Book Trailer for The Dragon Keeper

If I were very clever, or even moderately clever, I think I’d know a better way to link to this. 

For now, I’ll go with simple.  Here is a link that will take you to YouTube and the site for Sabotage & Dialogue.  That’s the small production company I’ve been working with in my first efforts to creat a book trailer for one of my own books.

I am emerging from this experience with a much greater amount of respect for people who make videos and movies.  I’ve come to realize that this creative process is far more complicated than writing.  With a book, it’s me and the keyboard, and an unlimited budget for special effects.  You want dragons the size of construction cranes?  Sure.  Gimme a paragraph, and they’re all yours.

But with a camera and a soundtrack . . . whoah.  Whole different thing.

This has been a steep learning curve for me, so be kind.  Anything you like, put that down to cooler and more experienced heads prevailing!  Anything a bit bumpy, well, that’s probably me driving from the back seat!

And all in all, we had a lot of fun doing this.  And it couldn’t have been too bad for S & D, because Kat says that yes, they’d be willing to do another book video.  Even with me!

Hope you enjoy this, my first effort to make images that match what I see in my mind!


16 Responses to Book Trailer for The Dragon Keeper

  1. I like it! It’s much nicer to see you make one yourself rather than having one of these “fancy” superproductions. It’ makes it more special.
    I love the part where you put the cut out cover on the huge stack of printouts. That must feel very satisfying : almost there!

  2. Wow, the rain wilds look like the Pacific Northwest!

    I liked the trailer. I’m really getting into the idea of book trailers. I saw one for Patrick Rothfuss’ Name of the Wind, in Italian I think: Before that, I didn’t know book trailers existed. I like the style of yours better though. It’s like an actual snippet of action from the book.

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!! 🙂 And it’s even better knowing that you had input into it. I am re-reading the farseer trilogy right now & will just continue straight through into the Liveships…lol..I am preparing myself for getting back to the wonderful Rain Wilds with Dragon Keeper! *yay*
    Very exciting…thank you Robin xx

  4. I really liked the idea, the makeup and the costumes… and especially the scenes where there was only music to accompany the images.
    Oh, and here’s how to link to youtube videos when posting to livejournal:
    You put the the whole url of the video between too lines of code, like this:

    < lj-template name="video">
    < /lj-template>

    (Just remove the empty spaces right after “< "

  5. hmmm…

    a part of me wants it to stay abstract, like running water and woods taking on unreal colors, but never getting a really focused shot of the natives.

    then again, I’m very visual, and really expect the Rain Wilds folks to be severely deformed looking. I forget that, you know, Bingtown doesn’t have SF/F cons and wouldn’t dismiss certain oddities as fandom costume & make-up.

    But, yeah, the ginormous loose leaf tome at the end is pretty awesome. “Here’s 600 pages it took me years to write, that you’ll finish in one sitting. You are NOT ALLOWED to ask about the next volume until the hardcover has been out for at least a month.”

  6. WHOOO!

    Beautiful! I remember complaining to my husband a couple of years ago that nobody made trailers for books, telling him that movie trailers were all fine, but doing one for books would help the reader know more about it than a single paragraph on the back.
    Also, I am in love with the make-up.

  7. Very cool. I especially like the “hot off the press” feel you get from the very end. P.S. never read this series (yet).. but between this and how well you wrote about Thick, I am a very happy camper.

  8. Very interesting concept indeed! I have never even given thought to making trailers for books. They did a great job
    with the makeup and the whole production comes off as an abstract glimpse into a different world. Well… a different
    Northwestern U.S. world, but a new one none-the-less! ^-^

    The forest up there is gorgeous! I really enjoyed seeing it! Awww, and little Pei Chi (my bird) squawked along with
    the sounds… I may have to watch it again… for him of course. 😉

  9. It might be scaring Pei Chi!

    Some of the bird calls came from us taping near the owl. The forest birds were going crazy, warning each other of a predator close by. In the first scene of the owl,you can see that smaller birds are diving on him and trying to drive him off.

    We had my young grandson with us when we were filming. He’s four. When he went close to where the owl was perched, the owl fluffed up and got very aggressive looking. And then the little birds got very, very noisy, trying to warn my grandson of the killer owl perched just above him. It was really interesting to watch them trying to warn him off.

    But your bird may be responding to lots of other birds shouting, “Danger! Danger!”


  10. one critique

    I tread here, semi-lightly, largely because having made numerous short films before I know how painful it is to even get the slightest correct criticism thrown in my direction (and whether any of my criticisms are correct are not is certainly open for argument):

    – I really enjoyed the opening of the trailer, specifically the owl. It worked for me and pulled me in.
    – I found the titles used somewhat abrasive. I think it had something to do with their speed (although I’m not certain on that) but they kept taking me away from the video itself. Think of it like you’re deeply entrenched in reading your favourite book when someone slams a door three feet away from you. That feeling is what I kept getting with the titles.

    Those are my two observations at first run through, although I’m might have more comments when I get chance to sit down and watch it a couple more times. As a general piece of advice with regards to any type of filmmaking: The more time you can give a filmmaker to prepare the better the final piece will be. Thinking in direct relation to this books sequel do you have an idea as to what you would like a trailer for that to look like? If you do, the sooner you can discuss it with the scriptwriter+director+filmmaker the better because it will give them more time to prepare for it and to let you know what they can and can’t achieve for you.

    Anyweather that’s my two cents. I quite enjoyed it overall, thank you for posting it!

  11. Re: one critique

    Still learning, so thoughts are appreciated.

    We did something that is really ‘different’ even though it seemed only logical to me. That is, in this case, the writer had all sorts of input. I was shown camera angles, given choices on wardrobe, helped select the shots we used, the voice over bits, and everything.

    Now, that gave me an opportunity to try to make this what I wanted it to look and sound like. But it also made it very difficult for Kat to make it as smooth and polished as if she were working on it and making ALL the decisions. I think we both learned a lot in the process. But that is why you will probably see several versions of this trailer over the next few months. (Of course, we have to re-shoot some stuff to make it relevant to the US release.)

    So, any bumpy parts were probably created by me. I’m still very pleased with how it came out, even though I can see probably more flaws than anyone else, mostly because I know exactly where I was aiming.

    Maybe next time. If Kat can stand to have that many cooks stirring the broth again . . .


  12. Re: one critique

    hehe ^_^

    I can’t where but I remember reading that if you’re alone on an island you don’t need rules and laws let alone the concept of society. However, place even one more person on that island and all these things will be needed in order to allow the two people to coexist. The best thing that can actually be done for some film projects is to have a non-film eye placed upon it and let those eyes make suggestions because, after all, no one actually cares what a filmmaker thinks. The audience on the other hand, their opinion is what matters.

    I went through the video another couple times and here’s what I came up with:

    1) The titles no longer bother me like they did the first go through. I suspected this might happen as I was rushed and distracted at first viewing. Having had a chance to actually watch it with full attention I like them.

    2) At approximately 52 to 54 seconds in the female protagonist has a moment where she engages either the camera or the director behind the camera with her eyes. She quickly glances away but it’s another break from reality. I don’t like it, other people might but if it were me I’d tighten that scene up.

    3) At the end (approximatey 1:34 to 1:38) “you” place a copy of the manuscript on down along with the cover and the camera zooms in. I love the zooming in and the fading to the title of the book. I’m not a fan of the ‘placing’ of the manuscript or the cover: It seems to draw it out unnecessarily; it takes to long on screen for it to occur. However, this I do strongly chalk up to personal preference. If you like it and your director likes it I wouldn’t worry about it.

    Otherwise, again, I enjoyed it and am glad to see what is actually inside your minds eye.

  13. Wow! Hi Robin. I’m so excited to find out about your new Rain Wild book!

    Something told me to check my old LJ (after years of neglect) and to check the old Robin Hobb community I belonged to (Fitz_is_stupid), and here we are, in your own LJ page! Wow…

    The Rain Wilds was my absolute favourite place in your 9 Fitz and Fool books! I can’t believe I am finally going to read more about it again!

    Great book trailer. The make up looks great. Almost as I’d imagined it (my Rain Wilders were more scaly but glittery ;).

    Every time I see an iPhone or an iTouch I think of jidzin. It’s reality now, isn’t it? hehe

    Thanks for writing!