Monday, March 28, 2011

Guest Post: The Making of the Through Her Eyes Book Trailer (& Giveaway)

A note from Jennifer:

I was so excited when Casey asked me to guest post on her wonderful blog about the making of the book trailer for Through Her Eyes, my debut novel for teens. Although I have previously written several novels for adults, this was my first experience collaborating on a book trailer. I found the process to be fun and exciting, as well as a wonderful new creative challenge. It was so surreal seeing certain elements in the story come alive through graphics, motion and sound. Emily Greaser, the talented motion design artist who worked with me to develop the trailer, did an amazing job of capturing my vision and the tone of the novel. Working with her on the project was a wonderful experience, and I look forward to collaborating with her on the design of more trailers for my future books. Since Emily can explain better than I the creative progression she went through in order to arrive at the beautiful and eerie finished product, I asked her if she would share her process with us, and she graciously agreed! So without further ado . . . here’s Emily!

Thank you for this opportunity to speak to your readers about my work! As a motion designer, book trailers provide me the perfect opportunity to utilize my design skills, and to jump right into visual storytelling by combining beautiful graphics, typography, photography, and live footage. When Jennifer and I first discussed the possibilities of creating a trailer for Through Her Eyes, the ideas I had were electric. The main character, Tansy, exists on the brink of two different worlds. I was intrigued by the challenge of visually communicating a mood of tension, along with an edgy and exciting aesthetic for readers.

I began the process by asking Jennifer to send me a rough script of the content she wanted to communicate to the audience. From there, I jumped straight into the “visual concept phase” of the design process. A large part of this phase involves researching and sorting through stock photos and footage, as well as my own media libraries... and then mentally absorbing the material in order to establish a visual direction.

From there, I brainstormed and storyboarded my ideas in order to pitch them to Jennifer. We exchanged thoughts and ideas about the storyboards, and discussed budget in order to know how much stock materials the project could afford. We eventually chose a direction based on some of the thematic elements, including text on a page, photography, crystal pendants, and the contrast between color and black & white. We also decided that the technical approach would be based on still photos combined with typography.

Next came one of my favorite and challenging parts of the design process... the sound design. Fortunately for this project, I was able to find the perfect audio track. This is one of my favorite parts of the process because the audio is so key in inspiring and driving a project. However, often times it's not so easy to find (or afford) the ideal audio solution, and in those cases, I choose to hire a sound designer to join the collaboration and to create the perfect audio track.

During the animating and editing phase, Jennifer and I were able to consistently communicate back and forth in order to reach a successful solution. I would create a draft, we would talk about revisions, and then I would reply with a next draft. This is another part of the process that I really enjoy, because it is true collaboration... two professionals feeding off of each other's creative energy. Also, in my experience, working with authors usually results in smooth teamwork due to the fact that our creative processes are very similar.

The experience of working with Jennifer was extremely positive and professional, and I look forward to more collaboration within the realm of book trailers. We are both very proud of the finished trailer for Through Her Eyes and think it captures beautifully the tone and subject matter of the book. I hope you enjoy it! -Emily Greaser

After earning a BFA in graphic design at Montana State University, Emily Greaser completed her education at Vancouver Film School in British Columbia, Canada. Since then, she has spent time traveling and gaining experience through a variety of freelance projects, spanning from Seattle, Washington all the way to Sydney, Australia. Significant projects include: Book trailers for award-winning author Jennifer Archer and NY Times Bestselling author Linda Castillo, a series of logo animations for K2 Skis, and a series of visual effects composite shots for a feature film produced in Australia. Emily currently resides in New York City, and can be contacted through her website

For more about Through Her Eyes author Jennifer Archer, please visit:

Jennifer is also hosting a HUGE contest over at her site:

Enter Jennifer's Gargantuan Giveaway by April 4. 
Prizes include Kindles, iPods & more!

Signed ARC Giveaway

Coming April 5, 2011!

Sixteen-year-old Tansy Piper moves with her grandfather and her mother, a horror writer, to the setting of her mother's next book--a secluded house outside of a tiny, desolate West Texas town. Lonely and upset over the move, Tansy escapes into her photography and the dark, seductive poems she finds hidden in the cellar, both of which lure her into the mind and world of a mysterious, troubled young man who died sixty years earlier.

Thanks to Jennifer, I am able to give away a SIGNED ARC of her debut YA novel Through Her Eyes!

To Enter:
  • Leave a thoughtful comment about Emily's discussion of trailer-making. (UPDATED 3/28 at 10:25 am EST: Unless you've already commented, things like "the trailer is great" do not count as thoughtful. By "thoughtful" I mean prove to me you actually read the post.)
  • Include your email address so I can contact you if you win.
  • US/Canada Only
  • Ends 4/6/11 at 11:59 pm EST
  • Winner chosen via

Good luck! Thanks to Jennifer Archer, Emily Greaser and Teen Book Scene Tours for this guest post and giveaway!

Come back April 6 for my review of Through Her Eyes!


Anonymous said...

Who knew there was SO much involved?!?! Wow!!

nowakoski at sbcglobal dot net

Aydrea said...

I loved the trailer, I thought it was very cool and unique. It was interesting to read about all that goes into the process because I know nothing about it.

Thanks for the great giveaway!

TheGirlOnFire said...

I guess I never thought about how much work would go into making a trailer. I really enjoyed it.

Stephanie- thegirlonfire
thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com



rachel said...

I would really love to win this book! Great book trailer!

Rachel Leigh
TheOneRing111 at gmail dot com

Vivien said...

Epic trailer! This book really sounds intriguing.

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Vidisha said...

Love the trailer!!!!

Erika said...

I've always wondered about how these book trailers are made. I kind of just assumed that if the book was published by a big name like Harper or Random House, etc., the author wouldn't have any say. So it's amazing to see that the two of you were really collaborators, with Emily doing all the technical work and Jennifer really helping with the direction of the video. Great post! Very informative. Thank you.


(erikadlugoAT yahoo(DOT)com)

Lauren M said...

Wow! I've always wondered what went into making a book trailer. It involves way more than I imagined!

Thanks for the post and giveaway! :)

Marg K. said...

I just find the idea of book trailers fascinating in that it demonstrates how authors/publishers have evolved their marketing strategies to reflect the "online culture" of readers, particularly young readers. Also, it's interesting to read about the creative process involved. I didn't for a second imagine that it's easy; on the contrary, I can completely understand how difficult it can be to create the appropriate visual/audio representation of a book, especially on a limited budget.

Thanks for the post and giveaway!


Kristen - Seeing Night said...

Awesome Trailer. I understand how much work it is to create a trailer that really represents the work you are trying to promote. I created a book trailer for a class at my art school and you really need to set the right tone through images and music to pull it off. You did a fantastic job !

Thanks for the giveaway

Jessy said...

I think the audio track was perfect. It was truly creepy. Good job!

findjessyhere at gmail dot com

Jennifer said...

I'm glad so many of you found this post interesting! Emily and I were happy to have the opportunity to talk about the process of making the trailer! Only a week until the release of THROUGH HER EYES...I'm excited!

Brenda said...

I would really like to see how they layered the different elements in order to get some of the effect they did in that video.

dancealeert at aol dot com

I did post this to my blog:

KimberlySue said...

I think it's great that so much collaboration goes into making the trailer. I am a firm believer that two heads working together are better than one!

Heather Leah said...

I never knew about book trailers until I became a blogger. Reading this really makes me appreciate them even more. I never knew so much time & effort went into them. It is a true form of art work.


Jennifer said...

I think it is great when an author is involved in promotional aspects for their book, such as book trailers, It was interesting to learn that this was the first book trailer that Jennifer worked on. After reading Emily's detailed message about what goes into making a book trailer, I never knew how much work went into making one. Also I learned that finding the right audio can make or break a successful book trailer. I enjoyed the book trailer and appreciate it more now that I know how much work went into making it.

Vivien said...

I needed to elaborate a little, because I know there is a lot of work that goes into the trailers. They always turn out great! We tend to take them for granted.

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Ramblings of a Part time Druid said...

I love the ideas of book trailers.. its like taking book reading further and further into our techno based world. I had no idea that writers had such an influence in the making of the trailers.. I figured companies hired people to do them so they turned out perfect. Good to know the author still gets a say.

Jolene Allcock and Family said...

Wow, had no idea the complexity of making a book trailer. I feel better educated. I would love to win this book, it sounds like an amazing read. Thanks for the chance


Lisa (Lisa's World of Books) said...

I am always impressed with the trailers. It has got to be incredible hard to get what you want across the right image in a short trailer. It is a whole different talent to writing

Joni S. said...

It's interesting to know that making book trailers is such a collaborative process. From what I understand, authors often have little input in the cover design for novels.

It's refreshing to know that the there is such back and forth in the process. I imagine it's a difficult process to by the designer putting images to the ideas of the writer.

The Total Book Nerd said...

I love the effects of the trailer! it makes me want to the Through Her Eyes EVEN MORE! Jennifer and Emily sure did a great job working together! I look forward to seeing more trailers of their's! I don't think I could put something together like that at all! LOL. I love the sound of the wind chimes in the beginning very creepy and mysterious:) hehe I swear I watched the trailer over 5 times. LOL. You guys sure did a FANTASTIC JOB! :D


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