I made a teaser for a film once and it didn't get me my financing or the cast I needed. The script for the feature got the most notice, not the teaser. I am building the cast and the money for that film from the script only now. The teaser sits on my shelf collecting dust.
My definition of a teaser is a short trailer depicting the tone, genre, characters, and story of a feature. It's not a short film. There is a difference.
Short films that can stand on their own and be viable as a full feature are probably your best scenario when deciding to make something that can grow into a feature. That way you have something that can have a life of its own. Teasers really can go no further than financiers or the Web.
Don't expect teasers to be a magic pill for you and your project. Oftentimes, companies and investors can't glean enough from a teaser to tell if you have what it takes to helm a full feature that will be profitable.
But teasers could help some individuals feel just comfortable enough to open their pocketbooks.
- You have proof that you can make something cinematic
- It shows the tone and quality of the piece you want to make
- If investors like the teaser, it may push them to back your project
- You are spending money on something that really has no sales market. There's no potential for making your money back from a teaser.
- There's no life beyond the financiers or perhaps a run on YouTube.
- They can be dated really fast and you may grow as an artist in the time it takes to gather your resources and you personally may decide it's no longer a strong depiction of your work.
So get out there and make something splashworthy!!