In the spring of 2006, my good friend George asked me to help him with a photography project he was working on. He also got two other friends of ours (we would all soon be roommates for our senior year) to help out, and thus the Greater Eastern USC Co-prosperity Sphere was formed (George was Chinese and very interested in Chinese history, and he assured me this was both an intelligent and hilarious name) . I don’t quite remember exactly what the project was about but I do remember George having a look and feel that he wanted to achieve. I also don’t recall how a story first started to evolve, but by the end of the night we all had created characters and a scenario that involved a private eye, a cop and a banker getting together to rob a bank for the greater good. I think that’s why the pictures came out so well, and once George sent us all some copies I decided to put them all together in a kind of mock trailer.
Creating fake trailers is fun. Not only is it a blast to create footage that you know you never will have to explain logically, it’s also an exercise in short storytelling. See, I’m a fan of the short story/short film. When you have the space of a novel, or a two hour chunk, there is some breathing rooms with which to treat your characters and story. But in the short form every single thing matters, every word, every second. A trailer is an amped up version of this and though in practice it’s really easy to put one together, it still takes craft and skill to have it be effective.
Was I effective here? I have no idea. But despite the fact that I have no moving pictures, that I used the likeness as some of my friends that I ripped from Facebook, and that the story really didn’t make sense once I put it down on paper, I think the trailer ended up being intriguing enough that people were asking me when our movie was coming out.