November can’t come soon enough for fans of the Harry Potter universe, as with it will come David Yates’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald– the second in a series of Harry Potter prequels with screenplay by J.K. Rowling. The film’s final trailer, created by Statement Advertising in Los Angeles, makes brilliant work of music both new and old and takes my pick for Trailer Placement of the Month.
Opening with dramatic dialogue and sinister character introductions, a soft bell plays a simple melody as a ticking clock keeps time. Cue the Warner Bros logo, and we’re off! The clock doubles its tempo as a solo violin enters with a simple yet agitated rhythm. A string section joins as the volume builds and our second act takes form. Now the violin has exploded into a ferocious run of winding arpeggios as the film’s world is built around us- heroes and villains emerge as the stakes of their journey are revealed. The clock is now a pounding percussion section aided by a full orchestra in delivering rhythmic hits that excite the viewer and accentuate the conflicts at hand. Finally the melodic motif from the intro returns epically orchestrated as we hit the third act, now fully immersed in the Fantastic Beasts’ world as the trailer reaches its conclusion.
Now, while this trailer didn’t license pop music or anything you might hear on the radio, it does call upon an especially iconic piece of music- “Hedwig’s Theme.” The classic John Williams creation that appeared in all eight Harry Potter films serves as our melodic motif for the first and third acts. The first seven notes of the theme greet us in a lengthened and slightly modified rhythm at the beginning before returning for the finale in an anthemic and similarly augmented orchestral arrangement. With Fantastic Beasts taking place within Potter’s very own world, it is only fitting that his own beloved music be present in this film’s final trailer.
See Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in theatres November 16th.