One Writer’s Journey

April 16, 2014

Book Trailers: What You Need to Know

MoodLast week, I blogged about book trailers — are they something you still need to do or are they yesterday’s news?  If you want your work in school libraries, librarians love trailers.  They play them for their students.  Sharyn Murray created the amazing trailer for The Water Castle.  Here, she answers questions put to her by the author of the book, Megan Frazer Blakemore.

Okay, you’re going to have to follow this link to it because I can’t show you the video here.  It is the second video on the page.  The first video is the booktrailer for The Water Castle.

In the video, Murray explains that when you make a trailer, you already know the story (the book).  Your job in the video is to figure out how to depict this story in another format.

If you are a print story teller, one of the reasons that video feels tricky is that the layers in video are different than the layers in a print story.  We work with plot and subplot, theme and symbolism, mood and detail.  A videographer works with visuals (moving, stills, on-screen text) and sound.  Sound can take the form of special effects (a door slamming), music or voice.

Both the visuals and the sound need to work together to hook your reader.  One way to do this, and it is the method Murray used in the Water Castle trailer is to rely on mood or emotion.  She goes for spooky and a bit ominous.  Visually, she does this with the pen-and-ink images, the bold text (Believe)  and the smoke.  But she also uses sound to build this same effect, pullying together music, the main voice over (talking about the story) and then the spooky background voices.

Whatever mood or tone you go for you in your trailer, you need to use as many layers as possible to firmly hook your viewer and make them want to become your reader.




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