As a very late wedding gift to my friend Sybil Baker, I told her I’d make a book trailer for her upcoming book, called “The Life Plan.” Actually, when she first started talking to me about a book trailer, I didn’t even know what that meant. But it’s basically a short video advertisement for a book, the same way a movie trailer is a short video advertisement for a movie. The genre is still young and fresh, and there aren’t many expectations for what goes in a book trailer. Obviously, unlike a movie trailer, there’s no footage you can steal from the movie to edit into a commercial. So you gotta make up something from scratch, which is what I did.
“The Life Plan” is a comedic novel about a woman who travels to Thailand, has a bunch of crazy adventures, and ends up going through a bit of a life change. I made the trailer from a combination of still images of Thailand and video images of Thailand, along with a smattering of stock photos. Best of all, I did the whole thing without having to do a single shoot to create new footage. But that meant I had to get creative about where to find footage. Turns out the Internet Archive had most of what I needed, and Wikipedia had some of the rest. We also got stills from a friend of Sybil.
And much to my surprise, I was able to make the whole thing using only iMovie. I assumed I’d run into a road block and have to switch over to using Final Cut Pro, but that wasn’t the case. In fact, there’s one short clip that could only be done in iMovie ’09 – the animated line showing the journey from Washington DC to Bangkok. That’s a new iMovie ’09 feature, so I figured I had to use it!
Also, here’s a blog post I wrote with my opinions about iMovie after finishing my first project with it. (shhhhh, don’t tell Sybil this was my first project ever using iMovie, or she might get the idea I had no idea what I was doing; or, on the other hand, maybe she’ll be that much more in awe of my skills that I can just pick up a new tool and make something wonderful using it based on my skills with similar tools)
The voice-over was read by my friend Susan Dorsey, whose short film “Clockwise” I’ve been working on since about August. It’s nice having some friends with acting talent for times like this. I co-wrote the voice-over script with Sybil and her husband Rowan. The music came from one of the demo songs from Apple Garage Band, and so perfectly fit the feel of what I wanted to achieve that I didn’t feel I needed to add anything to it.
And now, since you’ve made it this far in my rambling blog article, you get to watch the YouTube version of the book trailer: