Nearly three weeks ago, I gave details here on the making of the trailer for my debut novel, The Foolish and the Weak, book one in the Age of Restoration series. There are a few more tidbits I’d like to throw out now to wrap things up.
Thanks goes to Steven Silpa of Pixelate Media for supplying this information.
As mentioned last post, the shoot commenced at 4 p.m. What I didn’t note then was that it didn’t end until after 2 a.m. the next morning, so roughly ten hours of filming for what amounted to three and a half minutes of video (minus the book information at the end). This doesn’t include, to my knowledge, any of the actual prep work for the shoot done that day, nor the teardown.
ON HER OWN
Actress Dominique Razon, who portrays nineteen-year-old Paz Kirkegaard in the trailer, had no one to play off of the entire time. She was given directions as to what would be happening, but like a lot of actors in many movies, she had to rely on her own imagination to properly react when the time called for it.
There are hardly any post-production visual special effects involved. Light was provided principally from outside. While there are a couple lamps on the inside, what you see coming through the bay window is artificial lighting meant to represent moonlight. When it came time to shoot the final sequence’s strobe effect, that, too, was done from outside. Silpa said, “We lit up the streets outside from light coming through the windows and worried about waking the neighbors.”
The location of the shoot was in a seldom-used home. The furniture was covered to “create the feeling that was in a ‘safe house,’ one that is not lived in regularly.”
An all-digital RED ONE camera was used to film the trailer, shot at 4,000 dpi. I’ve watched it on a high-definition television, as well as on my computer monitor, and as might be expected, it looks best when watched at its highest YouTube setting.
I’m still waiting to see whether or not the trailer has any influence on book sales. We’re at over 35o views right now, and so far, there’s no evidence it’s led to any copies being downloaded from Amazon or the iBookstore. It’s only been three weeks, and relatively few people have seen the trailer, so I’ll reserve judgment on its effectiveness as a sales tool for the time being.
However, once I can say whether or not it has influenced sales, that will be the main factor in whether or not I would do this all over again. There are certainly faster, cheaper, and simpler ways of putting together a trailer. While I did find the process at times frustrating, and at most times, excruciatingly slow, I know a little more about what to expect if there is a next time.
And if there is, I have no hesitation about using Silpa and his crew again. He was great to work with, and I do recommend him for this kind of production. I don’t feel at liberty to give out the cost (maybe sometime, long into the future), but it was well over $100 to produce. I can also say it was considerably less than $10,000, if giving a range helps.
Once the price was locked in, it remained unchanged, even though postproduction took longer than was originally anticipated. That may have had something to do with the fact that originally, we were talking about something that would run between a minute and a half to two minutes. The trailer, however, is more like a scene from the book in length and in composition, even though the scene itself is more of an amalgamation of elements, rather than an actual scene.