With book trailer production at an all-time high there are more good book trailers out there than ever before. Here are 7 innovative examples of book trailer making, all of them unique and duper creative.
1. Watch by Keith Buckley (Rare Bird Books)
Directed by Brandon Dermer
Starring Matthew Lillard
Short, sleek, and simple, the book trailer for rocker Keith Buckley’s new novel Watch uses a simple set-up of a guy at a bar, in this case Twin Peaks The Return‘s Matthew Lillard, accompanied by voice over adapted from the novel. Shot by indie filmmaker Brandon Dermer this new book trailer proves you can have real actors, real directors, and high production value without spending a fortune. Seriously, this trailer consists of a dude sitting at a bar smoking a cigarette and it’s amazingly awesome.
2. Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart (Random House)
Directed by Krisina Budelis
Starring Ben Stiller and Gary Shteyngart
This is Shteyngart’s third mockumentary trailer in which he’s also featured, this time alongside Ben Stiller. Everything about this trailer made me giggle from the infomercial tone to the vintage zoom effect to the use of the word Brozak. Ben Stiller and the matching vests notwithstanding, this trailer or something like it could be shot over a weekend for under $500, though in this case the low production value serves the narrative. Also we love it when authors act in their own trailers.
3. Into the Current by Jared Young (Goose Lane Editions)
Directed by Chris Moberg
We’ve loved Moberg’s trailer for Jared Young’s debut novel since it came out after winning awards at SXSW for its fantastic title sequence. The trailer boasts more than amazing titles though, it’s visually weird and fascinating in its display of the remnants of a mid-air jetliner explosion, accompanied by a heart-thumping techno score. The result is a trailer that defies book trailer convention for something bold, entertaining and unique.
4. The Women by T.C. Boyle (Penguin)
Directed by Jamieson Fry
Starring: John Wilhovsky, Lynne-Marie Beard, and Ferrell Marshall
The trailer for T.C. Boyle’s The Women is more like a music video than a book trailer. The trailer was made by director Jamieson Fry, one of the pioneers of cinematic book trailers who has handled most of Mr. Boyle’s trailer making endeavors. Lush cinematography, great costume design, and top-notch filmmaking have made this one of the mainstays of solid cinematic book trailer production.
5. A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs (Penguin)
Book trailer production by Penguin Teen
For some reason the folks at Penguin seem to get the benefits of a quality-made trailer more than all the rest. This is evident in their super-duper high production value, predominately for their YA titles. A Map of Days is the third Ransom Riggs trailer and possibly the most visually pleasing. Shot using the traditional approach of obscuring actor’s faces, this elegant trailer teases the plot of the novel in all the right ways.
6. The Selection by Kiera Cass (Harper Teen)
Book trailer production by Harper Teen
Not only is this one stunning book trailer to behold, it’s also been beheld by more than a million viewers! Simple, fun, and stylish, this trailer proves that a little love and a simple idea can go a long way, with the perfect ensemble cast mind you.
7. Girlvert A Porno Memoir by Oriana Small AKA Ashley Blue (Rare Bird)
Trailer created by Andrew Guengerich
Possibly the most NSFW book trailer ever made, Girlvert… was the winning trailer in a contest a few years ago held by the Book Trailer Ninjas and judged by author Peter Straub. Using a montage of vintage 1970’s footage the trailer captures the essence of Blue’s memoir and its subject matter perfectly and again proves that the book trailer form has infinite approaches limited only by imagination.
For more info on book trailer production and whether they’re right for you, visit us at www.film-14.com