film.
  • Movie companies are under such pressure for their films to succeed, hence they put the best scenes from a movie in the trailer. Drawing the audience in, yet spoiling their own product and lessening the enjoyment of it.
  • Sometimes the trailer deters the viewer from even watching the movie as it's just a congested version of the entire film. Hitting every major point.
  • I still enjoy watching trailers yet usually click off after a minute to avoid spoilers, but the feeling of the hype isn't quite there as it used to be.
How it works:
With the extension, the trailer would run for a minute. Or until the extension detects a major change in trailer volume or pause as that is when the spoilers start usually.
Either way, at a set point, the screen gets blurred and the words muted. Ideally, the song utilized would continue on and then on the screen you'd get actual useful information a movie fan would care about.
Similar to this Darko's idea for general YouTube ads, but specific to the film.
For instance, shows the director's five most important previous films, their posters laid onto the screen for five seconds.
Then for the cinematographer and his most notable movies (most voted on IMDB for instance). Then the same for the person who did the score, so you would get Hans Zimmer for example. The same for the screenwriter.
That way you'd get a better sense of what you can expect without ruining the story and amazing visual you should encounter during the film.
It would be also a way to honour the people in the industry that don’t get as much credit as actors. While also making it more easily digestible than going on IMDB yourself.
Other information that should be packed in the original trailer length of around 2:30 seconds could be the runtime of the movie, language, the tagline...
Creative contributions

What about personalized trailers?

jnikola Jan 23, 2022
I agree that some movie trailers can spoil your movie or deter you from watching it. Also, as you said, movie companies spend a lot of time and money to produce "amazing" universal trailers that should attract everybody to watch the movie. It's never like that, but even if it was, and you spent those precious minutes watching the trailer and liked a movie, you would probably run into a really bad explosion scene that would ruin the whole movie. People love different stuff and appreciate different aspects of moviemaking. Therefore, I suggest personalized trailers.
A service would present you with a minute-long movie trailer with the scenes you prefer.
How would it work?
The service/platform would allow you to create a database of every movie you watched or want to watch. It would also allow you to select which elements you prefer in movies (nature, weapons, rock music, beautiful scenery, first-person frame, animation, clubbing, etc.). The amount of the keywords would be enormous. When combined with movies you watched and rates you gave them, this should be enough to select the scenes you would like.
The important thing would be to sign the contracts with movie companieshat the key goal is to ensure the increase in user feedback on the movies suggested with this tool, compared to the standard suggestion algorithm.
What do you think? Would movie companies do that and would it help you determine which movie you would like?
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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković2 years ago
It would be really difficult to sequence them effectively I believe because it's not easy to transition and build tension with most tag combinations and then have the narration follow the images on the screen.
The way I proposed to cut off at the halfway line does set the premise and intrigues about the midpoint and the story resolution. Then, the info about the filmmakers is there to further fortify the interest.
Maybe a system with two types of trailers would be the easiest and most effective. Just have one rated S for potential spoilers, and one regular spoiler-free. Although for implementing that idea you'd need to be an industry insider. With the extension method, anyone with the technical know-how could do it.
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General comments

Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
I agree with Danny Weir. In my experience, trailers (if they are good) are usually done in a way that you'd be surprised watching the movie after watching the trailer. Filmmakers know way better than any viewers all the deal with spoilers and how to keep the audience interested and surprised.
In fact, after watching the actual movie, I almost always get a very different impression than the one I got (the anticipation of how the movie will be) after watching the trailer. Trailer making is art upon itself. I also never saw a major spoiler of the movie in the trailer, that would be just stupid from filmmakers' side.
Also, often trailers contain scenes that are not even present in the actual movie, cause they are often made before the final editing of the movie is done and some scenes are just left out of the movie but you can see them in trailers, or the scene is more or less the same, but the details are different, e.g. the lines of the actors are a bit different, etc.
I don't think that trailers can be separated from a movie culture, people are just too used to them and they are there for a reason. If there were no trailers people would read movie descriptions, but they are a bit too little to represent a visual art form, you need something more, that's why trailers are there. Also, spoilers can be present in the description as well, depends how it's written.
I imagine that people wouldn't want to watch trailers with blurred "spoilers" and some factual information instead. It's then better not to watch it at all because what you'd get is a cut-off trailer when a trailer is already a very short video.
All that being said, I understand that Miloš Stanković has a different view on this and I respect that. Just sharing my thoughts here.
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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković2 years ago
Povilas S The thing is that the filmmakers are usually not the ones doing the trailers. They are mostly done by third-party companies that specialize in making trailers. So the success metrics they are going for are completely different. They are evaluated by getting people in seats and having big view counts. Not the end enjoyment of the viewer cultural impact of the film.
In a reply to Danny I listed several movies with big spoilers in them.
I'm also not advocating for the removal of movie trailers, just an option for people who want to avoid spoilers. Here are the comments of people from just one video.

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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
Miloš Stanković But how would the software differentiate the spoilers from non-spoilers? What's a spoiler and what's not would even differ from person to person if you questioned those who watched a certain trailer and then the movie.
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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković2 years ago
Povilas S I wrote about either using a set point for all trailers, around the 1:00 mark for instance.
Or if the software is used to determine individual breaking points, examining trailers would detect that there are common techniques used when the major points are shown: multiple quick scene changes, volume raising, long pauses in sound, panning shots, a different song starting up...
Although the first option is better, as it leaves a set time for the rest of the useful information.
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Danny Weir
Danny Weir2 years ago
I do understand what you're saying here with this idea Miloš, but having thought about it and after watching several trailers I don't necessarily agree that trailers contain that many spoilers. The point of the trailer is to entice the viewer to watch the film, but they rarely, if ever, contain anything that would be deemed a "spoiler".
Let's take the last Spider-Man trailer as an example. It clearly shows that the current Peter Parker makes a mistake that leads to several "universes" crossing over, that's the whole premise of the film or the basic idea, if you will. It also shows that due to these "universes" crossing over that several past and present "bad guys" are involved. Again, this is kind of the whole point of the film. The trailer at no point actually addresses the big "spoiler" that anyone who has seen the film will know and would have been really surprised by.
I guess the argument depends a lot on what we deem a spoiler to be. It is a very subjective thing. Not all spoilers are created equal. For me, a person who loves the big screen and attends several films a month, the trailers are pretty useful for me to gauge whether I think I'd like a film and whether it is "up my street".
At the end of the day, when I watch a trailer I know that a team of professionals has worked intensely to ensure that the 2-minute segment of footage will do just enough to make me want to watch it but at the same time will not quite do enough to ruin the film experience when I finally get around to it.
Despite this, I actually do like your idea. I think it is better suited to summary videos and the option to exclude certain information from being seen. It also sounds like an extremely difficult tech problem to me!
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