Here it is- my foray into movie trailer land- well book trailers to be precise. It’s to promote my new novel; Glory.
Making a trailer is quite a bit of fun, and I thought I’d share with you how I did it. To start I did a bit of a storyboard in my moleskine diary. This was a dozen or so thumbnails to figure out what kind of images I wanted to show. I also looked at Brian Falkner’s great book trailers to see what he did. Brian and I have very different subject matters we are dealing with; his is action/thriller and mine relationship/comedy so obviously I wanted different shots.
I downloaded royalty free images from the sxs photo library. I’ve used Photoshop to add to them- Queen Kong for instance (it’s pretty hard to find gorilla shots complete with lipstick and underwear). When I was happy with my images- some of them from my book cover (designed by the ever brilliant Vida Kelly), I googled about for a free movie maker. There is one that comes with Windows, but I found it kept crashing and tried Videospin instead. I found it quite workable. You can drag your pictures onto a timeline and add different transitions between them.
Next, the audio... my character Florence Bright is very fond of a track by a Pop Punk band The Screeching Weasels called Cool Kids. Now I was stuck with a dilemma- having bought the CD at one stage (o.k, o.k, it was my daughter that bought it), I looked for someone I could contact to ask if I could use it as the background music for my book promo. I kept coming to virtual dead ends, so decided to use it and credit them at the end of the video. Ben Weasel, if you ever find this article, contact me and I will give you some books! In the meantime, Florence, Haley and I love your music and play it with enthusiasm.
Videospin also has a selection of sound effects so I was able to add swan, cat and bird noises into the track. There are audio controls to you can change the levels, cut and paste and generally drive the family nuts with sounds of your editing. The cat was very confused by it all and kept looking at my laptop alternately with terror and delight.
Next- the voice-over, which I wrote with the superb input of my script editor, Maureen Crisp who had no idea she was one until I sent her a rough cut of my trailer. Being very close to your book has the added disadvantage of trying to put too much in there. Maureen pared it back to a suitable teaser. The rough cut had my voice pretending to be a 13 year old on it. Now I had to find a better, more authentic voice. Hannah Copeland, the very able daughter of a friend was persuaded and we did this over her dining table with my laptop, a skype headset and Audio Recorder for Free. I recorded it in one line chunks and pasted them into my audio track.
You can play and replay it back and change things about until it is done, adding titles and fades where appropriate, then click the option to make it into a movie and its done. I’ve posted it to You Tube and hope that it might make its way to a 12 year old audience somewhere. I’m still working on optimisation and I can see a few glitches, but for a first try and costing nothing but time, I’m happy!