To Trailer or Not to Trailer?



Getting the camera ready to start filming the puppet for Hagwitch trailer

When I came across a book trailer for the first time a few years back my reaction was ‘We need mini movies to sell books now? You’re kidding, right?’

Hot on the heels of that first lot of slick publisher-produced book trailers came a crowd of author-produced trailers.

‘Nooooo,’ I said to Michael. ‘We come up with the ideas, write the books, illustrate the books, run around shops, schools and libraries talking about the books, and now we’re supposed to make trailers for them too? No way, enough already.’

But there’s no ignoring social media and its many possibilities for communicating with a wide audience about our work. For the past six months Michael and myself have been talking about which things we should engage with, which would be the best use our time. Do it all and no books get made.

We’ve decided to do stuff we feel we can do well and, most importantly, will enjoy doing. So we’ll keep doing school/library visits (but not so many that they become a blur) and keep on Face-booking (it’s already an established habit and a great way of keeping up with the children’s book world). We started this joint blog as we both love the idea of focusing on the visual, and keeping one short blog between the two of us has to be more fun and more do-able than keeping a long blog each… at least, that’s the theory!

And now here I am making trailers.

So far it has been really interesting and I’ve learnt loads. There’s been plenty of cursing and yelling at the computer while I grappled with the technical stuff – iMovie is not remotely intuitive – but I think I’ve probably sprouted a few new neural pathways in the process. Creatively, there are similarities to making picturebooks – blending words and images, stripping the idea back to it’s simplest, cutting, cutting and cutting again. The biggest difference is sound – the key element for adding atmosphere and holding the viewer to the screen.

Twitter? Maybe next year.

Niall (our neighbour and sound and music man) records Oisín (also a neighbour) narrating The New Kid trailer

Niall (our neighbour and sound and music man) records Oisín (also a neighbour) narrating The New Kid trailer

Anyone else making their own trailers out there?
What’s your favourite bit of ‘new medja’ – blogs? Twitter? Tumbler?