manuscript—okay, any manuscript. Signing the contract with a publisher. And seeing the cover for your novel. The amazing moment in my life right now is
making the book trailer for The Gathering.
Even though the filming doesn’t start until the end of the month, I’ve had the advantage of participating in the shoot for the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. You can see that here.
Go ahead, take a couple of minutes and check it out. Not surprisingly, I was lucky enough to enlist most of the same crew to put together my trailer.
Obviously, the first step in the process is to write a novel that’s going to be published. Then once you have that out of the way you’re going to need a script for the trailer. I felt comfortable doing that myself so I sat down with my good friend and Producer for the project, Amber Nichols, and together we worked out the storyboard. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted and Amber kicked back a lot of great ideas to improve it. I spent
the next day writing and revising the script and then sent it over to Wendell Brown. He has more experience with screenplay formats than I do and was able to make suggestions on how to punch it up.
This step was tremendously fun. Instead of daydreaming about how the movie version of my novel would look, I wrote it—in miniature form. Even better, I involved several of my friends and they shared in my vision of the story.
The next item on the list was to recruit the talent needed to film the trailer. This is where your networking efforts as an author really pays off. Amber was able to convince Douglas Monce to join The Gathering project as the Director, Brandon Gesimondo-Clark as Chief Camera, and Dee Astell as the Set Photographer. Having people who know how to properly set the lighting, manage the actors, and how to transform a location into exactly what the scene requires makes the difference between a professional quality video and an amateur attempt.
teenagers. In the back row you will see my eleven-year-old (who is a small eleven) and Amber’s aunt posing as teens.
Did you notice that they were not teens when you originally watched the trailer? Probably not, because Amber did a masterful job of making eight people, in two rows of chairs, look like a classroom. And the cameraman was able to really help that illusion along with the correct shooting setup.
One of the fun aspects of participating in a project like this is getting to see all the interesting behind-the-scenes bits. In the case of the classroom scene mentioned above that included having to scrounge enough textbooks for my daughter to sit on and Amber’s aunt putting her hair into a ponytail. Both actions were needed to make them look more like the teens they were meant to be portraying. And it worked, but I stood in the background and snickered at the thought of the two of them passing for teenagers.
Then there was the delightful banter between the two lead actors during the actual filming. Since their dialogue wasn’t going to be used in the trailer they had instructions to talk. No lines. No topics. Just talk. The lines that Sean Worsley delivered were hilarious. They would have made a phenomenal outtake.
In part two of this article I’ll discuss casting, filming, post production, and some alternate book trailer formats. See you then.