A year ago – just about exactly – I undertook another element in the pre-launch festivities of Wish: the making of a book trailer. For the uninitiated, this is exactly what it sounds like: a video preview of a book, bringing in some movie elements and style, some narration, perhaps a sneak peek at the author’s mug. The publisher uses it on their websites, it can give a good feel for the tone of the book to book sellers, and some will even play trailers in loops right in the store. They can be beneficial.
I’ve heard a lot about TV and movie production – that hours and hours of footage are shot to get a minute of on-screen film, that the real work is in the editing, etc. – so I wasn’t totally naïve when I set about figuring how to do this. And without the budget for hiring a company in town, I was left to a borrowed camera and (thankfully) a tripod, and whatever video editing software came on my computer.
Whoever told me the “hours of footage + hours of footage = one minute of finished” equation lied.
Try: “days of takes and retakes + days of takes and retakes = one minute of finished product + a family driven bonkers by shouts of ‘Quiet!’ ‘Rolling!’ ‘Cut!’ and ‘Put the dog in the bedroom!’ raised to power of no sleep.”
I thought writing an 80,000-word novel and revising it about the same number of times was difficult.
Bad lighting. Talking too slowly. Talking too quickly. Talking too much. Weird eye contact. Bad sound. Giggling. Bloopers. Pretty much the standard do-I-really-look-and-sound-like-that-on-video-oh-my-word-this-is-terrible-my-book-is-now-doomed feeling. All the time.
My dad likes to crack about his having a face for radio and a voice for print. So… thanks, Dad.
But looking through some stock video clips and listening to stock music, trying to decide what might look the best and sound the best, editing and splicing and building and dissolving to black… this amateur movie-making actually turned out to be kinda, sorta fun. Half-a-bottle of antacids, sure, but fun. Kinda.