Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Making a Book Trailer

I had always wanted to create a book trailer. I’d seen others do it and thought if they could do it, so could I. Microsoft Movie Maker came loaded on my computer, so why not give it a try? I figured out how it worked by trial and error and a tutorial, then made an outline of the story, something I don’t do with my books. I’m strictly a pantser with an idea of where I’m going. A vague idea.

So which book did I want to present in visuals? It really was a no-brainer—Hooked.
It’s the book in which I see my characters more clearly than the others. Plus, the story lends itself to a trailer. Hooked is the book I chose for my first, and last, effort at writing a screenplay. I even entered it in a competition, getting nowhere, but it was another challenge I wanted to try. I thought it would make a fun movie, because if you have a certain sense of humor, parts of the book are funny, and there’s enough suspense to keep today’s impatient viewer interested. I cast Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in the leads. Yeah, right!

I began the trailer where the book starts, with Lincoln Walsh, NYPD sex crime investigator, seeking out Tawny Dell, retired call girl extraordinaire, on a South Carolina beach to hook her into going undercover in a high-class New York City brothel to find out who was killing prostitutes. If she doesn’t comply, he’ll turn her over to the IRS for avoiding to pay taxes on all that money she stashed overseas. Yes, it’s blackmail. He has her over a barrel with no way out other than to do what he wants. I described Linc as looking like an old Roman coin, and Tawny would stop traffic even in the land of beautiful people.

It’s not unusual in the high-priced world of New York call girls for Tawny to know the owner of the brothel, ex-Wall Street hedge fund manager and first-class letch, Benny Cooper. He’d been trying to hook her into his harem for years.
Tawny also knows of his wife, Eileen, another retired call girl who latched on to her Pretty Woman millionaire.
And while Tawny’s doing undercover work for the police, who should turn up at the brothel? Her old client, Mario Russo, mob boss of one of New York’s five boroughs. Complicated enough?

I used four different sources for my photos and found a great site for the music to pull it all together. The music ran a little short, but it was dramatic and conveyed danger. All are listed at the end of the trailer.

I made a few mistakes, but I didn’t realize it until it played a number of times and people mentioned it. I should have let the review copy run a little longer. One of them zips by too fast, but the viewer can always Pause the video. Two other mistakes I should have seen without help. I won't mention what they are. I didn't want to correct them because I’d lose all my views on YouTube. The whole trailer cost me just under $100, but it took about three days to make, which included searching for the perfect photos. Watch the video here:

30 comments :

  1. Ha! What fun. The music had me going! I'll have to think about trying this myself - Good job!

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    1. It was the perfect piece of music, if a little short for the video. Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. agree, good choice of music! Not sure video trailers are my thing. Think I'll stick to the writing :)

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    1. I'm so visual. That's how I write too, so for me it was something to try. I'd do it again. Not everything is for everyone. We pick and choose, or not. I need to get back to writing. Too many distractions lately.

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  3. I wonder if anyone watches them, but I do love a good book trailer. It's more fun than writing the book.

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    1. I do have a few views, but I think most of them are mine. :-)

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  4. Wow! Polly. Good job. Loved it. You are talented on two fronts.
    Jackie Weger
    No Perfect Secret

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    1. Not sure about that, Jackie, but I keep trying. Sometimes it's just to see if I can do it. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. Nice trailer! And thank you for sharing some background on how you came about producing it.

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    1. You're welcome, Florence. I had planned this post for last month, but a little thing called Kindle Scout took precedence.

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  6. I pinned it on my Coming Attractions Pinterest board (which is all book trailers). Congrats!

    https://www.pinterest.com/tinawh/coming-attractions-the-literary-version/

    Also, do you mind sharing your image sources? Those are great photos!

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    1. Thanks for the feature, Tina. I'll have to look at the others.

      All my sources are on the very last scene of the trailer, but the music ends too soon, and I'm sure people viewing it think it's over. The photos came from Dreamstime, Fotolia, and Canstock.

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  7. I made book trailers for my Craig Rice biography and for my Erle Stanley Gardner bio. I'm thinking about getting one together for the upcoming Ellery Queen bio as well.

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    1. How about some links, Jeff. I'd love to see them.

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  8. Great trailer, Polly. I wonder if I’m the only one who enjoys trailers, but watches them only AFTER I’ve finished a book. I don’t like to have character images in my mind when I read, and I avoid visuals (and books with too much physical character description). Probably has something to do with being a kinesthetic learner. I have to be doing something to stay engaged—even if it’s only creating character images in my head while I read.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Thanks, VR. Someone who read the book said the photos were perfect and exactly like they pictured the characters. But I understand wanting to put your own visuals to a reading. I agree. Thanks for your post.

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  9. I've always wondered about making a trailer - might give it a go sometime but I think i'll need help with the technology.

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    1. It just takes a some concentration, Mary. Trial and error and a plan. You can do it.

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  10. Darn, my speakers didn't work properly so I couldn't hear the music but I love the visuals. Great stuff and thanks for your letting us know of your experience .

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    1. Thanks for watching. I do love the music, so I hope you get a chance to listen to the video another time.

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  11. Thanks, Pete. Thanks for watching.

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  12. Wow! Very nice indeed!! It sure grabs your attention. Well done, Polly!

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    1. Thanks, Lorrie. Grabbing attention is the goal, so I'm glad about that. Glad you stopped by.

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  13. Terrific trailer, Polly! Well done - and the music makes it!

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    1. Thanks, Frossie. I was lucky to find that piece because it matched so well. Appreciate your stopping by.

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  14. A great trailer like this would arouse my interest in a book I might otherwise pass up. It also makes me think I should investigate the possibility of doing a trailer or two myself -- even with my lack of any smattering of technological prowess. (I might even convince my composer son to create for me exactly the right music to make it compelling.) Well done, Polly -- both the trailer and this post. You're an inspiration.

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  15. Thanks, Linda. I tried to get my film major son to do a trailer for me, and never succeeded. He wanted to film actual people, which is really unnecessary for a compelling trailer. It would be fantastic, but not worth all the trouble for the limited viewing one gets. I'm sure you can do it. It just takes a lot of trial and error and perseverance. Good luck.

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  16. Wow, I really like the trailer, Polly. I have only done one, with the help of my son, and I have wanted to do more. I'll have to try Movie Maker.

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  17. Thanks, Maryann. I think I can do the next one a little better, maybe. At least I hope I won't make the same mistakes. I have no doubt you can do a good one.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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