Thursday, December 18, 2008

Book Trailers

I'm not a big fan of video previews of books. Some of the simple, home-grown, made-on-a-shoestring videos are enjoyable and have a certain arty flavor, but most of the professionally rendered book trailers are simply awful, and make me want to steer as far from the book as possible.

There was always one exception in my mind--the book trailer a group of Italian film students did for Neil Gaiman's Coraline. It is slickly done but imaginative and intriguing. Perhaps there are other gorgeous trailers out there; since I don't spend a lot of time looking for them, I may have missed out.

But with the Spanish trailer for Testament that Alis Hawkins just announced, I'll have to amend my former judgement. There are at least two marvelous professional book trailers out there.

Odd that the two I like are rendered in Italian and Spanish, respectively. Is it a Mediterranean medium?


Creative A said...

I know what you mean. The book trailer for Graceling was so cheesy, I put the book on my "do not read" list. But now I hear it's pretty awesome.

I think trailers are delicate're trying to translate prose into the visual arts, and still appeal to book lovers. Whoosh.

David Isaak said...

I just went and watched "Graceling."

Bad? Yes. But go here and you can find many many things that are far worse.

You're right. Making videos about books is a bit like how Frank Zappa described writing about music: "It's like dancing about architecture."

Alis said...

It's really weird seeing your book translated into a kind of 'let's imagine it was a film - it would look like this' visual form.

David Isaak said...

Hi, Alis--

That must be odd indeed, and it's even odder when what it is advertising is the book!

COS Productions said...

I think this is a great trailer-
It won a Telly Award in 2007, which is not easy to do.
A lot of the earlier book trailers are more cheesy looking because, well, you get what you pay for.
And, though David may find some worse videos on the COS site, there are over 25 award winning videos there too.
We've been making book trailers since 2002. Some hit and some miss. Like books. Or movies. Or any other subjective form of entertainment or art.

Allison said...

I have definitely seen some cheesy trailers out there, but I think some book trailers really help get people--particularly children--excited about books. For instance, I recently saw the Fablehaven trailer:
I think that people who are into fiction/fantasy novels would appreciate it.