Over the past few months, I’ve been gathering pictures and ideas to create a book trailer for my fantasy novel, Shadows in the Stone. I’ve watched about two dozen trailers of various degrees of quality to get an idea of what others are doing. Even the poorest was interesting and held my attention, which meant they worked. The high quality trailers were elaborate with a cast, unique music and played like a movie trailer.
My hope is my trailer falls somewhere in the middle; it’s my first, and although I see a few things that need to be changed, I don’t have the experience to fix the problems…yet.
The images I used were taken with my camera in places across Atlantic Canada. You might recognise a spot or two. I tried to use images that didn’t say, this was taken in 2012. I accomplished this by using pictures taken at historical places or generic things that are much the same today as they were three hundred years ago: trees, grass, horses, swords.
I couldn’t afford a professional model, so I hired an amateur by the dime. The face and hand in the trailer belong to a young fellow who aspires to be an actor…or a comedian. He’s doing well as a comedian now, so who knows. We made a deal where he gets ten cents for every view of the book trailer on YouTube up to $20. Then we’ll renegotiate his contract. He’s looking forward to the next trailer, so he can make even more money.
I used Ulead software to manipulate the model’s face and give it a more fantasy appearance. The software is wonderful, but using a mouse is difficult, so buying a ‘pen’ mouse is in the future.
The hardest step in making the book trailer was getting the music. That was until iStockPhoto was recommended. They provide music for free or a reasonable price.
Once all the pieces were on the hard drive—images, words and music—I set to work in Windows Live Music Maker to assemble the trailer. First, I created a slide of each image. Then I went back and added the words. The next step was the Title Page and Credits. With all the pages in the right order with the proper text, the next step was working the animation.
I found it easier to go through the entire movie and set the intro for each slide first and then go back and add the animation for each slide, zooming in or out or to the side. I had to tweak a few things like the length of the credits and then move some of the words which flowed into the next slide when seconds were removed.
The last thing I added was the music. You’ll want to do this, too, because it doesn’t matter how great the music, you don’t want to hear it every time you test drive the animation. You’ll hear it enough while you’re making sure it all runs smoothly.
After a few plays to see if it looked okay, I uploaded it to YouTube where the world can see it.
Now that I’ve got the book trailer bug, I’ve started assembling images for the next project, Pockets of Wildflowers.
To view the Shadows in the Stone trailer (and earn an aspiring comedian 10 cents), visit YouTube.
Have you made a trailer for your book? Do you have plans for one?