Book Trailers

Last year, I was approached by a friend and author, pen name “RJ Patterson”, to consider producing a “book trailer” for one of his recurring spy thriller series.

He sent me a link to an example that neither of us liked – it played like a teaser for a B-movie, complete with cheesy acting, uninspired camera-work, and cringe-inducing music. He asked if I could do something better.

The underlying issue I had was not the production value, but the approach. A book is a different form of media, and treating its “trailer” as a movie violates that precious difference – where narrative film focuses on the visuals of the character, the written word focuses on the internal workings of the character.

I wanted to figure out how to bridge that gap respectfully. Obviously, the piece must be visual, but I wanted it to be driven by the author’s own words, so we had Mr. Patterson write an internal monologue. We wanted to do a 30-second and 60-second version for social media advertising, so we kept the script to one short paragraph.

After Mr. Patterson delivered his script, we connected with a voice-over artist based in L.A. he had utilized for the audio-books. Next up came the shoot – a very simple concept, I just wanted a slight slide up onto a bloody face with a swinging light (a simple LED camera light swung by hand from a ladder). Fantastic Boise Film Actor Scott Grady brought the mood, and Amanda Woods provided the make-up and fake blood, while Jerry and Jennifer Oates with O2 Photography allowed us to utilize their studio.

This shoot was an important piece for the future of Flying Fedora Film, as it was the first time I worked with Brian McGahuey of Pixlbrain, who is now our go-to Director of Photography and VFX consultant. It also was the first of three book trailer contracts that followed.

Hopefully, in 2018, we get to do a few more of these.

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