I already showed the only two Act III policy trailers that exist back in part one, but I think this time a repeat is validated. Why? I found the guy who made 'em.

Randall Blaum was vice president of marketing for Act III Theatres. He produced and directed both trailers you see here, as well as several Dolby Digital trailers and one THX. One thing he informed me of was that I got the order of the trailers wrong in part one: despite its simpler appearance, the sattelite trailer came out in 1996, after the hovercar trailer (the real name of which was apparently "Red Car." The sattelite trailer's real name is "Spaceship.")

So....if Red Car came first, Randall, tell us what you know about it.

The Red Car trailer was created using the same software that was used for the effects in SeaQuest DSV and Babylon 5. We used over 30 processors in Portland and other locals to create the trailer and it took over 6 months to produce.

Ah, I know exactly what you're talking about. Video Toaster, correct? Was Video Toaster also used for the other trailer?

Toaster was used for the Red Car, but not Spaceship.  I do not remember which program was used for that trailer.

Is it true the Red Car trailer had to be recalled because someone made the car's license plate say "666"? When this originally appeared on YouTube someone swore this was the original reel where that is rumored to have happened, but it's too fuzzy to make anything out.

No, not recalled...  Here's the story...  The guy who created the trailer lived in Gresham, which has a 666 pre-fix for their phone numbers, hence the 666 in the trailer.  It was never on the license plate, but in the older version of the trailer you can see the 666 on three doors across the street behind the car in the opening scene.  On the car's license plate you will find my initials, RLB.

As the car flies into the city and the "City Center" sign zooms into the picture, the sky suddenly changes from day to night, as if someone suddenly realized "Oops, this is supposed to be a night scene." Why does that really happen?

If you look at the trailer closely you will see that in the beginning of the trailer it is daytime and then when the car flies from the street towards the city the sky fades naturally from daylight to darkness.  It was designed as an interesting transition and to give warmth and depth to the flying scene, and we wanted the city to be dark so you could see all the lights and effects.

If you go back to page two of the first Policy Trailer Jamboree, in the middle, you can see a trailer for a small operation called Brenden Theaters that used a very similar setup to Red Car. Many elements are the same. Have you ever seen this before? I was wondering if there was any connection.

Hmmm.   How to stay away from the lawyers....  Suffice it to say that when I made the agreement with the trailer company to produce the work for Act III I did not make the project "work for hire" which meant Act III owned the rights.  With that being said, you can find part of the Act III Red Car Trailer in several feature presentation trailers.  Never made that mistake again... 

"Spaceship" seems kind of abstract--floating satellites with logos on them against a plain black background. What was the thinking here?

This trailer was designed to promote THX and Digital sound, more than just the visuals.  At the time Act III was the world's leader in THX and Dolby Digital installations and we wanted to promote the killer sound systems and sound technology.   It never fully reached the potential from the visual standpoint we wanted, but sure sounded great in our theatres.

Maybe I didn't go to Act III theaters enough at that point to see it then, but this seemed like a late 80's trailer to me. I don't remember the slogan "A Hard Act To Follow" and I find your statement that it was made to promote digital sound a little puzzling because it sports the Dolby Stereo logo, not the Dolby Digital one.

There were actually two versions of that trailer made, one for the Digital theatres and one for the Dolby Stereo Theatres.

Is it this simple due to the limitations of CGI at the time?

Actually, no.  It was designed to be very simple to focus people's attention on the soundtrack.

Anything else you can say about it that other people might not know?

Many people think that this was the "first" trailer for Act III, but it actually was created after the award-winning Red Car Trailer.  It was also made in conjunction with the Coming Soon trailer and only lasted a short time before KKR/Hicks Muse bought Act III and merged it with Regal Cinemas.

I also exec produced the THX Egypt, Dolby Digital Egypt, Dolby Digital Canyon, and Dolby Stereo Temple trailers.

The last time I went into a theater with the Act III label in operation was in 1997 for Disney's Hercules, and I didn't get the "Hard Act To Follow" trailer you've mentioned was running at that time. Instead I got your Dolby Temple trailer, only with the Act III logo appearing at the end instead of the Dolby logo (it was still on the pedestal, just not on what followed). I also got a short "Coming Attractions" bumper before then where the words were carved into a mountain. I'm pretty sure all this happened. Know anything about it?

The "A Hard Act to Follow" was a tag line I developed and it appeared on many trailers and ads. The Dolby Temple trailer was a joint project between Dolby and Act III, hence the addition of the Act III logo on Temple.  It was a way for all of us to save money and still play one of the only trailers ever created for Dolby Stereo theatres (Dolby did have one other Stereo trailer that I know of).  As for the Coming Attractions trailer, it was part of the Canyon trailer program and was to be used when the THX / Dolby Dig trailer played.  It was retired shortly after it launched as it never really worked as well as we'd hoped.


Okay, I take back every blasphemous thing I said previously about Front Row Joe. In Part 1 I was cursing his feline posterior for buying out and subsequently ruining my favorite cinema chain, Century Theatres. Some of that bitterness is still there, but drat it, I can't hate someone who puts on a show like this. Joe used to rock!

Look at the dude go! How can you not love this? Texas-based Willming Reams Animation produced one Cinemark trailer per year through the late 80's and early 90's. This is their 1991 output, and my favorite. Joe used to talk apparently; he does no such thing now. Neither does Popcorn Penny, his girlfriend who is introduced for the first time in this trailer. "I've got tickets to CINEMARK!" is the only line she's ever spoken.

Joe was introduced in 1988 with this trailer, produced by Willming Reams and Dolbied at Skywalker Sound. Also introduced are Clyde and Elton, notorious violators of theater rules, who'd be the villains of each piece for several years. Elton's the fat one.

An alternate version of this trailer was created for the holiday season.

The 1989 edition covers the same ground, only with a slightly different tune. Doo-wop!

1990 brought on the mention of a video arcade and the dropping of hot dogs from the snack bar. This was also the last two-minute trailer; they began trimming them after this.

Hence, 1992's was only 45 seconds long (and Joe broke the doo-wop tradition by singing a Latin tune instead). The female singers were called the "Little Friskies," though I doubt they could officially copyright that name.

All the early Cinemark trailers were put onto YouTube by the company that produced them, as a promotional effort to call attention to their new DVD containing all the trailers they have ever made.

A DVD of these slick spots might not be bad. But for $50? Not in this lifetime...

One more: apparently something somebody snagged off a Cinemark screen in a foreign country with a camera phone. 2-D Joe no longer exists in America; like pretty much everything else, he's been turned into a computer-generated character, and with the limitations involved has become more lifeless than he once was in the 80's. The newest Cinemark trailer features this Joe (and a CGI Penny too) but it doesn't actually appear on film. Nowadays the Cinemark policy trailer is inserted at the end of the FirstLook garbage beamed in via satellite. The only way anyone will save it is through this crude secret camera method.