The Making of a Book Trailer, Part 2

This is the second of a series of posts about the making of a book trailer for Banktown: The Rise and Struggles of Charlotte’s Big Banks, which is currently available for pre-order The first post about the filming of the book trailer can be found here.  To be alerted when the next post goes up, follow us on Twitter or friend us on Facebook.

Now, here is trailer guru Mike Martin again with an update on the progress of the book trailer.

Last time I wrote about the book trailer, I had just gotten back from Charlotte, where I videotaped an interview with author Rick Rothacker about his upcoming Banktown: The Rise and Struggles of Charlotte’s Big Banks.

My main job this week?  Editing the trailer itself.

I spent all day yesterday “capturing” footage (transferring it from camera to computer) via Firewire cable.  To do this, I used Abobe Premiere, the video-editing program we use at Blair.  Premiere is a pretty remarkable program.  Though it’s aimed at consumers, it allows me to do everything from audio editing to creating simple visual special effects.

But I know I can’t get distracted by bells and whistles.  In a YouTube age, people are used to kids making lightsaber duel videos in their garages.

So how do I go about making the trailer?  How do I know what to keep, how to cut, and whether or not it’s what I want?

Editing the TrailerThe most important thing, though, is to keep an endgame in mind.  From the beginning, I’ve thought about two words that I want the trailer to embody:  ominous and authoritative.

Working in Premiere, I’m always asking, Does this edit help convey Rick Rothacker’s story?   Does it make sense to an outside audience?  Would it make people interested in this great book? It’s not a science, but if I’m saying yes more than no, I know I’m on the right track.

Music can aid the process, too, and I’ve spent hours pick out the proper tunes.  For book trailers, you’ll always want to use rights-free music (or “public domain” music), which you can search out online.  All the music in the Banktown trailer, for instance, was found at Incompetech.

At the pace I’m going, I’ll have the trailer done sometime next week.

Editing is one of my favorite parts of working with video.   It can certainly be (and usually is) a challenging experience.  But it’s also an incredibly fun and rewarding one.

And at the end of the process, I will have taken part in a creative collaboration with an author I admire, which will be used to promote a book I believe in.  What could be cooler than that?


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