A quick thought on book trailers...
When I am searching the net researching I am looking for an idea that may or may have not been produced, but clinging to the screen looking for a particular visual to appear in another's art work prior to mine. I've picked up in the past five or six years of where the focus of media was turning and it was obvious that it was video. At the time it was all the rage to download the newest and greatest climbing video and share with your friends one evening, as I am sure it goes for skateboarding, surfing, mountain biking, and the list goes on. It has progressed to editing video on my iPhone and downloading it to Instagram ready for your viewing pleasure in 10 seconds or less. As I work with more and more commercial photographers I also hear from them that they need a short biography, a short video that is now made mandatory to have on their websites. This has given everyone in the multi-media business to "embrace" these short videos and use them as the ultimate marketing tool, not surprising that it has carried over to books.
I read a lot, between school and personal finds I am reading.
I enjoy the art of research and tend to dig into a subject for two reasons: passionate about the subject or I know nothing about the subject.
Fiction is a type of reading I delve into rarely, if at all. I can't pinpoint the last time I read a fictional book (exception: I am reading Hans Christian Andersen for a screenplay I am writing- random!).
Drifting towards the history, natural history, art and autobiographies sections of the bookstore is where my interest lies and my eyes like to focus.
Looking around and surfing the net I have started to see a whole new market, a medium-sized world of "short movies" based around books.
Yes, books, and mostly fiction. I found little to no non-fiction which surprised the heck out of me.
I watched a dozen or so videos to see what is out there. Horror, comedies, romantic dramas, teenage thrillers....
Some are great and were well produced.
Gary Shteyngart is one of them.
His work is a bit odd ball for me, and far from my cup of tea, but I was laughing at one point, and I do enjoy laughing.
Some on the other hand some, no, most, were down right boring.
I was pretty much over watching most of these book trailers quickly. One minute was too long to watch a bunch of rotating stills bounce around with a bunch of text. Who ever through that those were a brilliant idea, talk about lost time and money spent poorly. Maybe there are too many rules and regulations that go into making a book trailer? But creativity seemed a bit lax. 'Some writers have imaginations that extend across different media,' this may be true, but this seems to be an area in film production where all the magic and creativity stays within the binding of the book cover, because most of the book trailers sucked.
To better understand these book trailers, I really had to understand what they were trying to accomplish? What was their desired end result? Shirin Najafi wrote that “a trailer inherently removes an element of the imaginative process and potentially cheapens the medium by suggesting a sort of inadequacy.” Does it? It is just plain too much, it this where our mediums don't overlap? Do these trailers actually help sell books? Does it need to be more integrative, more social media involvement, quicker, precise, less of a "movie trailer" and more of the #hashtag family, short and sweet?
They are adding detailed visuals, combined with audio, either narrative or music to comply with a pseudo-'book form', which, for the most part is a non-visual art form.
Is that working for the makers and publishers of these books and trailers?
It worked for:
This was compared in a short blog post I came across about the similarities between music videos and these book trailers and the sense of true art forms that stand alone.
Do they? I think so.
I remember waiting for the release of music videos in the early mid 90s...I loved it. I still love it. More fun than ever is it fun to see new things musicians are doing in accompaniment to their music visually, virally.
There is a lot of creative minds that come together to make any cohesive visual art, music videos or book trailers. Even if it is a team of one like Robert Rodriguez or a full production team there is a lot of time spent to create those sequences.
What they are creating is
But will book trailers stand the test of time like the music video?
Time will tell.