Thursday, March 05, 2009

Anatomy of a Video Trailer

Thanks, everyone for the kudos you've sent about the book trailer. Some folks have asked about how I came up with it the art, etc., so I thought I'd share that story today.

I actually came up with the idea nearly two years ago, while we were moving from Fredericksburg, VA, to Minot, ND. We had a couple of CDs from the Air Force's Jazz band and played them on the trip. "That's a-Plenty" matched the crazy, funny, everything-piling-on-everything scramble I tried to capture in Magic, Mensa and Mayhem. Whenever it was my turn to pick the music, I'd put that CD in and often played the song over several times as I got the timing down. (Did I mention how patient my kids can be when Mommy's "working"?) Once I had it figured out, I had my daughter write it down. Nonetheless, for four days and 2000 miles, I was going over that script in my head. Good thing, too, because when it came time to write it, I could no longer find the Amber's notes!

The pictures I've been playing with over two years as well. Coyote is a mix of a male model and a coyote head. He doesn't look like that in the book, but I thought it was fun. That was when Paint Shop still worked on my computer.

For Brunhilde, I knew I wanted a bodybuilder, and I'd found Michelle Falsetta's website,, when I was researching. Michelle is one of those female body builders who is beautiful as well as buff, so I e-mailed her and asked if I could get permission to use her likeness. She kindly agreed and directed me to her photographer, Lane Benson, LBPhotographics,, who gave me permission to use the photo in the video.

Most of the other photos I found on copyright-free websites. My good friend and webmaster, Ann Lewis, doctored up the photos of the protesters and the soda and added the dragon to the Florida photo. My daughter, Amber, did the picture of the pixie in Vern's teeth, which is an actual scene from the book. I was tickled to find the newspaper headline function in Movie Maker.

Roe Mesquita, the cover artist, went all out, and sadly, much of the back cover is hidden behind the blurbs, so I put the art itself in the video instead of the cover as I'd intended.

Here's the cover sans title and blurbs.

In all, I think this video took about 30 hours to make--much of that dinking around with Movie Maker to get the timing right. This song just lent itself to transitions. It's certainly the most complex book trailer I've ever done, and I'm tickled pink at how it turned out.

Glad you're enjoying it, too.

Magic, Mensa and Mayhem has a new ordering page! You can now find it at or go to and click on the awesome cover. (The old link still works.)

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