Thursday, February 25, 2010

Book Trailer or Poem Video?

As I continue my research into the subject of book trailers for poetry books, I've also been looking at a number of videos which feature a single poem. Sandra Beasley and I are on somewhat similar paths, i.e., both delving into how to make videos, but she's pursuing the individual poem video while I'm pursuing the video that introduces the viewer / reader to the book. I don't, however, see these as opposing paths. I don't think you have to choose one or the other. Why not do both?

Sandra has written four excellent blog posts about her experiences in making her videos. Excellent! I learned so much from her, nitty gritty stuff plus some very useful links. In her posts she takes us step by step through the creation of two poem videos. Both poems are from her forthcoming collection, I Was the Jukebox, scheduled for release on April 5 but available for pre-order at the link. Take a look at Sandra's first video:

Certainly very appealing. Great pace. Great images. Sandra clued me into istockphotos, an online site where you can get good-quality photos and animated clips. You can see that Sandra uses both. Of course, there's cost involved, though the site does appear to offer some photos for free. For this video Sandra used a plug-in mic. The background music is a bit overwhelming and suddenly bursts into loud volume at the end. For her second video she used her Mac's built-in mic and adjusted the volume of the background music. I think she's achieved perfection:

Both videos have wonderful music, both supplied by Kevin MacLeod at his royalty-free site. This is another of those sites that Sandra directed me to. I love it. All kinds of music. For no cost at all, you can download an mp3 of any soundtrack you want. (In another post I'll tell you what I learned about how to convert other file types in mp3's.) In this newer video you can hear that the background music is muted so that it supports but does not intrude on the reading of the poem. I also like how Sandra coordinates the text on the screen with her voiceover. Looks easy but isn't. Well, it's not hard, but it takes some fine-tuning and some time. Both of these videos weigh in at just over a minute. As I've been viewing lots of videos, it's become clear that the most successful ones avoid going on too long. If you're making a poem video or a trailer, don't go over two minutes or you risk losing your viewers.

Now the big question: Do the videos make you want to run out and buy the book? I say Yes! I already have Sandra's first book, Theories of Falling, and am looking forward to soon owning I Was the Jukebox.

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  1. Diane, what a lovely, lovely post! This really made me smile to find it. Thanks so much--and stayed tuned. I'm releasing another video into the world in March...


  2. My pleasure! I just pre-ordered the book at Amazon, along with Collin's novel. Let me know when the new video is out. Am about to launch my trailer efforts.

  3. Love the poems and fantastic videos. Thanks for sharing it with us Sandra and Diane.


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