When I began creating a book trailer for ‘We That Are Left’, just after Christmas, I thought it was going to be relatively easy.
After all, I have iMovie (which makes creating a video as easy as falling off a log, which is my kind of easy), and I cut my teeth on my trailer for my first book for Honno Press, Eden’s Garden. I’d done all the hair pulling out and cursing and wishing computer programs (yes, even you, my beloved iMovie) had better instructions. Well, actually, INSTRUCTIONS, might be a good start. Hey ho.
Luckily, I remembered most of the technical stuff. Even the Ken Burns effect, which still leaves me amazed. And slightly befuddled, but luckily it seems to just work, whatever you do to it.
This time, it was what to put in the trailer that had me scratching my head. Eden’s Garden is about gardens, and I love gardens. I had photographs I’d taken of the main garden inspiration. This time it was about The Great War.
I’d originally been planning to use stock photographs from the war, but I could find very few, and the ones I liked I discovered, with further investigation, I could not use. Or I wasn’t quite sure if I could use, and so felt nervous about using them, if you see what I mean. Particularly in the year of the centenary, the First World War feels a very public event.
So in the end I returned to my own photographs to create the impression I was looking for, with a bit of tweaking of colours, a few effects and a liberal use of sepia to give an aged look. A visit to Glynllifon gave me many of the images, as did my own beautiful washstand that I use as a kitchen unit. My first attempt was lacking in faces and people. I had a look again for photographs of the time, but ended up just as confused by the permissions.
Then I remembered a magical walk in the deep snow last year with a friend who was wearing a beautiful old coat (we hadn’t planned to go that far, but had been entranced by the falling snow and the Narnia effect). And there it was.
I was very lucky to have original music from ‘Silvarco’, a Welsh musician who writes progressive and experimental folk music. I’d fallen in love with ‘Reverence’ the moment I heard it. Having original music is a real pleasure and a privilege. You can download the track of ‘Reverence’ here.
In the end, I loved creating the trailer, just as much as I had done the one for Eden’s Garden. And okay, if I had the chance to have a professional trailer like the one for Kate Morton’s ‘The Distant Hours’ , which is my favourite of all time, I’d jump at it. But then I might not have had half so much fun and or the sense of satisfaction when finally (after much tweaking and more than a little cursing) my book trailer for ‘We That are Left’ was born.
You can watch the video by clicking on the picture below from the magical walk in the snow with my friend Jan, who helped me find so many of the recipes for ‘We That Are Left’, as well as playing a role in the trailer. (Beware an author with a camera …..) 🙂