Hello everyone, and welcome back to my series on making a book trailer.
Previous parts are here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.
As with the previous posts, the content following are merely my thoughts on the trailer construction process. Feel free to use or snort with derision.
Today’s post is a closer look at the finished book trailer and along with some thoughts on its construction.
First, though, a brief recap of our trailer constraints:
- We’re creating a “Teaser” trailer
- Using PowerPoint only
- No video, music, animation or voice overs
- Working with stock images or some commissioned images
These constraints force us to craft more of a book trailer slideshow, but future posts will show how to increase its sophistication by using various tools.
So now, let’s continue where we left off.
The first slide, or scene, is the opening title.
I’ve chosen the more traditional linear sequencing I discussed in Part 3. The opening shot (slide in this case) clearly established the time period through the visuals used — sword, whip, daggers, parchment map, etc.
Context is a little thin — deliberately so. I have only provided the novel title and at this point it’s not entirely clear that “Western Watch” is a novel title. I may revisit this decision later by provided some brief additional explanatory text.
The second slide shows the time of day through the window and the partially open door — late afternoon. It also introduces the main character — Lady Merreth, though not by name. I’ve left Merreth’s name out of the entire trailer deliberately.
Her dialogue is text on the screen; eventually this will be provided by a voice actor, but because this is a very simple book trailer, it’s shown as text. I chose not to use speech balloons and thus, there could be some confusion as to whether this is Merreth speaking or a narrator. I recognized that and chose to accept it.
There’s a hint of conflict given that Merreth is wipe off her bloody dagger with a cloth.
In the third slide, Merreth looks up while still cleaning her blade. I moved the dialog line to the bottom of the screen because leaving where it was in the previous screen would make it “run over” the visually vertical line created by having the door ajar.
Merreth is a gritty noble, so she uses the word “shit”. I’m undecided if I will keep the profanity in future versions.
The fourth slide features a closer “shot” of Merreth. I couldn’t leave the text dialog at the bottom of the image because it would have to lie over top of Merreth. So moved it back to where it was in the second slide and split it between two lines so it would not run over the open door.
The fifth slide is a very tight shot of Merreth’s face with her looking at the dagger. It works well with the sixth slide as the only difference between them is her eyes. in the sixth slide she moves her gaze from the dagger to the “camera”. The short dialog pieces on each of the two slides adds what I hope is dramatic effect.
The seventh slide has Merreth standing and about to leave the room. An apparent minor inconsistency here is that her blade has vanished. It’s actually stuck back in the top of her right boot, and is not visible in this “shot”.
The eighth slide shows the major reveal of the trailer. Merreth has actually been sitting with three corpses. It’s strongly implied that she killed them. This reinforces the conflict hinted at earlier in the trailer, and introduces a bit of a mystery — who were these men, and why did Merreth kill them?
One thing I would change here is that I would not have Merreth cleaning her blade, as she has already done that inside. This was a major failing on my part when communicating with the artist. She did exactly what I asked her to, but I didn’t give enough thought to the elements in the final image.
The ninth slide is a repeat of the first, this time with additional text to indicate that yes, Western Watch, is indeed a novel.
Because Western Watch is not finished, there is no call to action in the trailer. Instead, the tenth slide provides the credits with my blog address and twitter handle. In addition, the artist’s Facebook page is provided.
As mentioned (repeatedly!) this trailer is very simple. It is suitable as a posting on SlideShare, which can then be embedded into a blog post. One advantage of having it on SlideShare is that any web links provided will work.
Here is the SlideShare trailer:
What do you think?
Thanks for reading, and I will see you again soon.