Dear brother book trailer
60 second book trailer for social media publicity.
"Dear Brother" is a middle grade graphic novelish written by Alison Mcghee, illustrated by Tuan Nini. This 192-page book is due to be launched in the U.S. on 8th August 2023 by Simon & Schuster, under the imprint Aetheneum Books for Young Readers.
After completing illustrating Dear Brother, I created an animated trailer using artwork for use as publicity content leading up to the launch. The challenge was to translate the whole book into an engaging and interesting trailer that would pique potential readers' interest.
Just like in the book, I wanted the text and images to not only complement each other, but to need each other. This is a challenge as I'm trying to solve two things at the same time while staying true to the original source, and also making the judgement to reveal some things and leaving others.
After finally finding the rhythm and structure to the script, I chose artworks from the book that complements the text, and laid them out into a storyboard and sent it over to Alison Mcghee to confirm if the text- the voice, stays true to how she wrote the character. I absolutely loved Alison's writing and it was important for me that she greenlights the text in this trailer, and very glad that she only had very minor notes for me.
The animation will be posted for social media and will likely be seen on phones, so I needed to plan the compositions carefully so that nothing essential is covered up by platform layout elements, mainly IG reels and Tik Tok.
The blue rea is a guide showing the areas that will be covered up by buttons and text descriptions, once the video is posted. The interface in Tik Tok particularly takes up a lot of space on the right hand side.
Another challenge is to animate on the text slow enough that it's readable, but fast enough before anyone can get bored/impatient and flick to another video. I tested the animation on several people, and it is clear that people have different speeds of reading. But specifically in the case of social media, it's better to err on the side of too fast instead of too slow, as it is always possible for viewers to rewatch the video. What's most important is that the actions do not feel sluggish.
After animating the main scenes, I start looking for suitable music, and tried many songs before finding one with just the right tone, but also rhythm that naturally lines up with the main beats of the animation, requiring only slight adjustments for a tighter edit. The song is called Jam Dogs by Jonathan Boyle, licensed from Premium Beat. It's a happy coincidence that the protagonist of the book LOVES dogs.
Towards the end, I decided to cut out the last scene in the storyboard before the packshot, so that it ends on a high energy.
I finished off the animation with sound effects using Boombox sound database, and here is the final result.
Final book trailer animation
I also made this cute little stop motion after receiving a proof copy from my editor!