Many aspiring filmmakers, producers, even marketers neglect the role of a good movie trailer script. After painstaking efforts to write the full script first and then produce the movie or a video, many think that that they can simply cull the trailer of the material they already have. If they do so, they then neglect the special role a movie trailer has.

Actually, that role is three-fold. As Lee Lyons notes, “the easiest way to convince someone to watch your movie is to show them a well-made trailer.” So attracting a wider audience is certainly the main goal of a movie trailer. “Writing a good trailer script is not complicated, but it can mean the difference between a very popular movie and a movie nobody ever hears of.” (Above)

Another important aspect of a movie trailer and its script is getting additional, even initial financing of the movie itself. If the script and the trailer are well-made, the prospect of such financing grows.

On the other hand, Script Mailer points out another important aspect of good movie trailers script. For anybody who is serious about their screenwriting or who wants to promote a full-fledged script. Writing an excellent movie trailer script and actually producing a movie trailer based on it, could be the best way to market such a screenplay.

So, if you really want to market and advertise your film/video, you need a good movie trailer and a movie trailer script for it. Also, this represents an excellent method of attracting financing, both for your screenplay and film itself.

How to get the best out of your movie trailer script

Mathew Weeks gives a good explanation about the purpose of a movie trailer and its script. According to him, “the trailer is one of the most important forms of advertising for a movie before it comes out. It gives the audience a glimpse of the plot, characters in the film, and creates a feeling that should leave audience members wanting more.”

On the surface, writing a movie trailer script might seem a simple affair. After all, the trailer itself needs to be no more than a few minutes, sometimes even less. But some would say, simple things are often very hard to do. As Weeks (above) notes, “you want to give enough information about the film to entice others to watch it, yet you don’t want to give too much away before the audience has a chance to see it. The purpose of a trailer is to hook viewers and encourage them to buy a movie ticket to see the rest of the film.”

The importance of a good trailer script and the trailer itself is no less critical when you use it to attract financing for your film/video project or promoting your full feature script.

Lyons (above) considers these as the main points of preparing a good movie trailer script:

  • Note the footage of the original film and deciding on the timing of the trailer.
  • Decide on the theme of the story that the trailer will present.
  • Split the script into its beginning, middle, and end.
  • Write a voiceover copy that doesn’t give away your story, but clearly expresses your themes. Allow the voiceover to guide your audience and make clear to them any story elements that you wish to convey.
  • Use snippets of character dialogue to illustrate and set up your movie’s world.
  • Choose music to set the pace of the trailer.
  • Interweave the audio with your images in a way that keeps the content of your trailer moving at a quick pace.


movie trailer script for freelancers

How to prepare a good movie trailer script

Script Mailer (above) encapsulates the effectiveness of a good movie trailer script: Have you ever watched an amazing movie trailer and thought to yourself, “I can’t wait to watch the movie.” Every time you watch the trailer you get more and more excited about seeing the movie when it comes out. This is the power of effective marketing at work.”

The movie trailers are so effective because they build anticipation and they’re short and easy to grab your attention.

So what does the process of writing a good movie trailer script involve? Essentially, you approach the writing of such a script in the same manner as you would approach writing a fully-fledged feature script itself. Based on the structure presented by Lyons (above), the technical approach follows the same lines as any other script. You are actually writing a self-contained film/video/ad, that uses elements of an already produced or projected film/video.

According to Weeks (above) the process of structuring your movie trailer script involves the following:

  • Come up with narrative dialogue to explain the overall theme of the movie to the audience over sound and images from the movie.
  • MovieMaker suggests using the final scene of the trailer as a cliff-hanger. Everything in your entire movie trailer script should focus on this cliff-hanger.
  • Determine what you want to use to begin your trailer. If you want to use an image or some narrative dialogue, you must show the audience the subject of the movie. The beginning of your script should be an introduction to the overall film.
  • Fill the middle of the trailer script with a narrative about what is going to happen, and then show various action or plot images that will build up toward the cliff-hanger.

Examples of a good movie trailer scripts

The successful movies very often have excellent movie trailers. Here we present you with three such examples with their 6o, 30, and 15-second excerpts.

Here are the movie trailer script excerpts for “Notting Hill, one of the modern mega-hits:

  • 60-second excerpt

Every man’s dream comes true for William Thacker, an unsuccessful Notting Hill bookstore owner, when Anna Scott, the world’s most beautiful woman, and best-liked actress, enters his shop. A little later, he still can’t believe it himself, William runs into her again – this time spilling orange juice over her. Anna accepts his offer to change in his nearby apartment, and thanks to him with a kiss, which seems to surprise her even more than him. Eventually, Anna and William get to know each other better over the months, but being together with the world’s most wanted woman is not easy – neither around your closest friends nor in front of the all-devouring press. (113 words)

  • 30-second excerpt

Anna Scott is the most famous actress on earth.

She’s great

I love her smile.

I say she is the most beautiful woman on the planet.

William Thacker is the least successful shopkeeping in Notting Hill.

Do you have any books by Dickens?

We’re a travel bookshop. We only sell travel books. (53 words)

  • 15-second excerpt

From the creator of the four weddings and a funeral come to an unlikely romance.

Anna’s… a goddess. You know what happens to mortals who get involved with the gods. (30 words)

Example 2 – The Evil Within

  • 60-second excerpt

With Formidable enemies, elaborately designed environments, and heart-pounding tension, ‘The Evil Within’ is an unforgettable experience, where every encounter can end your life in the blink of an eye.

As a crimson city detective, Sebastian has seen more than his share of horrors, but nothing could prepare him for this surreal nightmare that exists in shifting planes of distorted reality. Exploration has its rewards. Extra ammunition and green gel are sometimes stashed in dwellings just out of sight. In the midst of the unremitting terrors.

Ruvik the sadistic and enigmatic figure stalks Sebastian ruthlessly. His motives are unknown, and his violent rage is beyond anything human. There is a multitude of enemies waiting for their chance to murder you. (120 words)

  • 30-second excerpt

When you’re overpowered and out-manned, your only chance of survival is to use stealth. Throughout the game, you’ll find items that can be used to help you remain undetected. Use them either as distractions or improvised weapons. But even with the most powerful weapons and sound tactics, there are battles that are unwinnable. (55 words)

  • 15-second excerpt

Stalked by demons and haunted by death, the deeper you spiral into the mystery, the harder your journey will become. In “The Evil Within”, death is the only easy escape, and survival will take everything you’ve got.” (37 words)

movie trailer script for content creators


Example 3 – 300 The Movie

  • 60-second excerpt

“Remember us.” As simple an order as a king can give. “Remember why we died.” For he did not wish tribute or song. No monuments, no poems of war and valor. His wish was simple: “Remember us,” he said to me. That was his hope. Should any free soul come across that place, in all the countless centuries yet to be, may all our voices whisper to you from the ageless stones: Go tell the Spartans, passerby, that here, by Spartan law, we lie. So my king died, and my brothers died… Barely a year ago, long I pondered my king’s cryptic talk of victory. But time has proven him wise. (112 words)

  • 30-second excerpt

For from free Greek to free Greek, the word was spread that bold Leonidas and his 300, so far from home, laid down their lives, not just for Sparta, but for all Greece and the promise this country holds! Now, here on this ragged patch of earth called Plataea, Xerxes’ hordes face obliteration! (53 words)

  • 15-second excerpt

This day we rescue a world from mysticism and tyranny, and usher in a future brighter than anything we could imagine! Give thanks, men! To Leonidas, and the brave 300! To victory! (32 words)

All the above examples give an overview of what a good movie trailer script should read, look, and sound like. Like with cooking, following a good recipe always gives you good food!