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September 30, 2005

Creative Editing
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 04:40 PM *

Those of us who watch entirely too many movies know two things: First, that the trailers* are often the best part of the show, and second that the trailers sometimes (most times?) may not really tell you if you’ll like the movie they’re advertising.

Those of us who are addicted to trailers can get a fix here:

But that isn’t the purpose of this post. Instead, I’m going to introduce a couple of trailers for movies you’ve probably already seen.

Here’s the way The Tattered Coat had the story:

A post-production house organized a competition where assistant editors “re-cut” trailers for famous movies to try and make them seem like different movies … .

Here are the folks who made a couple of the trailers**:

Princess, Tom, Jenna, and of course me. We all made it to the awards on time, except Robert who was still working. But he barely made it, and good that he did, because he won first fucking place! Yes, his recut of the Shining was just absolutely awesome. You don’t believe me? Just check it out, Rob’s Winner.

Oh and Tom got third, for his extremely eerie and cool infected thriller West Side Story zombie style. Way to go PS.

Here are the newly-cut trailers themselves:

The Shining as the feel-good romantic comedy of the year. (Also mirrored here.)

West Side Story as a horror flick.

I don’t know who the second-place winner was, but I want to see that trailer too.


* So called because they used to be shown after the main attraction.

** They also made a trailer for Titanic as a scary movie.


[UPDATE] Hat tip to PiscusFiche for finding the rest of the story. Mighty is your Google-fu!

Boards Magazine

NEW YORK - Imagine The Sound of Music as a documentary on the origin of snuff movies. Or Gandhi as a biopic about a standup comedian. Among other absurdities, that’s what participants at the Association of Independent Creative Editors’ first Trailer Park New York competition were treated to as 31 assistant editors from the Big Apple battled it out for best faux-trailer.

The Los Angeles Film School

In NY, LA and Chicago, the AICE (Association of Independent Creative Editors) puts on a competition for assistant editors (whose companies are in the AICE). For the competition, the entrants must choose between 5 movies (“The Exorcist”,”Cannonball Run”, “Ocean’s 11”, “Apocalypse Now”, or “Traffic”) and cut a 60 second trailer changing the genre of the chosen film. After which a group of AICE judges choose the winning trailers.

AEC Newsroom

New York, NY (Feb. 20, 2004) — The Association of Independent Creative Editors has awarded Kevin Halleran first place honors at the Trailer Park Festival. For the competition, assistant editors were given the challenge of cutting a two-minute movie trailer from a list of five film classics. The twist— the promo had to place the film in an entirely new genre.

Halleran won first place by turning the timeless family film “The Sound of Music” into a thriller flick by partnering slow-motion scenes with classic horror music.

“It’s definitely ‘Sound of Music’ meets ‘Village of the Damned,’” said Halleran. “It was such a fun project— and illustrates the power of editing.” He added, “The competition was a chance to do something out of the ordinary and a great venue to showcase my work.”

Other genre-changers included Forrest Gump as a thriller, Citizen Kane as a musical, and The Exorcist as a gay priest love story.

Here’s yet more on the contest with examples (alas, not the full trailers) at On the Media.

PiscusFiche also found the second-place winner, a reworking of the Haley Mills The Parent Trap as a lesbian love story, done by Paul LaCalandra at



And here’s the man behind Shining, thanks to The New York Times.

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 29 — Robert Ryang, 25, a film editor’s assistant in Manhattan, graduated from Columbia three years ago with a double major in film studies and psychology. This week, he got an eye-opening lesson in both.

Since 2002, Mr. Ryang has worked for one of the owners of P.S. 260, a commercial postproduction house, cutting commercials for the likes of Citizens Bank, Cingular and the TriBeCa Film Festival.

A few weeks back, he said, he entered a contest for editors’ assistants sponsored by the New York chapter of the Association of Independent Creative Editors. The challenge? Take any movie and cut a new trailer for it — but in an entirely different genre. Only the sound and dialogue could be modified, not the visuals, he said.

Mr. Ryang won the contest, and about 10 days ago, he said, he sent three friends a link to a “secret site” on his company’s Web site where they could watch his entry (

One of them, Mr. Ryang said, posted it on his little-watched blog. And that was that. Until this week, when he was hit by a tsunami of Internet interest.

On Wednesday, Mr. Ryang said, his secret site got 12,000 hits. By Thursday the numbers were even higher, his film was being downloaded and linked to on countless other sites, it had cracked the top 10 most popular spoofs on, and a vice president at a major Hollywood studio had called up his office, scouting for new talent.

“He said it’s being circulated everywhere in the film community,” Mr. Ryang said of the executive….

Thus is virtue rewarded.

Comments on Creative Editing:
#1 ::: C.E. Petit ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 05:30 PM:

I have a couple of other favorite sources of trailers, although they're not nearly as unselfrighteous as the recut examples noted by Uncle Jim., which is updated quite frequently; the collection of materials on Serenity, for example, has been updated at least a dozen times since March, adding outtakes, etc. UltimateDVD also often has the European versions of trailers; the difference between the European and US trailers for HPGF is rather interesting.

Jurassic Punk isn't updated as often as is UltimateDVD, but it's a bit more stable and has a higher proportion of downloadable (as opposed to streaming) trailers.

#2 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 06:20 PM:

"2001" as a roller-coaster ride? Oops. That's what the actual trailer tried to make us believe it was.

#3 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 06:26 PM:

Paul LaCalandra at seems to have the second place winner with a reworking of the Parent Trap as a lesbian love story. (His narration sounds more homemade than the Shining's.)

#4 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 06:31 PM:

Which version of "Parent Trap"?

Oh, and could they do anything with "Peyton Place"?

#5 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 06:37 PM:

Wow, those are amazing. I hate to think what would have happened to anyone who went to see Shining.

#6 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 06:38 PM:

The first version with Haley Mills.

Digging around a little more, I find that the Association of Independent Creative Editors sponsors some competition called Trailer Park, where one of the winning features was The Sound of Music as horror. Alas, no links to the actual trailer were to be found. Just bits and pieces of press releases.

#7 ::: Georgiana ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 06:59 PM:

Those are great! Thanks so much.

I always thought it would be fun to cut the romance out of West Side Story and do it as a singing/dancing documentary of gang life.

#8 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 07:07 PM:

Making one coming attraction out of two movies also has potential. Esther Williams and Steve Reeve in "Hercules vs Neptune's Daughter"... "The Creature from the Blue Lagoon"...

#9 ::: Edd ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 07:10 PM:

I also like to visit the Apple Japan trailer site, because they have trailers for some Japanese movies

#10 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 07:31 PM:

If I were handed the "Peyton Place" trailer, the editing tools, and more importantly the time to mess with it, a few genreficative possibilities suggest themselves:

-- An AIP-style horror film, in which Peyton Place is clearly just up the road from Innsmouth

-- A "Star Wars, The Fox Glory Years" parody, with Russ Tamblyn and Diane Varsi as Anodyne and Amygdala. This one would require enough overdubs to look like an Italian import, but isn't that what we all wanted to do to Hey, Hey, it's the Clonees?

-- A Fifties paranoia picture, in which Commie brainwashers attempt to turn the loyally repressed Peytonites into sex-crazed liberal zombies. Might be better if it were decolorized.

#11 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 07:38 PM:

"Peyton Place" with the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"... With some sprinkling of Rock Hudson/Doris Day/Tony Randall thrown in...

#12 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 07:40 PM:

I like John's proposal for "Star Wars". Hell, Russ Tamblyn would be an improvement. Of course, anything would be.

#13 ::: janet ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 08:33 PM:

The trailer for "The Core" -- the one that was produced by the studio and played in theaters -- is one of the funniest short films I've ever seen.

#14 ::: Rob T. ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 11:00 PM:

After viewing the zombie West Side Story trailer, I found myself wondering if co-director Robert Wise (who died a couple of weeks ago at the age of 91) happened to see it and his heart gave out from the shock. Upon reflection, I remembered Wise's output also included Curse of the Cat People, The Body Snatchers, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Haunting, and The Andromeda Strain--he might have liked taking a crack at a zombie West Side Story. (Not to mention a "possessed children" The Sound of Music.)

#15 ::: Matt ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2005, 12:53 AM:

Great job on the updates, Jim and PiscusFiche -- it's great to have the full story.

#16 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2005, 01:32 AM:


The Association of Independent Creative Editors (AICE) is an international trade association serving the needs and interests of independent editorial companies. AICE has chapters in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco and Toronto. AICE member companies edit over 85% of all television commercials post-produced in the U.S. and Canada, therefore playing a significant part in the over $5 billion television commercial industry.

#17 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2005, 03:09 AM:

It's interesting how the different reports seem to get different ideas of how the competition is run.

Is it a free choice of starting movie, or a pick from a limited list?

#18 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2005, 11:13 AM:

It's quite interesting watching a movie and THEN finally seeing its coming attraction. That happened to me last week when Turner Classic Movies showed the trailer for "12 Angry Men". I found myself wondering if this was the trailer for a movie other than the one I sit for pretty much every time it's on. (And one that confirms Hemingway's comment about people who confuse action with movement.)

#19 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2005, 02:16 PM:

I want to see a recut of Jacob's Ladder as a light-hearted musical comedy.

#20 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2005, 02:20 PM:

Wow, those are amazing. I hate to think what would have happened to anyone who went to see Shining.

Which reminds me of the best "Mister Boffo" cartoon of all time--showing a family sitting around a television set, mom, dad, kids, and dog--all silent and wide-eye with horror.

The caption: "Family discovering that 'Blue Velvet' is NOT the sequel to 'National Velvet'."

#21 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2005, 03:03 PM:

mythago: I want to see a recut of Jacob's Ladder as a light-hearted musical comedy.

Or Dead Ringers as a Disney twins caper (think The Parent Trap).

#22 ::: Victor S. ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2005, 03:18 PM:

How about Alien set up as a sort of That Darn Cat in space?

#23 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2005, 03:45 PM:

It reminds me of the story I heard of one television listing for "The Wizard of Oz": A young girl travels to a surrealistic landscape, kills a woman, then conspires with three strangers to rob and kill the woman's sister."

#24 ::: Jerol J. ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2005, 04:48 PM:

That "Shining" trailer is the funniest thing I have seen on the Internet in a couple years. Thanks!

#25 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2005, 05:07 PM:

Kevin, I heard that as ...kills the first person she meets...

#26 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2005, 05:21 PM:

Meanwhile, I was watching "Silver River" on TCM this morning and almost fell off my chair. There's Errol Flynn as a riverboat gambler, and in comes a man who wants to seize his various gamblng devices. To which Errol replies:

"If you're going to grab a man's equipment, you could at least have a conversation with him first."

#27 ::: DonBoy ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2005, 08:30 PM:

How about Alien set up as a sort of That Darn Cat in space?

You can get surprisingly close to this by watching one part of Dark Star, which is often known as "John Carpenter's Dark Star" but is also "Dark Star, co-written by Dan O'Bannon, who later wrote the script for Alien". Anyway, there's a fairly comical sequence that involves an alien life form that has to be chased all over the ship. That Darn Alien!

#28 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2005, 12:04 AM:

Anyone finding useful links to the other trailers?

#29 ::: Joel Wideman ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2005, 04:57 PM:

A friend of mine related this story: Someone had made a tape for him of "Alien" and "John Carpenter's The Thing", neither of which he had seen before. He fell asleep in the middle of "Alien", and woke up in the middle of "The Thing". Since the same actor appears in both, he didn't notice they were different movies until the end.

#30 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2005, 04:56 AM:

An observation on the initial post -- trailers indeed used to be shown after the feature, but until 1960 it was usual for movies to run continuously; people would come in whenever they got there and watch until they'd seen everything once (or more, if you had time, and especially if it was a hot day and the theatre had air conditioning). Hence the phrase "this is where we came in." A lot of theatres didn't have showtimes, though you could usually ask the ticket seller how far along things were. It didn't matter that the trailers came at the end, since a lot of the audience wouldn't be leaving then. (There were also cartoons and short subjects, and some people who'd been there for the beginning would stay to see Bugs Bunny again.)

Why did this change in 1960? Because that was the year "Psycho" was released, and for reasons that should be obvious, Hitchcock and the studio insisted that nobody be admitted after the picture started. After that, theatres started scheduling showtimes. And Coming Attractions had to move to the beginning, because most folks would otherwise leave before they came along.

The demise of the "holdover" -- staying for another viewing of the same movie -- is more recent, and is solely concerned with income -- not even so much someone sitting through Godzilla Vs. Cleopatra more than once, as someone within the gates of the multiplex seeing fifteen different movies on one ticket.

#31 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2005, 05:45 PM:

When I went to see Serenity last Friday, I stayed to see the credits, and noticed that as soon as the credits were over -- i.e., as I was leaving -- they started up with the trailers again.

#32 ::: Michelle K ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2005, 10:51 AM:

Lois Fundis,

I found that there were more people (well a greater proportion of people) who sat through the credits for "Serentiy" than for any other movie I've seen recently. Usually it's just us sitting there, but this time there were several groups of people.

And they didn't start the trailers again, just those ads the cycle through.

#33 ::: A.R.Yngve ::: (view all by) ::: October 04, 2005, 06:16 PM:

I loved the spoof trailers -- though the "glowing eyes" effect in the WEST SIDE STORY spoof felt a little like cheating. (The spoof of THE SHINING succeeded without adding special FX).

Please bring on more spoof trailers! The possibilities are endless:

-THE TERMINATOR presented as a romantic triangle set in L.A. ("Her heart was torn between two men...")

-SUPERMAN THE MOVIE presented like ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN ("In 1977, crusading reporter Clark Kent was shot in a street mugging... now the shocking truth can be told!")

-THE PRINCESS BRIDE presented as a horror flick ("Do you dare to listen as Peter Falk opens the book of unspeakable horrors known as... THE PRINCESS BRIDE??")

-PREDATOR presented as a nature documentary -- with Arnold Schwarzenegger as our David Attenborough-style host!! ("I came to find the truth about ze elusive forest creature... and discovered myself.")

And so on and so on... :)

#34 ::: EMPulse ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2005, 07:39 AM:

I'm still waiting to see "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" redone as a SCARY scifi alien invasion movie.

And while we're at it, can we turn "Hoosiers" into a sophomoric comedy?

#35 ::: thorne ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2005, 08:21 AM:

It seems like making most movies into horror is the easiest, and most predictable. It's the other way around that makes things interesting. Great Idea. For those interested in this type of thing, There are usually competitions similar to the trailer contest every few weeks for artists in chicago at

#36 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2006, 09:27 AM:

Two new ones making the rounds:Sleepless in Seattle as a horror flick

[Is anyone else disturbed by how easily horror and romantic comedies can be swapped?]

Also, by a group of Emerson College students: Brokeback to the Future via YouTube [downloadable version]

#37 ::: R.J. Mack ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2006, 05:03 PM:

Awesome thing. When I saw "the Wizard of Oz" it was a awesome threry.

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