This video for Dave Cullen’s Columbine (which we starred), takes a news-magazine approach, starring Cullen as “reporter,” speaking to the camera in front of his library or while driving his car, stroking his chin at material evidence, and walking through the relevant scenes: the high school hallways and cafeteria, the permanent memorial. Combined with chilling b-roll (yearbook shots of the the teen killers, their home videos, breaking news footage), it makes for riveting viewing.
And yet, as a book trailer, it feels off. It’s not that Cullen is the same beast as those sanctimonious “Dateline” reporters (well-spoofed by SNL); it’s that he’s been put into an unwinnable position here. Squeezing such TV reportage into a neat 2:51 package is just another example of how old-school models come off as disingenuous in book trailers (or, for that matter, viral videos as a whole).
Verdict: It works. It just feels oddly wooden.