« Lunar Industries Mission Badges | Main | Get In The Car »

The trailer you were never meant to see...

I've been digging through my hard drives and came across something that you might like if you're interested in the process we went through getting this film made. It's a trailer that we cut for Moon before we'd finished making it. We ran out of money before we could get into post-production, and so we had to get some interest from investors so we could keep going and get finished. The Cannes film festival proved a great opportunity for this and so we cut a trailer to take over there and generally tried to get things looking as nice as possible in an attempt to give an impression of the film we intended to put out. We got it cut by a company called "Zealot" based in London's Soho, and as we had no VFX shots even started at the time, I took the footage and did what I could over a long weekend to try and give it a bit of scope and feel more like what we intended. Please don't judge me too harshly for the quality of these VFX shots - it was, as happened so often on this production, an emergency situation and it was pretty much just me in my bedroom, staying up all night, getting on with it.

As this was done so early on, there are quite a few differences in here than ended up in the final film. You can see there's a greenish grade to the whole thing that I was never really keen on which we cooled off for the final grade on the released feature. We had a hard time with this as we used quite a lot of cheap fluorescent lights on the film and they were at different colour temperatures in different parts of the set and at different times of the day. When saw the first runs of footage in the cut, the colour temperatures of the lights were jumping around from green, to pinkish, yellow, blues; there were little shifts in hue all over the place. You may also notice the crappy looking "Big Boards". These were place-holders and were essentially light-boxes with graphic acetate strips that were replaced later with CG overlays I put together to bring them to life. They were originally supposed to be real displays but the quote for the build came in at £36,000. Goodbye Big Boards!

We used some of Clint Mansell's other music as a place-holder as we were wanting to get him in to do the score and fortunately everything went according to plan. Just shows how perfect he was for the job that his other score's fit right over Moon. Having said that, this piece of music as about as perfect film trailer music as you could ever hope to find. As long as the film's not "Wet Christmas".

I think one of my favourite things about this is that Duncan is the voice of Gerty. The weird thing is that his voice is also in the "real" trailer put out by Sony. There's a shot where Sam is driving the rover away from the base and we hear an automated woman's voice informing him that he's leaving the Sarang base perimiter. This is actually Duncan's voice too - pitch-shifted to make him sound like a woman. You have a woman's voice my lord! If that makes no sense to you watch this. If it does make sense to you watch this anyway - you'll like it.

It's quite nice to watch this trailer retrospectively as it's got much more in it than we would really have wanted to give away in a theatrical release. When Sony were cuting the actual trailer, we were gutted when it had two-Sam clone shots in there as we felt the jig was up and nobody would get into the story. Fortunately, we were so under the radar I don't think anybody even saw the trailer so it didn't sem to matter in the end. I never saw one "in the wild", if you did I'd be interested to see what you thought of it having seen the trailer in a theatre and then watched the film afterwards. Did it spoil it for you?

Just for comparisons, here's the official trailer that Sony put out. Pip pip.

References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (7)

I love this film Gavin, nice to see some insights. I'm also pleased that you ditched the music from Sky Sports News which was in the original trailer!


September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRob McCardle

I saw the trailer in the theater (I don't remember what movie I was there to watch), and if there was any sense of it being spoiled, it was completely overwhelmed by my desire to see the film. I fell in love with it right away, and knew that it would be a great movie - worth seeing over and over.

October 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnton Peck

This is fascinating to see! Thanks for sharing. It was a completely unique experience seeing Moon for the first time with no preconception of what was to come, but I don't believe it's a movie that can be "spoiled". It's not a 'twist' movie-- you learn pretty early on what's happening-- and the force of the film comes from the emotional drive and desire to see the Sams get home.

Also, love Duncan as Gerty! Very cool stuff.
-- Britta

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBritta

The film looks great. I'd see it in a heartbeat.

November 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTelest

Thank you Gavin n gang for making such an amazing film! I am watching it over and over, like the PP said. I ran into it when I got curious about Duncan (sorry, I'm a huge fan of David Robert Jones…. my handle is Spyprettygirl, written before DJ was born….anyway, I didn't seek out the film or hear anything about it around the release time as I live in Asia, but I'm catching up now. Anxious to see you guys' other projects too. Loving your blog, and all I'm reading about the Making of moon!

February 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLiora

I did see the trailer before I saw the film, and the two Sams is what really made me curious to see it.

However, I didn't think "clone" when I saw it, but rather thought that it was actually Sam having hallucinations/delusions or possibly some kind of alternate-dimension rift opened up moving another Sam across dimensions. The trailer was vague enough that while I knew something weird was going on, I wasn't sure what.

December 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Rizz

I would love to see the scenes that were cut.

June 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEd Clark

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>