Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Book Trailer


The book trailer Evil Editor produced as an auction item in the Brenda Novak auction was for an e-novelette by Helen Pilz, which became available today from The Wild Rose Press. The advertised item was an "amusing book trailer," but upon noting that the book itself was not amusing, I offered to try a serious trailer. After gathering images that were applicable to the story I decided it was better without adding a voice over, and the author agreed. Possibly because she's heard my voice. The first version was over two minutes, but I thought it might drag, and removed a few images to make a shorter version. Helen likes both versions, so I told her I'd solicit the minions' opinions. (I note it's the shorter version she currently has on her website.) Should you feel inclined to order the work, it's available here.

Short version (1:44)




Long version (2:11)

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Before I could decide if I liked the trailer, because I am assuming probably incorrectly that the question is which one represents the book the best - So . . .

"Follow the ghost hunting crew of TV’s Haunt and Seek, through the night as they investigate an English country manor and its infamous lover’s curse.

Show host, Valerie Eccelston, and historian, Dr. Ryan Hawkins, are mutually attracted, but their time to explore romantic possibilities is hindered as the resident ghosts keep the team busy. One ghost seeks redemption for killing his family, a lonely one waits for love, and the other three form a deadly triangle involving love, jealousy, and revenge. Val, Ryan, and the rest of the ghost hunting crew strive to help the spirits find their way back to love but first the mortals must wage a paranormal war against evil. Along the way, the hunters seek their own path to love."

I liked the longer version because I thought it reflected the story better.

vkw

_*Rachel*_ said...

I kind of like the long one better.

ril said...

Hmm. So, visually, I have to say I preferred the longer version. The images and transitions just felt like they worked better in that one.

However, in my humble opinion, something was missing from both of them. Because there is no voice over and no captions to put the images into context, it doesn't really tell me anything about the book or the story. And if I already know about the book, I don't need the trailer. I guess I'd like something to tell me a little more about what I'm looking at and why I should care... Sorry :(

For the 'just music and pix' approach to work, maybe it would need to be much shorter and snappier to create the tension and bring us through from the opening to the book info at the end.

Just my opinion though. Don't hate me.

Evil Editor said...

Bastard.

ril said...

Phew.

I was worried you'd take it badly.

BuffySquirrel said...

I'm with Ril, I'm afraid. Without some kind of narrative, it's just a disjointed series of images that doesn't tell me much about the story. There's a house, a maze, a tv crew and some ghosts? But what happens?

If you don't want a voice-over, there's always captions.

(prefer the longer version tho)

Robin S. said...

Add your voice. It's the best.

Dave F. said...

I like both. Brevity has it's benefits but the longer version seems to contain more of the story.

Try this. It was advice given to me by the Graphics Shop at work that use to put things like this together. When you hear a SNAP from changing music, do a quick fade out on the ending music and quick fade in on the new music to blot out the track. Hopefully you have more than one track and can see the sound as a squiggly line. That's what the gang did to a boss who had a "smacky" voice and sounded like a jerk smacking his lips while delivering a voice over. They ramped the volume down and back up over the smacks. It made the boss sound better.

Also, I think you need a few words about the story before the book appears. It seemed like there were pretty pictures for an interlude but no message. Something like "between the living and the dead, there is love." (That might be too sappy).

But all in all, good stuff. Nicely moody and sufficiently sexy.

Matthew said...

umm...the short one. Although I didn't understand what was going on until I read vkw's blurb.

I think you need narration. Maybe you can write the script and get someone else to read it?

Evil Editor said...

There seems to be a mistaken notion that this is a work in progress. The only question was which trailer to use. The author had input every step of the way, and her suggestions were all used, and she is more than happy with the result(s).

As claimed in this article, voice-overs are outmoded; http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20225401,00.html

Besides, would you ever buy anything if advertisers told you the truth about products?

Aimee K. Maher said...

Number two. The fact that the first comment detailed the book, and I had to read the word 'love' five times, made me want to hit someone with a brick.

BuffySquirrel said...

A major reason why I don't buy things I might is that advertisers consistently lie about products....

Chris Eldin said...

I'm glad to hear this is a work in progress because I also would like to have some narration. The bastard said it better than I ever could.

I preferred the longer one.

Anonymous said...

The real question is does Buffy buy anything?

Evil Editor said...

It's NOT a work in progress, and your opinion on narration wasn't requested.

Kings Falcon said...

I like the longer one better it seemed to tell a story more than the short version. Without a narrative or further titles the short version seemed a bit too disjointed.

Evil Editor said...

I think the problem people are having is that they see this as similar to a movie trailer, which suddenly appears on the screen, or a TV commercial that comes on between shows. This isn't going to pop onto anyone's computer screen Unless they link to it from the author's website or the publisher's website, where there will already be a plot synopsis. The idea is not to tell the story but to give a feel for the type of book it is.

Steve said...

Well ... out of context, I think the shorter one is preferable; it's got enough in it to intrigue, but isn't long enough for my attention to wander.

But, since this is going to be presented in context ... the longer version's probably better for that.

I think, by the way, that EE's dulcet tones are ideally suited for 80's style cinema trailers - you know, the sort that begin "IN A WORLD WHERE (whatever) ... " You know, Conan the Barbarian stuff. Or anything with Schwarzenegger, really.

Dave F. said...

well, you know what they say: If the only gift you can buy your lover for her birthday are steel studded, Corinthian leather srist and ankle restraints, then you might want to reconsider your relationship.

But if the only choice is between the long and short of these videos, then the shorter is better. It's less bandwidth. That's not an aesthetic reason. Both videos are good.

One other reason for the short version is what is called the What The Hell Is This?" effect... WTHIT was a short subject I saw back in 1963. (I'm not that old. I was 13.) But I digress, WTHIT showed lots of modern art and about 45 seconds into the video with the audience wondering what it all was about, a voiceover came on and said "What the hell is this?" and proceeded to trash modern art with silly jokes.
So you don't want to go long enough with pretty pictures to hit the WTHIT threshold. Some people have low thresholds. Hey, it ain't my fault. Go cry in your beer.

Now this same effect was obliterated in a short subject I saw in college entitled "God is Dog Spelled Backwards" and that started out with the statement "You will now see 100 of the worlds greatest piece of art." People watched transfixed and
And the punchline was that at the end the screen announced "You are now cultured." and the name of the film -- God is Dog spelled Backwards. Subtle, cute and because of the initial line avoided the WTHIT effect. So even the long version might be safe on the book's website.

I think that's more analytical support than you want to hear and even I know that is wasn't all that fascinating. But it is worth a chuckle.
;)

BuffySquirrel said...

Books, Anon. I buy books.

Hard to tell if EE is funning or if he's really narked. Very hard.

Aimee K. Maher said...

I vote narked, cause it's a bad word.

Anonymous said...

I still like the longer version and I understood it was going to be on the author's website - because EE said so in his original posts.

What I liked about the longer version is what I am assuming are the ghost pictures. I saw the pictures and went . . .hmm, I wonder which ghost that one is. The longer version made me more interested in reading the book. While the pictures of the woman and man curled up in bed together not so much.

vkw

ril said...

Okay, my bad. I assumed "Book Trailer" meant the same as "Movie Trailer" and commented in that context.

If the author likes what she has been given, and it complements her web site to her satisfaction, then all is good.

Robin S. said...

I said use your voice because I:

A - Love to listen to you talk, so I assumed everyone would want to, and...

B - I hadn't actually taken the time to listen to the two choices, because I was in the office and had no earphone deals with me and I have one of those fake offices with a window and a door, but in reality, it's a cubicle, so everyone can hear everything. I hate that...where was I? Oh yeah, so anyway, I just listened to both and I like them both but if it were my book, I'd go with #2. It's my favorite.

_*Rachel*_ said...

My suspicion toward advertisers, especially those with infomercials, is only slightly less than my suspicion toward dictatorships in the media. I automatically doubt them both.

But still, this is EE, and I already know the quality here.

Ruth said...

I would use the short version.

It's weird to me that it doesn't say anything about the story, but I know this isn't a WIP and that the author is happy with it and that my experience of book trailers is very limited. :) If book trailers are meant to be read in context, maybe it would have been better to provide some context to the book in the post as well? Just so we can see it how it would be seen normally. :)

But outside of any context, I prefer the short version.

Tracey S. Rosenberg said...

Second version. I got a better sense of the story. Even that second caption was pretty helpful. The first version seemed to be a lot more about flowers, and that just confused me.

sylvia said...

Personally, I preferred the first. The longer version does have more "detail" but it also drags a bit and the format means there's a high risk of losing my attention as it's not heading for a conclusion.

I admit I have a low threshold for videos in general, though.