Zack Wall: How the Heritage Trailer made a difference on one viewer

Other Stuff

Someone posted this on the facebook group and it caught my eye because he begins with “I had no intention of seeing John Carter after viewing the first awful trailer that Disney posted on”  …. so I clicked, and there on the blog post was our Heritage trailer staring at me, with the post basically attributing the turnaround in attitude to our little trailer.  But aside from warm glow produced by the nice little pat on the back he gives us, I found his comments about precisely how his thought process was affected by the Heritage trailer, particularly the opening cards, to be quite interesting and instructive since this echoes exactly the reaction we were reaching for when we were formulating the cards and the trailer.  For me, just as a viewer — the cards prep me so well that I get a chill when the first live shot  comes up — a live shot we’ve seen a hundred times — but the sense of “wow” created by the buildup in the cards, and the reminder that this represents a unique sci fi heritage moment, is still something I can feel…..

Anyway, here it is….

Why John Carter is the Best Movie of 2012

by Zack Wall

I will begin this post by stating that I had no intention of seeing John Carter after viewing the first awful trailer that Disney posted on In fact, I don’t think any of their trailers piqued my interest enough to draw me into the theater and spend even a penny on this movie.

It looked strange, nothing made any sense, the movie posters were tacky, and I had better things to spend my time and money on. That is, until I saw this:

And then it all came together. Never mind the rest of the trailer after the initial text. John Carter was written in 1912? It inspired the creative minds of George Lucas, James Cameron, et al? Now I must know more. A quick Google search informed me that there are 11 books in the John Carter series, with the Disney movie being an adaptation of “A Princess of Mars”(which, had they named it that, I might have been more inclined to see it).

So, nearly one month after its debut, I made the 9.5 minute trip to my local theater and purchased a ticket. I wasn’t surprised to find myself the only patron in the John Carter screening, especially after reading about the nasty reception it debuted to. There was a fellow from the previous screening, and I’d guess his age to be somewhere in between 55-60. I asked him what he thought of the movie, and he said he’d enjoyed it quite a bit. He told me that he’d read the book series as a kid, and that the Disney version lived up to his expectations and beyond. Now my confidence in this movie was beginning to grow.

Read the rest at Zack’s blogsite

Oh …. and purists — pls,  “hands off” his comment that, his reaction to reading the book after seeing the movie was “the Disney movie was a near replica of the book”…….just let it go!  That’s just his enthusiasm showing!  Some of his other comments are insightful — like: “Almost every scene in the trailer had such a minor role in the film that I wonder if the person editing the trailer even watched the whole movie, or just skipped to the parts filled with CGI.”  That one is well said and may be true.


  • The ending of John Carter is one of the best on Film……think Ghost or even Gone with the Wind. Shock followed closely by overwhelming emotion overtakes you in the final glorious closing scenes. This is why we must go Back to Barsoom !

  • So, “Zack Wall” is a complete moron, absolutely incompetent in his critical analysis of this medium. Dotar, wtf? The guy is deliberately provocative… a quick look around his blog and an entry titled “John Carter is the Best Movie of 2012” says it all. The guy must be young to use the cheapest and most amateur marketing tactic in the book.

    I lose even more faith in sites like these when this stuff is reposted… You’re contributing to the problem, Dotar.

  • I’m the original poster of the blog, and I appreciate you re-posting my article! Your trailer was excellent in every way, and really showed the rich history behind John Carter. That inspired me to see the film in the first place, and I am truly glad I did so. Thanks again!

  • Stories like the one in that blog are EXACTLY why films like this are made. I am deeply moved by that account. It’s just an absolutely wonderful story of thinking little of something and then discovering the most overwhelming surprise on a deep personal level. And that’s where a lot of the magic of DJC comes from – people feel that they have discovered something precious that they didn’t expect. What a privilege for thejohncarterfiles to have contributed something as seemingly simple as a fan trailer that has come to mean so much! Well done!

  • You know, we really had a hard time coming up with it because the only material we had was in all the Disney trailers, and after having done one mash-up, what do you do. It was only when I thought — oh well, we can’t really make a trailer but we can make something that feels like opening titles with a montage after it, that we got started and found our footing. It’s pretty cool to see that it’s up to 135,000 views and is gradually catching up with the first trailer — because the first one had a much bigger opening surge of viewers. Heritage is “slow and steady” but people keep finding it. And I sure like it better than the other one….I think any ERB fan would.

  • Dotar, I want to thank you and whoever else helped you make the “Heritage” trailer. I was already a huge fan of John Carter, but the trailers made me think that the movie would be awful. Then I saw the “Heritage” trailer, and I was dead set on seeing the movie. Now, “John Carter” is in my top five all-time favorite movies. Thanks a lot, Dotar! That trailer was awesome!

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