Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Making of a Book Trailer

A note from Jennifer Archer

I was so excited when Emily Greaser, the motion designer of the book trailer for my YA novel Through Her Eyes, agreed to guest post about her process.Although I have previously written several novels for adults, this was my first book trailer. I found the process of collaborating with Emily on the project to be fun and exciting, as well as a wonderful new creative challenge. It was so surreal seeing certain elements in the story come alive through graphics, motion and sound. Emily did an amazing job of capturing my vision and the tone of the novel. Working with her on the project was a wonderful experience, and I look forward to collaborating with her on the design of more trailers for my future books. Since Emily can explain better than I the creative progression she went through in order to arrive at the beautiful and eerie finished product, I asked her if she would share her process with us, and she graciously agreed! So without further ado . . .  here’s Emily!  

Thank you for this opportunity to speak to your readers about my work! As a motion designer, book trailers provide me the perfect opportunity to utilize my design skills, and to jump right into visual storytelling by combining beautiful graphics, typography, photography, and live footage. When Jennifer and I first discussed the possibilities of creating a trailer for Through Her Eyes, the ideas I had were electric. The main character, Tansy, exists on the brink of two different worlds. I was intrigued by the challenge of visually communicating a mood of tension, along with an edgy and exciting aesthetic for readers.

I began the process by asking Jennifer to send me a rough script of the content  she wanted to communicate to the audience. From there, I jumped straight into the “visual concept phase” of the design process. A large part of this phase involves researching and sorting through stock photos and footage, as well as my own media libraries... and then mentally absorbing the material in order to establish a visual direction.From there, I brainstormed and storyboarded my ideas in order to pitch them to Jennifer. We exchanged thoughts and ideas about the storyboards, and discussed budget in order to know how much stock materials the project could afford. We eventually chose a direction based on some of the thematic elements, including text on a page, photography, crystal pendants, and the contrast between color and black & white. We also decided that the technical approach would be based on still photos combined with typography.

Next came one of my favorite and challenging parts of the design process... the sound design. Fortunately for this project, I was able to find the perfect audio track. This is one of my favorite parts of the process because the audio is so key in inspiring and driving a project. However, often times it's not so easy to find (or afford) the ideal audio solution, and in those cases, I choose to hire a sound designer to join the collaboration and to create the perfect audio track.

During the animating and editing phase, Jennifer and I were able to consistently communicate back and forth in order to reach a successful solution. I would create a draft, we would talk about revisions, and then I would reply with a next draft. This is another part of the process that I really enjoy, because it is true collaboration... two professionals feeding off of each other's creative energy. Also, in my experience, working with authors usually results in smooth teamwork due to the fact that our creative processes are very similar.

The experience of working with Jennifer was extremely positive and professional, and I look forward to more collaboration within the realm of book trailers. We are both very proud of the finished trailer for Through Her Eyes and think it captures beautifully the tone and subject matter of the book. I hope you enjoy it!   -Emily Greaser



After earning a BFA in graphic design at Montana State University, Emily Greaser completed her education at Vancouver Film School in British Columbia, Canada.  Since then, she has spent time traveling and gaining experience through a variety of freelance projects, spanning from Seattle, Washington all the way to Sydney, Australia. Significant projects include:  Book trailers for award-winning author Jennifer Archer and  NY Times Bestselling author Linda Castillo, a series of logo animations for K2 Skis, and a series of visual effects composite shots for a feature film produced in Australia.  Emily currently resides in New York City, and can be contacted through her website 

Visit Jennifer Archer's website 


Paula Millhouse said...

Very Cool Trailer Jennifer.

Emily did a great job - leads me right into the story.


Anita Grace Howard said...

I just love "how it's made" posts! Thanks Jenny and Emily! You gals made a wonderful trailer together. I agree, that soundtrack couldn't have been more perfect.

Jennifer Archer said...

Thanks, Paula and Anita! It was fun to collaborate.