Scutter and Maxwell on trailers

Excerpts from a 1988 interview in Blitz magazine #71 with Guy Scutter and Paul Maxwell on cutting trailers at Scores, Britain’s leading trailer production company at the time:

Paul Maxwell: We’re all basically frustrated filmmakers, and what we do with Scores is always going to be something of a means to an end, a way of building up experience and making contacts. On average we’ll be getting thirty films a week coming in and each time the deadline is yesterday, so we’re working incredibly fast. In the short time we’ve got we have to watch the film a few times, find the best scenes to use for the trailer, contact people for voiceovers…there’s a lot of work involved. Usually the people who come to use with the film are money men from the companies and they know absolutely nothing about directing or making films. They’ll suggest their own ideas occasionally, but without exception they’re awful so we just do what we were going to do anyway, or fob them off with film-talk like, ‘But this is only three frames long and we’ve got to keep up the four frame ratio’. That usually shuts them up.

It’s hard to work up enthusiasm for a lot of the films that come to us, either because they’re offensive, boring horror videos or because we’d rather go to the pub. When something good comes along though, it brings back your enthusiasm for all this.

Guy Scutter: I saw this great trailer the other day for Saigon so I went out and watched the film. And do you know what? It was absolutely terrible! Perhaps we’re the sort of people who just can’t be trusted.

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