Saturday, April 2, 2011

Building a book trailer


I’ve decided there is never an end to the things that need doing in getting a book published and out there to the world. My latest chore is developing a book trailer, and when I began – just days ago – I really didn’t have a clue about how to do it.

I actually thought about having a trailer some months ago when I saw the one for Alice and Richard’s book The Art of Aging. And then when two of my Lucky Press author colleagues came out with theirs, I decided it was time for me to get a move on. And since I’m a me-too kind of person, I didn’t want to be left out. Their books will be released after mine, and their trailers are already on YouTube.

So I asked my son Ben if he would work on it with me – he of course with his acting talent and his experience in writing, directing, and producing short films – he was the logical choice. And like a good son, he said he’d be glad to help – which really meant doing most of the design and production work.

We met on Thursday and talked about a script. Obviously for a piece about two minutes long, not much of a script is needed, but the details need to be thought through carefully. I brought a review copy of my book, and while we ate our burger bowls at The Counter in Marina del Rey, we each marked photos to include in the trailer – my idea is to have a background that is a montage of the photos that tell the story. Ben had the brilliant idea and some words to typify a beginning, middle, and end of the story.

And since Ben is in the business of making films he felt he could call upon a couple of his friends to help out. One of his friends has the skills and access to the equipment needed to produce the piece. And although I had originally thought that either Ben or his wife Marissa, also an actor, would do the voice over, Ben called another one of his friends who is more experienced. Both agreed to help out. Wow, am I lucky.

Then yesterday I spent the afternoon shipping off music and pictures to my two producers who worked into the wee hours of the night to come up with a draft. Needless to say I sent them more than they used, but they definitely picked out the right stuff. Their initial product is beautiful. No voice over yet – I’m still deciding on what the voice will say – but the look is beautiful and very heartfelt. Of course throughout I’ve had the help of wonderful photographers whose work is in the book and will be shown on the video. Plus I took a few of the photos myself.

Picking the music is another issue. I decided early on to have Paul’s music in the background, and I mistakenly sent my producers the wrong tracks. So for the draft Ben and Frank used one that wasn’t composed by Paul and that had a lot of saxophone playing besides Paul’s piano. Today I spent some time listening to what I think were his latest compositions and sent that off. Hopefully it won’t be hard to take out the music from the draft piece and include another piece. My goal is to have only Paul at the piano in the background.

Another one of my original ideas was to have a couple poem excerpts read as the photos and music plays on screen. But, seeing how short two minutes are, I’m reconsidering. Perhaps it will be statements that typify the beginning, middle, and end of the story. I have a few days left to decide on that.

I’ve discovered a process has been associated with each step of my book’s creation. I drew my material from my journal entries, using my poem manuscript as an organizing tool. I did my revisions and reviews based on the processes I learned by working proposals in the aerospace company: revise, review, revise, review until done; storyboard the entire manuscript, and save every hard and soft version until the book is published. And by the time this trailer is finished I’ll have a process to share about doing that. In the meantime there’s a lot of lessons to be learned. 

1 comment:

Angela Felsted said...

What a lot of work to make a book trailer. I can't even imagine that.