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The Making of the Book Trailer®
In this exclusive article, COS Productions Director, Sheila Clover, discusses "The Making of the Trailer." In addition, creative Street Team member, Alicia Thomas, wrote the fantastic spoken word in the trailer, as well as helped to select the music. This was an awesome project!
Working on the book trailer® for The Wicked was one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had in the over 5 years of creating book trailers®.
I love paranormal romance, and I love vampire novels, so I had every confidence that I would love this book, and series. L.A. Banks did not let me down. Not for a minute.
I entered the world of the Vampire-Huntress series with no background knowledge of the series, though it is one of the hottest vampire series out today. This was not an average vampire novel. This was fresh, unique with an urban style I had not experienced before. To put it simply – What a rush!! This was exciting and unexpected. Unexpected because it hooked me right in from the very first. Her writing style puts you inside the story like few novels can.
Though there are several books in the series, we would be highlighting the newest release; The Wicked, which is the 8th novel in the series. Damali, our incredibly sexy, kick-butt heroine was a well layered character with enough conflict to keep my interest because I just wasn’t sure what to expect. Carlos, her new husband is not someone to mess with. But, as evil often does, it has no care for love or honeymoons.
Since Damali and Carlos have a very passionate relationship the most difficult thing would be to properly cast the actors. Working with a limited budget and timeline, we finally chose a married couple, which would make the hot, love scenes easier to film.
A script was written and the project went to veteran filmmaker Joe Gruberman. The video was filmed following the script and then released to Leslie. Though she liked many aspects of it, neither she nor I were 100% sold on it. So, it was determined that the video would be beta tested. Beta testing is a quality control tool that COS Productions uses to help determine what does or does not work in a video, and to help improve the quality of future videos by asking pre-screened viewers to rate different aspects of the video.
Since L.A. Banks has a very strong and active “street team” we asked her team to review and rate the video. Leslie has a very deep respect for her readers that I grew to admire deeply.
To make a long story short, the team didn’t like it. There were some aspects that worked, but a lot that did not.
Readers, or fans, can make or break a video. The chances that a video her team didn’t like would affect her sales were very low, but COS didn’t want the fans to feel that the beloved characters that they had followed for years, were not being respected. So, COS worked for days with the street team to identify what would make the video good. Issues concerning music, character portrayal, and the fact that nothing about music was ever mentioned became key points for changes.
The street team got the opportunity to help redesign the trailer. They chose scenes to cut. They chose the music. But, what they really wanted was to get across the personality of Damali and for that, we needed narration. One of the street team members, Alicia Thomas came up with what would eventually be the main narration for the video-
The team got into the spirit of making the trailer something that would represent the series in a positive and honest way and the video took on a completely different look.
Joe Gruberman worked on the suggestions for days, even re-filming parts to accommodate elements the team felt were essential for the video to accurately reflect the series and the characters.
The woman who would do the narration was sent the script. Leslie called her and gave her direction on how it should be read. Before long, the new video was ready and sent out to the team.
It was such an incredible feeling of accomplishment when the emails started coming in. The positive reviews and the satisfaction of the fans were definitely hard won, but it made the overall success of the video that much more rewarding.
Watch the series trailer for the Vampire Huntress series!