The writers frequently involve viewers in the process of film selection via suggestions in comments and fan polls. In addition, the writers are given more creative license for one out of every four Honest Trailers. This often results in a more eclectic choice of subject matter, such as the cult film Showgirls, the universally-panned but little-known crime film Gotti, and some truly preposterous flops like Robin Hood and Mortal Engines.
Release date chasing Edit
The team works out the schedule of Honest Trailers months in advance. Screen Junkies typically makes Honest Trailers for blockbuster movies to coincide with their release on digital/Blu-ray. This strategy, known as release date chasing or trend surfing, is used by many other YouTube parody channels including CinemaSins and How It Should Have Ended. Trend surfing capitalizes on a film being back in the online conversation, which increases views. When the team pick older movies, they usually relate to a movie being released in theaters that week. For example, the Honest Trailer for Deep Blue Sea (1999) was released to coincide with the theatrical release of the similarly shark-themed movie, The Meg.
In 2019, the team defied their usual practice of release date chasing by creating a special run of episodes called Blockbuster Summer. Blockbuster Summer was conceived of so the team could parody several highly requested older films that they otherwise had no timely reason to tackle, for example The Mummy (1999).
Viewer input Edit
Although each trailer begins with screenshots of viewer comments requesting the film the team should tackle next, these comments are often too recent to have influenced the production schedule. Nonetheless, viewer preferences are taken into account. For example, Screen Junkies often run Twitter polls to determine which film to make an Honest Trailer on; Baby Driver was selected via a Twitter poll. Additionally, they usually run Fan Appreciation Month in January, where fans get to vote on films from a drop-down menu of options. This often leads to unusual Honest Trailer choices, for example mother!
In 2018, Screen Junkies ran a fundraiser for the charity Women in Film where they offered one $10,000 donor the reward of picking any Honest Trailer they wanted. A generous sadist donated $10k and requested an Honest Trailer for all 55 years of Doctor Who. Screen Junkies had previously ruled out making a Doctor Who Honest Trailer due the massive time commitment such a project would entail. However, Screen Junkies honored the donation, producing two Honest Trailers: one for the classic era of Doctor Who, and another for the modern era of Doctor Who.
Rare genres Edit
The writers very rarely make Honest Trailers for comedy films. They have explained this is because it's much harder to make jokes about something that is already funny. The writers say that self-aware parody films are the hardest genre of films to give the Honest Trailers treatment. For example, the writers have avoided making an Honest Trailer for The LEGO Batman Movie for years, despite repeated fan requests, because, in their opinion, the film is already tantamount to an Honest Trailer for Batman.
In addition, Honest Trailers for TV shows are also rare because the writers are committed to watching a show in its entirety prior to producing the parody video. In the Honest Trailer Commentary for Star Trek: The Next Generation, writer/producer Dan Murrell explained, "When people ask why we don’t do Honest Trailers of TV shows, it’s because it literally took us three months just to watch the show. It’s such an undertaking and it’s not something that we want to do the cliff notes version of." When the team does tackle TV shows, they are usually short-run TV shows like Stranger Things. Honest Trailers for longer TV shows are generally split into volumes, for example The Walking Dead Part 1 and Part 2.
Also, the writers have stated they find it difficult to write Honest Trailers about films that are "just good." They sometimes struggle to find strong takes on these middle-of-the-pack films. While they are sometimes compelled to write Honest Trailers about these films because they are popular with viewers, on other occasions they dodge them. For example, the writers initially skipped the film Kong: Skull Island because it was "just good" - they only produced an Honest Trailer about it when the director agreed to appear on camera ripping his own movie to shreds. Likewise, they have elected not to make Honest Trailers about the films Coco (2017) and Bumblebee (2018) because they don't have much to say about either film except that they're both good.
Three For Them, One For Us Edit
The writers have stated they are given more creative license for one out of every four Honest Trailers. They call this practice "three for them, one for us." This often results in more eclectic choices, such as the cult film Showgirls, the universally-panned but little-known crime film Gotti, and some truly preposterous flops like Robin Hood and Mortal Engines. Writer/producer Dan Murrell explains the process of film selection like this: "We have to do a lot of movies that we, like, don't have as big a take on because they're "big" movies. We need to stay in business. But I think sometimes, when we have a chance, to sometimes maybe skip a quote unquote "bigger" one to do something like this [Mortal Engines]." Writer/producer Joe Starr agrees, saying "Sometimes Honest Trailers has to get back to its roots and just do something dumb, whether or not it's attached to something on the schedule."
- ↑ For example,at 5:42 in the Honest Trailer Commentary for Star Trek: The Next Generation, writer/producer Joe Starr says, "The unfortunate take away for a lot of fans here is we’re probably not going to do a Doctor Who Honest Trailer."
- ↑ The writers explain this in the Honest Trailers Commentary for Bird Box.