Book Trailers

How do you sell a book to students when they are so tuned into video games and the latest DVD releases? Simple: sell the book like it was a movie!

And many publishing houses are doing just that! A quick search using "Book trailer" brings up a wealth of sites. (See below for additional resources)

Krista and I worked on this project with Grade 9/10 English students.

After reviewing her criteria with the group, students spent a couple of days collecting images, video clips, music and sound effects that they wanted to use in their creation. (Many students brought resources from home on a flash drive.)

The class was asked to keep track of where they found their images and clips so they could provide this information in the rolling credits at the end of the trailer. (Cutting and pasting URLs into a Word document works fine.)

I showed the students a demo that I had created based on the book "Coraline" by Neil Gaiman (see below) and then did a quick mock up showing them the steps I used:
  • Use your "script" to plan your images.
  • Load pics and clips into the Media Browser in iMovie.
  • Drag them onto the timeline in the order you prefer.
  • Narrate your trailer onto the top audio track. (You can break the narration into chunks by stopping and starting the recorder. That way, if you make a mistake you don't have to re-record the entire thing, just the offending part.)
  • Add sound effects, music and stingers to the bottom track. (They can overlap one another. If you want better control, the sounds can be mixed in Garage Band then imported into iMovie.)
  • Tweak and tweak some more: add transitions and effects. (But, remember, perfection is only for Hollywood, and multimillion dollar budgets.)
  • Add credits at the end!
Here's my demo-sample:

Here's a list of resources you can use to help you students create their own: