At this year’s VidCon, Blast Magazine had the opportunity to talk with the two men behind “Honest Trailers”, Andy Signore and Jon Bailey. “Honest Trailers” was created to show audiences what movies were really about, rather than normal trailers which seek to disguise the flaws. Created by Signore and Brett Weiner in 2012, the series has garnered over 300 million views for the “Screen Junkies” YouTube channel. In 2013, Jon Bailey replaced Brett Weiner and the new duo has covered everything from “50 Shades of Grey” to “Frozen”.
Blast: “Honest Trailers” has created videos about many films in the past. What is the process like when choosing the next film for your videos?
Signore: We really focus on the user comments. Since we have become a pretty popular show, the fans request a variety of films now. We also try to time it with the release of the movie. It’s a combination of the release timing and viewers’ comments. “Fault In Our Stars” was a movie that we were not going to do, but there was an enormous amount of desire for it.
Blast: How did the two of you first meet and start working together?
Bailey: Andy had already done a dozen trailers when his original partner got called into active service. I did real movie trailers and he saw a video that I did and looked me up. He asked if I wanted to be a part of this and it’s been great since then.
Signore: When the old voice couldn’t do it any more, I searched epic movie voices on YouTube and found Jon. I was super excited because he had the exact voice that I was looking for. I think there was a bit of a learning curve for him between comedy and serious trailers, but we work really well together.
Blast: Do you have any ideal films that you want to create “Honest Trailers” for in the future?
Signore: I’m looking forward to doing “Aladdin” for the anniversary. I want to try “The Shawshank Redemption” because that’s my favorite film. I think it would be a challenge, but I would be really happy if I could pull it off. The weirdest one we did was “Superman 4”, because we had fun with it and didn’t think anyone would care about it. It ended up getting a lot of attention and interest.
Blast: Are certain genres more difficult to create videos for than others?
Signore: Drama is slightly tougher, but comedy is the hardest. We are joking on a joke, so it has to have a strong hook and plot line.
Blast: Is there a specific video that has been the most difficult to create?
Signore: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” were the most difficult because we really liked those movies. The directors of “Captain America [The Winter Soldier]”, Joe and Anthony Russo, actually admitted that they were fans of ours and when writing the movie, they tried to create it “Honest Trailer proof.” That was the biggest compliment we could receive and hearing them say that was a huge honor.
Bailey: From a technical standpoint, television shows are much harder. They require a lot of editing and hours of watching material to try to condense it down into one trailer.
Blast: Andy, how did you get your start with “Screen Junkies”?
Signore: Defy Media had a website called ScreenJunkies.com. It was a good website but I thought that it could be better. As a huge movie lover, I wanted to figure out a way to improve it. “The Phantom Menace” came out in 3D rerelease and I felt like the trailer was trying to trick us again. We know the movie is not the best so they shouldn’t try to make it look like something it isn’t. I wanted to make trailers that explicitly stated what the movie was and didn’t hide anything. Once we figured out the rhythm, they became easier and easier to make.
Blast: Since the “Screen Junkies” channel has grown so much over the last few years, have there been any great fan interactions?
Bailey: We had a huge showing at San Diego Comic-Con. As we do more and more panels, our image really grows. I’m getting stopped now at Target, which is amazing. When we first started doing the videos, we were just voices. With more and more live shows, fans can interact with us and have really embraced us.
The Honest Trailers can be found here.