Promoting My Book with a Video

Discussion in 'Teresa Edgerton' started by Teresa Edgerton, Sep 25, 2006.

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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    Some of you may be aware that one of the hot new things in book promotion is making a trailer of scenes (as though from a movie) and broadcasting it on YouTube.

    Carolyn and I were talking about this yesterday, and I was saying that a video/trailer is all very well for people with mainstream books in contemporary settings, but the logistics for a fantasy novel would be just about impossible without a budget of thousands of dollars ...

    But then I started thinking. My husband, John, has the video camera and the editing equipment. He is also still active in the SCA, which, if we could find enough interested people, could provide us with amateur actors, musicians, costumers, swordsmen, etc. Not to mention horses, props, and much else besides. This morning, he asked if anyone is interested, via an SCA mailing list he belongs to, and has already received a few responses from interested parties.

    Then it occurred to me to ask if anyone here might be able to help out. Of course Chronicles members are scattered across the globe, which is why I didn't think of that immediately. But then there are quite a few members here in California.

    So, if you live within a few hours drive of the San Francisco Bay area, you have experience as an amateur actor or musician (or other relevant experience), and you would be interested in helping out just for the fun of it, a screen credit, and a signed copy of the book (in other words, we can't afford to pay you), please respond here or send me a PM.
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    aarti

    aarti bibliophile

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    Oh, that's such a fun idea! Unfortunately, I live nowhere near California. But, I'd definitely watch the video, and would be more than willing to read the book before it came out to lend ideas for scenes that should be included ;-)
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    Actually, this would be for The Hidden Stars (although if all went smoothly there would probably be one for the new book, too). Since you've already read that one, your suggestions would be welcome.
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    aarti

    aarti bibliophile

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    Oh, I see! I suppose that makes more sense. I'll try and think of scenes that I think would translate well to the ultra-small screen.
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    Fortunately, we wouldn't even have to hunt up a very young baby if we decide to film any of those scenes, since we have two on hand just at the moment.
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    Rosemary

    Rosemary The Wicked Sword Maiden

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    How very handy Teresa...I hope the twins will get equal billing :D

    Promoting your book is a great idea - I always check some of the authors web sites to see if they have a video of their new book. :)
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    carrie221

    carrie221 Darkness is my friend :)

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    Well I am in Indiana but I would definetly watch the video. This sounds like a really neat idea. :)
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    Brown Rat

    Brown Rat wandering & wondering

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    I guess it goes without saying that I'll help. :)

    (I told Paul about our discussion and how I want to make a video for my book, and he said he'll make a model of the Anarchy for me. I don't think I will use actors--just make the video a collage of pickles and mash and other objects that represent key moments. I wonder if there's a way to use lighting ang glitter to represent the galactic broadcast? A voice could proclaim "Live to the galaxy, it's the Lustrous Lester Show!" and an unseen crowd could roar as the camera looks up into glittering light.)
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    John was talking about using glitter for special effects. I'm not sure whether he knows what kind of effect it produces on video, or whether he was just speculating.

    Will you need someone to help with the video editing? As I said, John has the equipment.
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    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    Well, Teresa, I'm in California, but I don't know what I could do to help. I've never been much of an actress, and I'm afraid my musical peak was in the 6th grade, when I was in all-district band, third-chair clarinet. I suppose I could organize props - I've actually done that for a number of stage and ballet productions.

    All I would require in return is a chair for my mother to sit in and watch the madness. She's quiet, and she doesn't take up much room.:D
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    It would be fun to have you involved in whatever capacity. When you say "organize props" do you mean help come up with them, or keep track of them afterward? We might need someone who is just organized period to keep the rest of us on track.

    As for acting, since it will only be little flashes of action, it would be very little dialogue and we will basically need people who look like the characters and can deliver a couple of lines convincingly, and maybe some body doubles to trudge over hills or ride horses or wash up on beaches when the main actors aren't available. We may have trouble coming up with enough people who are tall enough for some of the roles.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2006
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    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    Well, I figured that if you've got SCA people involved, they would have most of the needed props, so I was more thinking of just being around and keeping track of everything...props have a nasty habit of sneaking off to play if they aren't being watched closely.;) And that's only half a joke, actually. It has been my experience that some props really do need a keeper or a leash or something. Also, if there are a series of small scenes, it is helpful to have someone who doesn't who knows who has to have which props when. Which sounds complicated, but really isn't.

    And, I am fairly organized, so I probably could do the "keeping everyone on track" thing. Anyway, the whole thing sounds like a lot of fun, and I would like to be involved in some way.
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    Brown Rat

    Brown Rat wandering & wondering

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    Teresa, my brother-in-law says that Final Cut Express can do some special effects, so I may be able to do a glitter effect for my video, and I may be able to help with any special effects (bolts of magic or strange glowing lights or whatever) that you need in yours.

    Yes, I'd definitely like to have John's advice about editing. I can edit in Final Cut Express, but I don't know editing theory or film theory in general. Just the other day, someone mentioned that you can give movement and tension to a visual scene by dividing the screen into thirds and placing key elements on the intersection(s) of those thirds, rather than smackdab in the middle of the screen . . . advice to which I replied, "Huh?" I bet there's scads of important things John knows like that.
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    scalem X

    scalem X I am, the scallywag

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    I think the idea's as wicked as it is cool. I like it:p .
    Don't forget that there are a lot of visual artists on the net who might see this video as some way of promoting their skill rather than making money.

    You might also add some picture intermezzo's during the promotion film, as to create a visial image of say dragons and palaces.

    Hope things go well and if there's any Belgian Help requested, count me in:rolleyes: .
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    Oh scalem, if only I could borrow some of your lovely Belgian locales! I've seen photographs of some of your beautiful old cities, and I wish you could just package up a few of those places and send them to me. (Of course the chance that I would actually send them back would be very, very small.)

    Art suggesting dragons and palaces might be good, too, since there is no other way we could get those elements in. But we don't want the whole thing to look too static, so that is something that needs a lot of thinking about.

    Brown Rat, I will tell John about Final Cut Express -- see if he knows about it already, and if not, he can look into it. He said he would be happy to help with your project, too. We did buy this computer because it's a particularly good one for video editing.

    (LMA, John agrees that having someone such as yourself on board to help keep things organized would be very desirable. Your mother would be very welcome to sit and observe. Although, if you brought her here to the house during any "studio" work ... I hope she likes dogs.)
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    And, though I'm not an overly big fan of such, don't forget that CGI is another way to go with this; a few weeks ago I ran across such a video for a fantasy novel, and it was rather interesting. If you get someone who knows how to do such graphics, this may be a possibility, and all you'd need would be to find some people to provide voice acting. As for glitter being used as special effects, it's usually used in suspension, either in water or some slightly thicker fluid, and can, with double or triple-exposure, produce some very nice (and, depending on the lighting, speed, etc., varied) effects.

    Good luck with it, Teresa, and keep us all posted on how it's going!
  17.  
    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    I don't think we have the time, the money, or the resources for CGI.

    Whereas we do have considerable resources for a live-action video, in terms of props, costumes, etc.

    But however we decide to go about it, I will certainly keep everyone up to date on how it goes. You'll probably all be sick of hearing about it before all is said and done.
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    dwndrgn

    dwndrgn Fierce Vowelless One Staff Member

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    I think it is a wonderful idea and if nothing else you will have had the pleasure of making the video itself. It's a shame I no longer reside in the crazy state (okay, I do live in a state of craziness but no longer live in California...) or I'd help you out someway or how. Best of luck and do keep us informed.
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    Justin Thorne

    Justin Thorne www.justinthorne.com

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    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    Hmmm. I'll have to think about that. The problem isn't so much that my mother doesn't like dogs...she likes them, but doesn't like them touching her. Goes back to a bad experience she had when she was a child. The big problem is that dogs do like her, too much. A dog will come into a room full of people, and she's the first one it will go to, and not just go to, but try to get into her lap and snuggle. It's just uncanny.

    Like I said, I'll have to think about that a bit. It doesn't change that I would like to participate in this project.:)

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