A New Channel Trailer for 2023
A YouTube channel trailer is a short video that lives on the channel’s homepage, and autoplays to non-subscribers who visit. It’s supposed to offer a preview of your channel so viewers can learn more and subscribe.
I created my original trailer in May 2021, which is about a year after I started filming and posting videos to YouTube. In the old trailer, it seemed like a good chance to explain the meaning behind “capturing the machine,” so I combined some clips with a spoken section where I talked to the camera.
This video got a few thumbs-downs, and after uploading, I began to see why: the song was very bouncy-sounding, even at the opening, and combined with the dialogue, it was a lot if you weren’t expecting it. Keep in mind... this video is set to autoplay. If I happened to be viewing my channel homepage, I would pause or mute the video as soon the music came on.
Along with updating the clips with newer footage, it seemed like there was some room for improvement.
The 2023 Channel Trailer
Creating a new trailer was a task that had been on the back-burner for me for a while. Not as time-consuming as a normal video, but also not as important, it’s just... nice to have. It probably won’t get a lot of views or educate anyone, but, in the best case, it will look cool.
I didn’t want any voiceover this time, and I knew I had to find a better song.
When you put this sort of thing together, you pull a bunch of clips and drop them into a timeline, and try to have it make sense. It's simple enough, but it's a challenge to have a flow, and to communicate a beginning & end without the structure that a voiceover gives.
Once I found the music — Space Waves by Ben Elson on Epidemic Sound — it all came together. The right song just heightens the visuals, and, together, something magic happens. I'm such a sucker for video footage set to music in a way that aims to get an emotion from the viewer, and I found that even rewatching my own ‘5 Years With My 911’ video for the first time since uploading it was surprisingly poignant.
The final trailer includes some clips from a few of my favorite videos I've shot, plus a few that have yet to be released. I also experimented with a few editing techniques, like speed ramping and new title treatments. My goal was for it to be 30 seconds, but as these things go, it ended up being a full minute.
I like to think the new trailer is less annoying, and a better summation of the channel.
The DHL Timelapse footage was from a few years ago — here's the story behind it.