First, I tried to get someone else to make my book trailer.
When that didn’t work, I got other people to HELP me make my book trailer. As I writer, I don’t often get to collaborate on creative projects, and it turned out to be a blast.
But you should watch it first:
Now that you have seen the trailer and know that The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová is about a Czech fairy tale writer, you will understand why it is important that I happened to be in Prague this summer taking students on a study abroad trip. I was accompanied by my gentleman friend, whom I dragged around the city with a camera, and he helped me film moving shots of still statues (check out the opening pan up), and still shots of moving statues (Kafka’s swiveling head at minute 1:05!). We got footage on trams and of trams, on bridges and of them. We got a lot of footage.
Next, I wrote a script. Then rewrote it a few more times.
In the meantime, I contacted the Indiana University South Bend Instructional Media team and asked, “Can somebody please help me make a book trailer?” And they were like, “Sure, we can do it.”
Joel laid the ground rules. Joe would record the voices. Sky went to work on sorting through the video footage.
But we still didn’t have any background music to set the tone.
One night my gentleman friend and I watched a weird German movie, The Strange Little Cat, and we loved the music. So I did what you do: I googled the band and emailed the record company asking permission to use the music in my trailer. No answer. I wrote again. This time I got a response from Kim at Monotreme Records: “Yes, that should work!”
A few more email exchanges, a small fee, and the next thing I knew I had the rights to that hauntingly awesome music that plays throughout: “Pulchritude” by Thee More Shallows.
Meanwhile, we recorded the voices, which include my daughter (the first and last voice), my gentleman friend, and me. Sky was making great progress on the video editing, and the next thing I knew it was almost done. We just needed some audio for the credits.
Luckily, back in Prague, when I filmed Božena’s grave at the National Cemetery, I recorded the church bells as they rang and rang throughout the cemetery.
Did you watch all the way to the end? The bells are so beautiful.
The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová is now available for pre-order at Rose Metal Press. Free shipping!