Friday, January 21, 2011

Book Trailers Day 5: An Interview with April Halprin Wayland

And so we wrap up Book Trailer Week at TC & TF.

The joys and perils of having students make your book trailer. Today author April Halprin Wayland shares her experiences.

What questions should an author ask herself before making (or having made) a trailer?

How much am I willing to pay?
Do I want to farm it out or do it myself?
Do I have the time to do it myself?
Do I have the skills to do a good job myself?
Whose book trailers do I admire?
What will make viewers want to buy my book?

What goals did you set for yourself for the trailer for New Year At The Pier?

I wanted the book trailer up at least a month before my book came out.
I wanted it to be short.
I wanted it to capture the warmth and the essence of the holiday which this book describes.
I wanted it to be stand out from the crowd.

Please note that I was very lucky. I'd hired a high school student to do a previous book trailer. Beware of high school students! He was terrific and truly original and I love the trailer...but he created half of it on his girlfriend's computer...and then they broke up. Then he got sick. Then there were finals. It came out in the summer instead Poetry Month (April), which was my target. It was a good experiment and learning experience!

I knew Chase Gregory, then a freshman at Tufts, through her parents. She is media savvy and smart and original and she gets the picture very quickly. (Bonus: she's also really wonderful)
It's a Jewish book and she's not Jewish...yet she captured the essence of this celebration beautifully.

She found music that I mention in the book. It was perfect, so we contacted the Klezmer musicians who played it and paid them to use their music. We also link to their website. She could have gotten some generic music for free, but this was absolutely the right music to use.

I literally handed her the picture book which she hadn't read and said, "Make me a trailer, Chase. Do anything you want." She filmed our local pier and the ocean and gulls...and combined those live action images and the music with illustrations from the book (which we got permission to use from the illustrator and our publisher).

The first one was a bit too long, so I asked her to do a shorter version...I've posted them both on my website. I love-love-LOVE the trailer.

My trailer for Tyrannosaurus Math? It was made by film school senior Jesse Johnson, using Final Cut Pro, audio from an online music library collection, and her considerable natural talents.

Thanks to April, and all the interviewees who took the time to answer my questions. I've learned a lot!

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