Thursday, February 6, 2014


There are many aspects of promoting a picture book that I don't love.  Many of them (contacting blogs, writing press releases) require a marketing mind, and that doesn't come naturally to me.  But I do enjoy making book trailers.  Here's where my love of movies and my theater background get to flex some muscle.

I'm making the book trailer for my latest book, THE SIMPLES LOVE A PICNIC. I set up in my basement this time so I could leave things up and messy since it takes two - to - three days to shoot.  (Above) this is a pic I snapped of me via timer right before the makeshift tripod I had set up fell over.  (It's all high-tech and super classy for me, baby.)

I have wised up on a few things since I shot my last trailer.

One, lighting.  Another benefit of the basement is I have no outside light.  Outside light is constantly changing and it's hard to block it all out.  Down in the basement, I control all the light.  I am the SUN!

Two, clamps.  See that piece of wood sticking up?  That's what holds the camera above the workspace.  I used to tape the camera onto it to keep it steady because I had nothing better for the job.  Now I have clamps!  Clamps allow me to move the camera up and down easily.  I heart clamps.

Three, an arm.  I used to tape the camera right ON the wood which meant I had to shoot right next to the wood (which is a problem if you want something to move down off-screen and it bumps into wood.).  I went to the hardware store and bought an L shaped piece of metal (that I believe was designed to hold window garden boxes) to move the camera out and away from the wood which gives me more flexibility when positioning the workspace.  I have to be careful of the shadow, but apart from that, the whole operation is getting pretty classy.  (Wink, wink.)  And I can hold it onto the wood with a clamp!

I shot the first part yesterday (and it is not easy to co-ordinate a whole family walking across a field.  Who's legs are moving outward?  Who's legs are moving inward?  Which way is the dog's tail wagging?)  But it's done and it looks good.  Now I have to make the people for the other part and finish up.

Fun, fun, fun.  (Really!)

By the way - I should mention that THE SIMPLES LOVE A PICNIC comes out April 8th and is available for pre-order!  So if you have a little person in your life that enjoys fun stories about picnics that go wrong, perhaps you'd like to pre-oder my book today.   (I and my publisher will thank you for it!)

In other news,

If you're in New England, you got hit with a bunch of snow yesterday.  I hope you're all shoveled out and getting back into the groove.  Looks like good sledding to me!

Take care!

1 comment:

Cathy Ballou Mealey said...

My husband is a clamp-fanatic. When I ventured to the hardware store to buy him a gift, I was dazzled by the variety and sizes!

Good luck with the trailer!