Posts Tagged ‘David Greene’

“The Tower”: A Novella of Pre-History Available for Free on Amazon

For a limited time this weekend, March 2nd through March 4th, my novella The Tower that appeared in Chaos Theory Magazine will be available on Amazon as a free Kindle eEook ( http://www.amazon.com/The-Tower-ebook/dp/B007DMIK7I ). The Tower came about as a need to give substance to the villain in my novel Echoes of Avalon. My wise editor, Sarah Cypher, insisted that my villain was two dimensional, a card board cut-out and stereo type of bad guys. She said he needed motive. A history. People needed to understand him and find him believable. Thus was born The Tower, a flash-back sequence on the life of Loki. The eBook novella ends with bonus material, the first chapter to Echoes of Avalon, and a fantastic piece of art work by artist David Greene. And if you miss the free promo it is only $0.99. Also, you can find it in Amazon’s Lending Library.

Making a Movie Trailer for Your Book: A Focus on Individual Image Creation

I mentioned in my earlier blog, the Modus Operandi for creating a specific image that will appear in my movie trailer blog follows a certain process. That includes previewing rough drafts of the image, suggestions for changes, stamp of approval on a final rough draft, then the final completed image.

I’d like to walk you through that process for one image here.

When working with the artist, David Greene, I first emailed him a list of descriptions – one for each image – and then I sat down with him and verbally clarified what I’d like to see for the image we were currently working on. When necessary I even drew very rudimentary stick figures for him, but mostly he was keen enough to understand right away what I was looking for.

After the first image he made for me, I had a good idea how fast (and talented) he was at making the rough drafts and how he could adjust on the fly. That filled me with enough confidence to be fairly demanding when making suggestions for changes.

For the most recent image we were working on I sent him the written description: “Image1 (Black and White, pencil/charcoal): Patrick is on his knees before a burning Jerusalem circa 1099 AD. He is wearing chainmail with a white surcoat over it. The surcoat is smeared with soot and blood. It also has a red cross emblazoned on the chest (classic ‘Crusader’ style). The cross should be bright red and the only color in the image. Patrick has a ‘What have I done?’ look on his face and his arms hang limply at his sides. A Norman style helmet (conical cap with nose card, a la ‘Bayeaux Tapestry’) rests up-ended on the ground near his knees as if he just took it off, set it down, and it is in the process of rolling away.”

After a brief discussion, David took the idea and ran with it. Within a couple of days he had these rough drafts for me:

Image "A" Provided by David Greene

Image "B" Provided by David Greene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both were great starts, but I did not like the angle. I did not want to see a full frontal image. I suggested that I’d like to see the character more at an angle. Soon David had this image to show me:

 

Kneeling-Face Covered

I liked it much better, but now I was concerned about the character covering his face. I wanted a viewer to see the pain on the character’s face, imparting the significance of the moment. Again David adjusted and came up with this:

Kneeling, face exposed-but now not enough of an angle

Closer. I suggested a compromise between the last two images – the previous image’s angle, plus the exposed face. Also, I made the final suggestions of having the character looking skyward. David excitedly accepted the suggestions and in a few days I gave the stamp of approval after seeing this:

Final Rough Draft Approved for Green Light

My final input was to point out that I envisioned the character having an appearance similar to that of Brandon Lee, the actor and son of Bruce Lee who tragically died while filming The Crow. I even emailed links of Google images of Brandon. That turned out to be unnecessary, as David was already familiar with, and a fan of, the actor.

After all this back-and-forth, all the nit-picking on my part, and the tweaking. David came up with this final awesome image:

Final Image - "Patrick at the Fall of Jerusalem"

My friends and colleagues were just as astounded as I was (though, due to technical difficulties, the image here is blurry and does not do the final image justice). I received a print out of the image just in time for a book signing where I put it prominently on display. I’m fairly certain it went a long way towards selling more books than I normally would have. Customers are much more willing to buy a product when they have a clearer image of what the product has to offer – in this case a clear image of what transpires in the pages of Echoes of Avalon.

Which brings up an interesting point: Even after these images have been used in a movie trailer, they still will be quite effective by themselves as promotional tools for all sorts of occasions for a long time to come. Money well spent.

These images, and future ones, can be found on the Echoes of Avalon Facebook page. Check them out here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.247839491948866.60569.196323337100482&type=3

Making a Movie Trailer for Your Book: The First Steps

This is the first in a series of blog entries that will be documenting the process I’m taking to create a “movie” trailer promotion for my book.

I’ve always wanted a kick-ass “movie” trailer promotion for my book, Echoes of Avalon, but always felt that it would either cost a butt-load of money, or take a butt-load of time. Turns out both are mostly true. Mostly.

Naturally, the quality of your final product is directly proportional to the amount of money and time you put into it, but they are not entirely the only resources you have to rely on. Patience, networking, and luck can fall in your favor if you just let them. I could have gone off half-cocked a long time ago and made a crappy trailer that ideally  would  have used one of those production companies that use live actors, costumes, the whole nine-yards. If I had, I’m certain two things would have happened: 1. I would have spent a lot of money (somewhere in the neighborhood of of at least $1,000) and 2. No matter how well meaning the production company or how much effort they put into it, the trailer would still not be truly “movie” quality and kind of cheesy. Something I DO NOT want associated with my book.

So, I waited patiently until the time was right. Rather, I waited until the right guy came along. A friend of a friend, David Greene of Vancouver, WA,  is an incredible artist and since he is not (yet) a “professional” artist, his prices are in the realm of possibility. After viewing the samples of his  drawings and colorings on his Facebook page I knew he had the skill and range I was looking for.

I’ve seen several effective trailers that used only still images that were manipulated with a laptop’s movie-making software. By just simply zooming in on specific points, panning the “camera” across the image, throw in some text or audio, set it all to an epic soundtrack, and–viola!–you have a decent, cost effective and un-pretentious trailer. That’s  my plan: Use a handful of still images, ranging from black&whites, to vivid color. I want to show the evolution that transpires in my book as the main character, Sir Patrick, goes from historical Medieval Europe (black and white images) to the Isle of Avalon (water colors) to the Fairy Realm beyond the curtain of “reality” (photoshop colors). Dull to vivid.

Our mutual friend connected us on Facebook, we met in real life, I told him what I was looking for, he said he could do it, and we agreed to terms. We even drew up a simple contract that bullet-pointed the specifics: A total of 8 images created at a rate of no less than one a month, at $100 an image, payable upon completion and hand-off of each image. He has already done a couple rough drafts (shown in this blog) on one of the ideas, just to confirm that is what I’m looking for. I was very impressed and gave him the green light to complete it. I imagine that will be the MO from here on out: rough drafts, stamp of approval, completion.

Once that is done, I’ll work on the movie editing software. I still haven’t decided if that is something I’ll do myself, work with someone to get me started on doing it yself, or yet again pay someone to do it all. It will all depend on how busy my day-job-life goes.

Stay tuned. My pain will by your gain.

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