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How to Avoid Spoilers 101

Spider-Man: Homecoming was a great movie. After not watching any trailers, clips or promotional videos for the movie I was satisfied. The truth is I haven’t watched superhero movie trailers for a while now.

Contains spoilers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

Why avoid spoilers?

This decision was a direct reaction after the “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer #2” came out which gave away the entire structure and key points of the movie. It showed off Doomsday, the team up between Batman and Superman, dream sequences along with other story points that didn’t need to be shown. I was simply bummed. I didn’t understand how after the best trailer of all time at SDCC 2015 it was followed up with this dud.

Sure, we all expected Batman and Superman to team up with Wonder Woman by the end of the movie, but seeing and hearing makes a huge difference. If I were to tell you Bruce, Clark and Diana would team up, you would simply know that with minor predictions about the plot. If I showed you a scene of them having a cool pose together you not only know the setting, but you naturally start theorising when the scene takes place with much ease. Not only that, but you already have the tone, feeling and possible execution given away.

Hypothetical example: if I had shown you the clip of Wonder Woman saving Batman before the film came out as opposed to just telling you, you not only know when she makes her cinematic debut, but you also much easily connect the dots about her scene’s relation to the plot, etc. Not watching trailers for movies doesn’t necessarily make them better, but it guarantees a more interesting experience. This applies to comic books as well. I hate when big publishers give away the ending of an event by showing you marketing promos of what comes after before the event is over (or worse, start telling follow-up stories before your kick off event ended). So since San Diego Comic-Con is right around the corner, I am here to help you decide whether or not to watch these trailers.

What do I loose by skipping trailers?

You definitely end up missing out on the hype of it all and being part of a hype train is the most fanboy thing a fanboy can do. It gets our geek juices flowing as we talk about what we just witnessed and by not watching any of the trailers we limit that opportunity. To get close to the best of both worlds you could begin by following the approach I started with in mid-2016. I watched every official trailer (not leaked) during San Diego Comic-Con 2016. Then and at New York Comic-Con would be the only times of the year when I watched anything about these films. The reason why I would do that was because the hype around this time of the year is unimaginable, and when hype is real people forget to think of others. People easily spoil things in headlines or feature images because they are so excited.

What do I gain by skipping trailers?

The more I became aware of how much detail is being given away, the happier I was to miss out. I am actually considering not watching any of the superhero trailers during this year’s SDCC. After seeing the excellent movie I sat down and watched all 3 trailers for Spider-Man: Homecoming. I was shocked to find out the entirety of the movie, other than the key reveals, was given away. If someone asked you if you watched the movie bluffing about seeing it would be pretty darn easy

Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Logan were all movies I watched without seeing any footage. Again, after going back to watch these previews it made feel so much better, in fact, it made me realize how dumb trailers are to begin with. Once you stop watching them you begin to stop caring about missing out on the hype culture. You begin to judge the movie for what it is at the exact spot of your first view. For Wonder Woman I saw a sneak peak and the first trailer. If I had seen any more the parts when Diana is in her most badass scene of the movie, would have been not as impressive. Before the movie came out I wasn’t sure if Ares was even the actual villain.

It also opens up your time. Tell me if this upcoming part sounds familiar. Every time I viewed trailers I would then spend my time: engaging with others as to what we just saw, writing blogs about them, watching each trailer 2 more times, listening others talk about them, watching other people react to them and so forth. Daily, I would watch a YouTube channel that focused on movie news called Collider Movie Talk. The show alone was an hour long and that’s not mentioning the other videos they had going. That was only one channel. As you can see by not watching a single trailer you end up saving a bunch of hours for stuff you haven’t done before. Instead of spending my time watching people talk about a trailer, I could instead start reading the comics that these films will be based on. After “missing out” you really stop having a dilemma as to watch the trailers/videos or not.

Any obstacles along the way?

One thing you have to keep in mind is that unseeing anything from these movies is impossible. Every time I go to a theatre it’s a matter of life or death because of the damn stinking previews! Before a movie bunch of trailers play. At times you start watching a trailer thinking it’s some random flick until you realize it’s a superhero film in the 5 second mark. So already, there, you saw a bit of the movie, but you can’t give up. Stay away from places that will talk heavily about the movie like dedicated Reddit pages, blogs about it, etc.

Also when I scroll through my Twitter feed I find a ton of unwanted info (I already know what happens in the Infinity War trailer because Entertainment Weekly wrote it in their headline [I HATE YOU]). So when you’re a spoiler dodger you have to be prepared to fail. It might sound like what you are doing is all for nothing, “I already saw the first 10 seconds of the Avengers trailer, I guess I’ll just watch the whole thing”, NO! Know that you only lost the arm wrestle, but will win the war. Seeing 5-10 seconds of footage is nothing compared to watching over 6:00 minutes (combined trailers) of the movie.

You also have to keep in mind where you live and when you are planning to see the movie. If you live in U.S.A. aka the King of the Movie culture, you may wanna be more careful around the movie’s release than you would be in let’s say Canada. Before Captain America: Civil War came out (back when I watched trailers) they would play ads of the movie during the commercial breaks and show snippets of the airplane scene. A week after the movie’s release the same sort of scenes were being played, but with much MUCH more detail. To my shock they full on gave away the money shots such as Ant-Man becoming Giant Man, and the iconic Cap vs. Iron Man pose stripped from the comics. I remember having my jaw dropped after seeing that TV spot and thinking “I feel bad for whoever was planning to see the movie a week later and happened to run into this.”

In Canada they never play TV ads that would give away more than the trailers showed because the movie culture there isn’t as massive as in States although, still big. Therefore, less “come and watch our movie” TV spots therefore, less spoilers. Keep in mind Americans, do try to steer away from places where heavy marketing starts happening for a film. We can all agree the best place to live in is Australia or New Zealand (or UK) when it comes to topics like these. They get to watch all MCU movies a week in advance of the West.

What are the strategies?

Most common scenario to come across a trailer would be online. It is also the hardest place to stay away from any leakage getting to you. Not watching the trailer is one thing, but by chance running into people raving about it or douche bags spoiling it on purpose is way beyond your own capability. Believe me, there are way too many asshats who spoil things in the thumbnails, titles and comments just to gain clicks, get money, or be downright stupid (*ehem*FakeReactionsCast2*ehem*). The second most common place where you will run into trailers is the movie theatere.

“What do you do when a superhero trailer comes on in the theatre?” Here are the 2 main things you do. You leave the screening room, and you wait in the aisle or completely outside of the auditorium’s entrance. This won’t be a problem for normal countries that have reserved sitting, but unless you live in America where you can’t assign yourself a seat after your purchase your ticket then, you would have to leave a jacket in the spot of your seat (don’t forget your wallet and phone). It helps when you’re with family or friends where you can leave right away without a thought.

But if that is too much for you then you might have to go with the more embarrassing route which at least includes zero moving. You close your eyes and quickly start pressing your tragus in and out of your ear so that sound is very difficult to make it. You’ll pretty much be unable to make out any sound incoming from the trailer. Don’t believe me? Try it now. *waits* See! Simply covering your ears will not work. You are guaranteed to look like a crazy person, some people will be making sure you’re not having a seizure (JK, they won’t, they don’t care about you), but given how you’re sitting in a dark room no one will remember your face. I know these sound childish, paranoid, stupid, but that’s how crazy I am for comic book culture. Crazy enough to make myself look stupid in public so, it helps if you’re family or friends are around especially when you do the 2nd part which I find myself doing more and more often. Except don’t do the second one on dates. Just don’t.

What about the people who want to watch the trailers?

Everyone who doesn’t care about spoilers and wants to watch trailers, LISTEN UP! This part is as important if not more important than most of these tips I gave. Throughout my life I have seen YouTube comment sections in which people would spoil things for others. For example in the comment section of a Avengers: Age of Ultron review someone wrote “Quicksilver dies”. Even though I already saw the film there were a bunch of justified curse words being thrown at the guy from other commenters. What I would always do is, what I like to call, tell people the Spoiler Parasite. You see, under this exact comment I would write “Lol. Nice joke/fake spoiler, actually Hawkeye dies.” You see what this does is feed off the original spoiler and maybe makes the “victim” of the situation think that the guy who said “Quicksilver dies” was lying and that you were the one to actually give away the spoiler just to disprove the guy.

Who would believe that reverse psychology, right? Well, given how people on the internet constantly try to prove each other who is more right, no one would think of me as someone trying to disapprove “the fake spoiler” even though it would mean “spoiling it” for someone else. Also, the internet can be a nasty place so a person thinking a stranger would try to lie to them so that they wouldn’t be spoiled is unheard of. I hope I was able to explain this part properly since the topic is kind of meta. What it comes down to is basically using their subconscious thoughts against them, to help them.

If you think the “victim” will read trough the reverse psychology just say, “Actually Quicksilver didn’t die. Someone else did, but I won’t spoil it for you.” Just try to be aware of other people and if you see an ass hole spoiling something the worst thing you could do is call out the ass hole for spoiling something. No one needs to see how amazing you are for pointing out someone is the bad guy for spoiling something. Instead actually try helping and twisting the negativity into something positive and that actually helps. In other tips, if you are willing to watch the trailers try keeping in mind the hardcore fans who didn’t watch it by not giving away the trailer details in the titles/feature image. Also don’t forget those spoiler warning BEFORE the spoiler is said (don’t name the spoiler and then say “Whoops! Spoiler alert. Heh, my mistake.”).

Did this help?

I hope this was informative enough to help out those who wanna stay away from spoilers and those who wanna avoid spoiling. Last word is life moves on if something will get spoiled. I am obsessive over spoilers, but I learned to take it easy when someone in the real world spoils it. I don’t forgive media outlets though. They should know better. Entertainment Weekly is already on my “Destroy List” and you don’t get on it just like that.

Avoiding spoilers will be very interesting since Avengers: Infinity War is coming soon. I will definelty tell everyone my experience with that. Man, that will be impossible to avoid which is why I have a plan with how to deal with spoilers for that specific movie. Going in blind for the BIGGEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME is going to be a very interesting turn out and it will be very much worth it.

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Olaf Lesniak View All

I am a comic book geek! I love comic books! #1 fan right here.

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