Conservatively speaking, hundreds of decisions go into the creation, filming and production of a good, two-minute book trailer.
I did not know that going in. I knew we’d have to decide how much story to tell, what would create suspense, and which characters to feature. I knew we’d need a concept, actors, a location, music, still photos from the Civil Rights era, and meetings – lots of meetings. At each baby step, there would be another decision to make.
The conversation began months ago when I reached out to a very talented Washington director named Jeffrey Madison. He read Bootlicker and understood what needed to be done.
We went back and forth before deciding to portray Ike and his campaign chief, Ruthie, just before an important debate. Ike would be struggling to get through lines he’d already delivered hundreds of times. Viewers would catch on because we would show the hateful images careening through Ike’s mind.
Bootlicker is very much about this troubled man, who in 1992 is poised to become South Carolina’s first black congressman since the Civil War. Ike’s biggest obstacle is not his political opponent, but the guilt he feels over a horrific incident that links him to the state’s racist U.S. senator.
Hopefully you’ll agree the end product was worth the time spent and dollars invested. My sincere thanks to Jeffrey Madison, Jeff Blount, Alli March, and the trailer team: Meghan Sweeney, Jhaan Elker, Emily Randolph, Amanda Yerby, James Jackson, Brett Clancy.
Photos from the shoot are here on Pinterest.
The big question is whether we’ll recoup the two grand it cost for the trailer in eventual book sales. What do you think: does a compelling trailer help sales? Why, or why not?