Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Coming to a Theatre Near You…

I’m kind of new to the whole book trailer phenomenon, so perhaps I should pin an “It’s my first day!” ribbon to my shirt before diving into this heavily debated topic… Quite frankly, most of the ones I’ve watched seem as if they were put together by a fledgling film student trying to make a few bucks on the side (cue elevator music, fading letters and the sadly bottomless placid lake). Or there’s the dinner theater version. You know when a few of our filmmaker’s aspiring actor buds agree to don corsets and cravats for the historical romance.

Perhaps there are some better examples of the medium that I’ve yet to discover (feel free to enlighten me in the comments section), or maybe our beloved filmmaker has a surprise…he’s actually a wunderkind on the rise! However, in most cases, I’m still left wondering who’s actually sitting in from of the computer watching these trailers…besides the author and his/her friends (read: prisoners).

GalleyCat had an interesting post yesterday about a book trailer contest being run by Circle of Seven in partnership with Dorchester. The contest stipulates that the winning trailer will run in two movie theaters. Before you start clicking madly over to their website, note that the contest is for fans of Dorchester’s SHOMI imprint. According to the official rules, “Participants will create book trailers based on their favorite novel in the SHOMI series of modern-day fantasy fiction.” The contest is open to amateur and professional filmmakers, and to cap it all of, Stephen King will select the winning trailer. Enticing, no?

So is this a wave of the future? Will a 90-second trailer delve into the ADD-addled minds of the general population and hold fast long enough for them to eat a $9.00 bag of popcorn, $8.00 worth of Raisinets, sit through a 2 hour movie awash in CGI special effects and then drive to the nearest bookstore? And considering the often paltry publicity budget how fancy do authors have to get?

Slightly related, but more just for fun, check out a super-high-tech trailer for the upcoming movie, The Watchmen, below. This movie trailer pushed sales of the graphic novel it’s based on up to #2 on the Amazon Top Ten List. The trailer runs in front of the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight. Now how’s a bottomless lake supposed to compete with that?

Also, check out MJ Rose’s knowledgeable and STRONG opinion on book trailers HERE.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree. Maybe I've been working in the IT industry too long but slide shows just don't impress me.

I don't know if I don't have the attention span for it or what but I find I'm too impatient to sit through even a minute.

The slide shows are sometimes slow to load and are filled with images that almost fit the story being told.

And I find the use of different transition effects on each slide annoying. Perhaps I'm just too grumpy to properly appreciate them.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 12:48:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kristin Laughtin said...

I'm interested to see what kind of effects the Circle of Seven winner will have on book sales. Granted that it will only show in two theaters, the effects may not be that noticeable, but interesting nonetheless.

Heck, the Watchmen trailer made me want to go buy the book right away, rather than borrowing it from a friend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 1:26:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jia Gayles said...

Anon, I hear ya. I think we're all pretty spoiled when it comes to video imagery.

ITA Kristin. That trailer definitely did the job it was meant to do! Of course it cost a zillion dollars and has a movie tie-in...I'm interested in seeing the results from the contest too...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 2:37:00 PM EDT  
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Friday, July 25, 2008 at 10:10:00 AM EDT  

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