Once you have filmed the trailer, sent all the extras home, and cleaned up the mess—you’re still not done. The post production crew needs to have a go at the footage before you have a trailer that will wow the masses and convince them to buy your book. This includes video editing, special effects, sound recording or re-recording, and sound editing.
At this point in the process, you should have a good amount of footage from which to make the trailer. Video editing will take the twelve shots of a table full of stately men in suits yelling at one another and put it together to form a scene of political chaos. Or at least that’s what I hope is going to happen. If you have video editing software and are moderately familiar with it, this is something you could do on your own. Fortunately, I have an expert on the process doing that for me.
Special effects. Everyone loves them. I don’t know very much about the process. Video editing software carries a number of effects the average person can use. They include stop motion, time lapse, and attaching text to an object on the screen. For The Gathering I needed a burning building. Amber Nichols and Doug Monce filmed downtown
Phoenixand will be inserting a special effect that makes one of the buildings looks like it’s on fire. Cool, huh?
There are some options as to how you put together the sound track. You could use the actual sound that is recorded at the time of the filming, but that will leave you with an amateurish quality of audio. You can re-record the dialogue and match it to the video. You can place the original audio in the
background and record a voice over track on top of it. And you can ignore any of the recorded sound all together and run a music track. We decided to do a bit of all of those. The original audio track will be used in the background, a soft music track will be placed on top of that, and then a voice over track will be
the primary sound that is heard.
If you’re selling a book you probably need to ad text that will tell your audience where they can buy it. Or you might want to roll some credits. In either case, this really falls under the category of special effects, but requires a different focus. Put your marketing cap on and decide what information you want the viewers to have after having just seen the trailer. I’m going to flash a message at the end of the last scene and then go to an
advertisement that has the cover image and the Amazon.com information so they
can order it.
A live action trailer is a lot of work and may include tasks that are beyond you and your circle of friends. That’s okay, there are alternatives.
Another method is to do a slideshow with text and background music. If you can find the right images it can result in a very effective trailer. For an example of this, check out the Wonder trailer. With the purchase of a reasonably priced video editing suite you could do this yourself.
A second option is to hire someone to put a trailer together for you. In some cases, it may be cheaper to go this route than pay for the software and spend the time to do it yourself. My friend, Craig Mazur, does this this at his site Top Rank Solutions. He will be doing my next book trailer. You can contact him here. Feel free to mention my name.
Whew, I think that covers it. I won’t be posting over the holidays, but watch for an interview the first week in January. I’ll be interviewing one of the characters out of my book. Until then . . . Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.