Created by Andy Signore and Brett Weiner in 2012, Honest Trailers aims to show audiences what movies are really about, rather than the flawless trailers that the studios release. Produced by the Youtube channel Screen Junkies, the series has gathered a worldwide following and now boasts over 300 million views on its videos. In 2013, Jon Bailey replaced Brett Weiner and the new duo has covered a wide variety of films from 50 Shades of Grey to Frozen.
At this year’s VidCon, Blast Magazine had the opportunity to talk with Signore and Bailey about their favorite films, best fan interactions, and movie selection process.
Blast Magazine: Honest Trailers has created videos about a wide variety of films in the past. How do you decide on which film will be the subject of your next video?
Andy 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 Magazine: How did the two of you begin your professional relationship?
Jon 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 Magazine: What films are you looking forward to creating videos 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 Magazine: Are certain genres of film more difficult to create videos for?
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 Magazine: What video has been the most difficult for you 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, 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 Magazine: 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 Magazine: Screen Junkies has had a tremendous growth in fan size over the last few years. Have you had any great fan interactions you would like to share?
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.
Honest Trailers can be found here.