Oct 6, 2009

Book Trailers

I'm generally not one for Book Trailers. For the most part, they are underbudgeted and underproduced. The only books with enough marketing behind them to afford a professional trailer are the books that don't need trailers to sell copies (i.e. Harry Potter, Twilight, Dan Brown, etc). The other alternatives are fan produced/amateur trailers and for that you need someone with a lot of skill, a lot of free time, awareness of the authors work, and a desire to help them. For your average author, that's not going to happen.

There are only a few fanbases out there that meet those 4 criteria. One of which is Star Wars. They've got a lot of tech-savy fans who enjoy making Stormtrooper costumes and fan films in their spare time with publishing schedules that are known and dissected years in advance. These guys love Star Wars and go so far as to digitally edit Jar Jar Binks to make a vastly superior edition of The Phantom Menace. Other than SW, Star Trek, John Scalzi, and a few other groups I'm sure I'm forgetting, the majority of books aren't going to have that level of amateur support. Not to mention the fact that the Star Wars publishing empire could afford to buy a professional trailer (and probably a 1:1 scale Death Star).

So when I saw that Random House was holding a Book Trailer contest for Joe Schreiber's Death Troopers over at Suvudu I was immediately interested. These book trailers could be interesting. These book trailers could be, dare I say it..., good.

So I watched the trailers. For the most part they are pretty meh. Inferior computer animation, bad dialogue/acting, and absolutely terrible costumes/sets. Even the official Del Rey trailer, complete with Joe Schreiber cameo, isn't anything special. The majority of book trailers simply don't work. The most stunning scenes of the movie can be spliced together to make a killer trailer in a way that you can't cheaply replicate off the page.

But this one, this one I liked. It's simple. It knows it's limitations and it works with them rather than trying to hide them. Have a look:

What do you think?


  1. Not to sound like a Yes Man, but I love it. I don't really know anything about the book (well, aside from your posts about it,) but this trailer sure caught my attention (at this point, I've watched it about four times. My fifth will be after I'm done posting this.)

    It's essentially the cover art brought to life, isn't it? A picture of a horribly bloodied storm trooper, except this one is alive. Or is it?

    I love the empty spaces, hangar, control room, etc. It does a great job showing the ship's desolation, with just a couple of establishing shots.

    This trailer tells just enough, almost too little, and that's the way it should be. Is it a zombie? Clone gone mad? Serial killer? Infection?

    On the other hand, I can see how some people might be turned off by this. It could be interpreted as just a slasher movie, with all the cliches contained therein. Of course, that may be because the book is like a slasher movie. Again, I don't know the book at all.

    I'm not into horror books, movies, horror anything, really, but I have to say: This trailer has made me interested in this book. I can't believe I'm saying that, and because of a book trailer. I have an even lower opinion of book trailers than you do.

    This one, though? Outstanding.

  2. That was wicked! And I don't like horror that much...


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