Book trailers: they’re everywhere. And while the jury is still out on whether they are a worthwhile marketing tool or waste of time and money (and bandwidth), there are a few notable success stories. Take Jeff Carlson’s trailer for Plague War (2008), for instance, which lit up the blogosphere last year and has certainly moved copies. Certainly? Well, probably.
Today we take on the trailer for Jason Quinn Malott’s The Evolution of Shadows, a novel about a news reporter who has gone missing in a Bosnian war zone. The biggest risk in making these trailer dealies is coming off like some chintzy student production, and the makers of this video do themselves a favor by keeping things subtle: unusually sharp black-and-white stills, underscored music, catchy text. The creators are not dilettantes: they know the emotional difference between a dissolve, a fade, and a cut. Their only misstep is the digital-zooming near the end, a cheesy effect that always feels to me like someone getting too gee-whiz with their editing software.
Verdict: effective. The newsy subject lends itself well to the documentary-style trailer. OK, I’m interested. Somebody book me.