Saturday, December 11, 2010

Trailer Making

I've had lots of people ask about the making of the Get a Grip, Cooper Jones trailer. I had always intended to make a trailer for Cooper, and planned to have it ready prior to the book's release in August. I was lucky enough to be able to attend a trailer making workshop organised by Chris Cheng and SCBWI in 2009. So once the book's publication date was locked in, I used my newfound knowledge to work out a bit of a script and concept, and then asked my son, Brad, who enjoys fiddling with film and photography, if he'd help me.

Well, two things happened. Firstly, life intervened for both Brad and me: work commitments, uni, exams, overseas trips etc. and the trailer making kept on being pushed aside. Then when we finally had a window to get it started, Brad confessed that the idea of making a trailer with images overlaid with text and music didn't really inspire him creatively. (In other words, he thought my concept sucked!)

But don't worry, he said, I have an idea.

I'm his mother; I worried!

But I shouldn't have.

The idea was using the technique of stop motion animation - a technique Brad was interested in experimenting with. He showed me a couple of YouTube clips, explained his concept and I was immediately excited. This was going to be a whole lot of fun!

Basically, the technique involves taking a sequence of photos of an action in progress and then stitching them together - in much the same way an animator does with drawn images for cartoons. It took Brad about a week to film the clip and he estimates that he took about 1500 photographs. Another week or so to put it together and another week for a friend of his to add the music and sound effects. Then voila! We had our trailer.

And I think it is pretty cool.


  1. When I saw the clip, I recognised the work and time that would have gone into it, Sue.
    Congratulations to your son, a creative job well done. :)

  2. He loves doing this type of thing, Sheryl. But like most of us creative souls, he would like to have another crack at it and make it better! Sound familiar?

  3. Hey Sue! That was so cool! I’ve always been a fan of stop motion animation! Your son Brad must have a lot of patience... It’s very time consuming. He nailed the “book taking you places” concept perfectly. I just have to get to a SCBWI convention or workshop! Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

  4. Hey thanks, Jack. Brad is a patient guy (mostly!). He certainly enjoys mucking around with his camera, so I think he had fun making the trailer. (He is on the beach right now in the pitch dark taking a time lapse of the eclipse.) I will pass on your comments.