…..and about time too, I heard some people say – after all, this is where my two creative worlds meet. You may not be aware but not only do I write and publish my own fiction but I have also been quietly nurturing the screenwriter in me for the last few years. I am proud to say I now have three screenplays under my belt, all of them just waiting for the right opportunity to take them from the page to the big screen.
But for now, let me introduce you to my little film for the little screen – a teaser trailer I made for my book ’25 Random Facts’.
Take a look by clicking on the image below. It’s only a minute long but if afterwards you’d like to know more you can find my take on the creative process below. Anyway, enjoy…and yes, it is me (no laughing in the back there).
Welcome back! I hope it provoked a reaction in you – so far it’s been described as ‘mysterious’, ‘menacing’, ‘scary’ and ‘alluring’ – all adjectives I can definitely live with!
So I guess I should explain what set me off in the first place – why on earth I suddenly chose to go from faceless author to screen ‘performer’. It was quite by accident really. I was aware of other authors and their publishing houses making trailers and had long harboured the idea that it might be another tool to add to the promo box should the need arise. But the jury on whether they actually brought results was still very much out at the time and so I left it on the shelf to fester a while.
Then for some reason, which for the life of me I cannot remember but probably had much to do with idling, I entered the words ’25 Random Facts’ into YouTube. To my surprise, up popped page after page of people who had all filmed themselves listing their very own random facts. What had begun as a game on Facebook had made the digital leap into video. Most of them were posted recently and some in particular were proving extremely popular. The seed was sown, it was time to jump on the wagon (which makes a change from constantly falling off it). A quick mention of the idea on Twitter brought out a couple of cheerleaders and so off I went.
It was simple, it was quick and it cost nothing other than my time – my main concern being that I wasn’t prepared to invest heavily in something that might not bring any rewards. It was really no more than a fleeting idea to have some fun with a camera and see what came out of it. I should explain here that when I originally thought of making a trailer it involved stills, music and text, much like all the others doing the rounds at the time, and nothing more. Now however, I wanted Sophia from the book to make her very own video of her 25 facts. However without an actor to hand there was nothing else for it – it would have to be me.
A day and a half of self-indulgence later, it was finished. I shot it on my iPhone, in my local environment, through an App called 8mm to give it that vintage atmosphere. The last thing I wanted was my face in the cold light of day simply reading out the facts – I wanted it to feel more like an interview or confessional, a secret diary perhaps. In the end I chose around eight of the facts from the book to film, though half of them would be slashed in the edit. Most of the shots are the first take as filming yourself is hard enough without watching it over and over again. I then put the film through its paces on iMovie, cutting scenes, tweaking colour saturation and adding sound effects and transitions. And that was it.
It may not be the best bit of filmmaking in the world, but it was fun and a fantastic learning experience. And if it leads just one more reader to my books it will have been worth all the blushes. If you enjoyed it, please do remember to share.
Next up, A Silent Shore – just have to work out how to get to Umbria in 1954…