I see too many book trailers built around photos, text screens and background music.
I wanted something more for Bootlicker, which explores the dark secret that links a racist U.S. senator and the candidate poised to become South Carolina’s first black congressman since the Civil War.
So what ingredients go into the recipe for a compelling trailer? The first, for me, is planning. Remember, the goal is not to tell the entire story, but to stimulate enough interest to sell books.
What do I want readers to know about my story? First, terrible secrets haunt the leading candidate in a historic election. Second, this is a a tale of guilt and redemption. Third, the novel will go where the cameras are not invited – to back rooms where deals are cut, futures are plotted, and where right and wrong are not so easily defined.
The next question was one I had to ask myself. Am I technically capable of pulling this off? Short answer: no. Solution? Pull together a team that would first, define the concept. Ike, the candidate and central character, will be rehearsing a stump speech with his campaign manager. As he makes mistake after mistake, we will see that the words coming from his mouth do not sync with the graphic images in his mind. He is a man tortured by the past.
Second, we had to create a storyboard. This is a simple but critical tool that allows you to plot the video in sequence before you begin shooting. If you skip this step, you’ll pay later, I promise.
Step three was identifying the locations and selecting actors. You’ll probably also want some still photos and background music. (make sure to heed copyright laws).
My team and I have met now about a half-dozen times. We’re making real progress. The shoot is scheduled for later this month. And Bootlicker will launch Sept. 1.
Stay tuned, and please share if you have your own trailer story or any questions.