Originally, I thought I wasn't going to make a trailer. I really wanted a high production quality, live-action one and I knew I didn't have the resources for that. But about a month ago, thanks to the random creativity of the Internet, I was struck by an idea to try and do a stop-motion one. Stop-motion is a method wherein inanimate objects appear to move (think claymation) because of thousands of photographs strung together with just a tiny bit of movement in each one.
Spike Jonze - Mourir Auprès de Toi from Freak! Produtora on Vimeo.
(That one is spectacular by the way -- especially for all book-lovers. I highly recommend it).
So Graig and I set about brainstorming how to do it. I'd made some short films in college before but never a stop-motion.
First, Graig spent a couple of days hand-painting all the elements of my cover.
Then he scanned them in and printed them out and I spent a good portion of time cutting them out with teeny, tiny scissors.
|Not what one usually means by "cutting a trailer"|
We glued the background together and spent a while figuring out our uber-sophisticated set-up:
By this point, it was 11 PM on a Saturday. Obviously, all natural light was gone. I spent a large chunk of time trying to remember what on earth I had learned about three-point lighting in film school (fact: lighting was my worst subject there). I attempted to recreate said lessons with three lamps.
We spent a couple of hours shooting, with Graig moving the pieces just a little bit for every shot and me snapping a photo with the iPhone remote (so that the camera wouldn't move by me touching the screen).
And then we watched the results.
Here is a still:
They were...not good.
I wondered if it was cute and kitschy homemade-looking, or just I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing/awful homemade-looking. When I woke up the next morning, I knew it was the latter.
I was pretty bummed and spent about half an hour sure I had to scrap the whole thing.
But then I listed to the amazing voiceover that my friend Rachel F. Hirsch had done for me, and I knew I just had to try to get that out into the world somehow. If only I could get the images to match the quality of her work. I stared at my screen. I stared at my cover. I stared at the credits I had made for the trailer.
And ever so slowly it dawned on me. Since, unlike claymation, the elements of my stop-motion were originally 2D art anyway, I could simulate stop-motion via basic computer software.
So I did. And about two straight days of work later. Voila!
I actually had a lot of fun going back to my film school roots, both with the actual editing work and with the problem-solving. And, ultimately, my failed 'trial'er ended up being a good storyboard for the finished product.
And a little lesson in perseverance never hurt anybody, especially not me!