Wednesday, May 9, 2012

About the Book Trailer - "Sleeping in Snow with Bears"

I just posted a book trailer to Sleeping in Snow with Bears on YouTube (see link or yesterday's blog post). This post is about the video, what it's about, and the process I went through to put it together. Besides my roll, quite a bit of work on the part of many other individuals went into it too, and thought I'd share a little bit about their rolls here as well.

Bears is a thriller/adventure/suspense novel that covers a lot of territory (thematic, cultural and geographical), coming to its final close from a variety of angles. The intent of this trailer is to give the person with a casual interest a sense of the story, it's vastness, and some of its themes, without giving away too much. In my choice of what to show and the music provided, I have tried to give viewers some sense of feeling that they might get if they read the novel from beginning to end (a grand goal, I realize).

I had initially planned to shoot a variety of shots at locations near my home in Tennessee and in/near the Rocky Mountains of Montana, where I have friends and relatives. I would then have creatively edited these shots to match scenes from the book that take place both there (Montana) and elsewhere, but my urge to get a product out sooner than late summer (the earliest I could have made a trip out west) precluded that. In my determination to find an alternative, I discovered the treasure trove that the internet (more specifically social media) offers.

The trailer ended up being a compilation (a mash-up, if you will) of approximately 64 photos which I found primarily on Flickr.com and in the National Archives. The shots in large part are from the places where the novel takes place. In many cases, I did some photo-editing to better match the story theme e.g., I made the snow bloody in one; added storms (both snow and rain) to several others; and of course, cropped where necessary.

I was especially thrilled when I found shots that I never imagined existed (e.g., a man hanging from an airplane by a rope; an Indian warrior reaching toward the sky in salute; etc.) and I had to force myself to not include some as they would have given away too much of the story. In the end, I do not think I could have found a better set of photos and am happier with the results than I ever would have been had I shot them all myself.  I hope you enjoy the results as much as I have had finding them.

While every shot I chose has some variety of Creative Commons licensing or is in public domain, I would be remiss if I did not thank everyone who was so kind as to give free license sharing rights to the their photos and music. A long list of these credits (with URLs to them) follows at the end of the video (hence the length of the trailer).

Ok, enough reading. Here's the link to the trailer on YouTube again if you missed it. Enjoy!