I know I should wait until The Lies We Told is available before sharing the video with the world, but I love it so much I can’t wait! I’ll tuck it away after this blog post and bring it back when the book is released, but I thought you might enjoy hearing how John and I created it, thus my excuse for this blog.
Book videos are hard to make. Movie trailers are easy (by comparison) because movies are visual and you can simply take carefully selected scenes from the film. You don’t have that luxury with books. It’s tempting in making a book video to try to interpret the story literally, using narrative either typed on the screen or in a voice over. She was beautiful and good hearted. (Cue image of beautiful, good-hearted woman). Until the night He appeared. (Image of scary looking but very handsome dude. With a couple of tattoos. Nice ones). On that night (Image of dark night, clouds drifting across a crescent moon) her young brother disappeared. (Image of young boy slowly fading to black).
Okay, they’re not all that cheesy, but you get the idea. They’re hard to do. I like my two previous trailers, one for Before the Storm and its sequel, Secrets She Left Behind, but I think I like this new one best. In my opinion, it gives the feeling of the book and the central themes (our family stories are not always what they seem and the powerful relationship between sisters) without actually trying to tell the viewer the story.
We toyed with a bunch of approaches to the story, which is about two sisters working for a Doctors Without Borders type of organization after a hurricane demolishes Wilmington, North Carolina. We pulled stock images of hurricane destruction, helicopters (a helicopter crashes in the story), doctors (yawn), and all sorts of other photographs. Then I came up with the idea of using the first page of the book (if any of you have an ARC–Advanced Reading Copy–the first page is missing, so don’t bother looking for it!). Even though I’m no professional narrator, we decided I’d do the reading. We added a sentence to help the viewer understand a bit better what’s going on. I recorded the narration about ten million times with long gaps between each sentence so that John could use the best take of each one. You can tell by the way I’m gripping my thighs how comfortable I am.
Then we began pulling stock images and video to fit the narrative. John found most of these. I think my favorite is Rebecca. Whoa, did he ever find the right clip for that woman! John put together the rough cut and we reviewed it and made a couple of changes. Then he assembled the finished program, and voila! Here it is.
I hope you enjoy it and look forward to your thoughts.