Where there's a fan, there's a marketing director.
Video-sharing platforms like YouTube and Vimeo and access to affordable, easy editing software have put word of mouth on steroids, turning brand fans into amateur filmmakers creating solid work with little to no marketing budgets. Some of the most buzzworthy stuff has been for feature films, done by movie fans who have spliced footage together from preceding films or augmented teasers released by studios -- and some Armchair Spielbergs have even been hired by them.
We gathered five of our favorites not-done-by-the-studio teasers here.
Walt Disney's "John Carter"
Following lackluster teasers of the sci-fi adventure film, one of which debuted during the 2012 Super Bowl, fan and independent filmmaker Michael D. Sellers decided to take the matter into his own hands. Sourcing clips from official trailers and publicly available material from Disney, the fan-made trailer garnered a quarter-million views on YouTube and even managed to earn a nod from the film's director, Andrew Stanton.
"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" (To be released May 6, 2016)
This highly anticipated sequel to "Man of Steel" won't be released until 2016, but that hasn't stopped one fan from creating one of the best trailers for the film we've seen thus far. Late last summer, YouTube's solyentbrak1 took scenes from "Breaking Bad," "Iron Man 2" and "Daredevil," among a number of other shows and movies, and weaved them together to create this faux trailer that has attracted over 3 million views on YouTube.
Star Wars: Episode VII (to be released on Dec. 18, 2015)
What's a fan-made trailer list without an entry for the king of all space operas? Using excerpts from the 2005 film "Serenity," trailers for "Star Wars" video games and voiceovers from "Star Trek," this fan envisions the possibilities of the new trilogy, which is slated for release at the end of next year. It currently boasts a whopping 10.8 million views on YouTube.
Mortal Kombat: Rebirth
Branching off from the storyline of the "Mortal Kombat" franchise, Kevin Tancharoen produced this original short film as a way to pitch Warner Bros. on his vision of a new "Mortal Kombat" film. Reportedly costing $7,500 to produce, the tactic worked and Mr. Tancharoen was hired by the studio to turn the short into a web series that debuted on Machinima's YouTube channel in April 2011.
In 2009, when the cast for the "Green Lantern" was yet to be finalized, video editor Jaron Pitts put actor Nathan Fillion center stage as Hal Jordan for the DC Comics film. Splicing together clips from Mr. Fillion's role on "Firefly" and "Serenity," among other movies, this faux teaser can easily pass as the real thing. It also received praise from the actor himself who tweeted: "I love this! This guy rocks!"