Interactive Friction Season 4 & The Making Of A Trailer

After a longer break than I expected, but still appreciated, Interactive Friction has returned. This time however I’m going to work harder to keep on schedule, and I’ve already completed the first step by editing all the footage prior to this trailer going up. Additionally season 5’s raw footage is already mostly recorded, and the audio for our new project is primed for editing. The latter of these should be what to expect next from Brandon and I.

Now about the trailer. Since season 2 I’ve been making an effort to create “teaser” trailers for each upcoming season, though season 3 was the only one that was vague in any sense. Regardless I went with a style much more reminiscent of the Tomb Raider trailer, which is very movie-like in its structure. This time though I went another step further by using the cutscene audio wherein Faith sets up the universe, and that posed a novel challenge for me. For instance, when the helicopter blades come by, I had to find matching footage of a copter for that. Same with the footsteps as the music breaks in.

That aside, producing a trailer made me try and think more about how to engage someone and set up their expectations correctly. Since an average audience wants something interesting within the first few moments, I figured using quick cuts over Faith’s monologue would help keep things moving, with characters relevant to her lines appearing as a bit of foreshadowing for new viewers or a nod to previous players.

I also considered having the trailer start with Faith running down a relatively straight path with these moments cutting in when appropriate, because trying to match the flow and rhythm of the source material is another consideration.

Take for instance this Battlefield 4 fan-made trailer.

While it’s easy to dismiss this for it’s rather standard war movie framework, it’s also indicative of how a normal Battlefield match runs. It weighs heavy on the calm before the storm, and when the chaos begins, it never ends. Makes sense for a 64 player shooter.

For Mirror’s Edge it was difficult to think of a way to capture the essence of running without merely showing part of a level off, but its characters are definitely not its strong suit either. In the end I went with the aforementioned matching of Faith’s dialogue while also trying to find pieces of smooth movement. If I had more time to sort through all the footage I would have loved to capture the moments of distinctive animation when Faith slides down escalators, runs along walls, or seamlessly disarms an enemy without breaking her pace.

Mirror’s Edge is a game of motion, and its trailer should reflect that.

Published by

Sam Callahan

Filmmaker by day, writer by night.

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