Now on YouTube: “Isadore’s Secret”

by Heather Newman on May 11, 2010

More book info A dramatic trailer for a University of Michigan Press book is now available for viewing online, thanks to the help of a Traverse City video production student.

The trailer is for Isadore’s Secret by Mardi Link, the true story of a nun from a small northern Michigan town who disappears, only to be found a decade later buried in the church basement. The video was put together by Julia Ortwell of Traverse City Central High School. View it below on our YouTube channel, and read on to see Mardi’s “making of” commentary!

Mardi Link comments: “On first glance, book trailers seemed like an oxymoron to me. As authors, one of our biggest challenges is to tempt people away from movies and TV, isn’t it? Not to add to the din of video already available on big screens and small.

“Still, the creative opportunity appealed to me, especially because the story in my latest true crime book, Isadore’s Secret, is inherently dramatic and contains strong characters with such conflicting motivations. I filled 250 pages with the century-old crime that defined their lives, but could I tell their story in under 3 minutes? For tips, I called Jim Filkins, a book reviewer and high school teacher I know who leads the video production class at Traverse City Central High School.

“What makes a good book trailer? How do you select appropriate music and obtain the rights to use it? What about voiceovers?  And how important is a unifying mood?

“In answer to all my questions, Jim stated the obvious: The goal of any book trailer is, of course, to get people to read the book! And, the not so obvious:  the Internet is a good place to find royalty-free music, voiceovers should be done last and in a recording studio if possible, and mood was something every element of the trailer should work together to create.

“Then, Jim made this great suggestion: let him give the project to someone in the class as an assignment. It would be a perfect way for the student to learn directing, recording and editing software capabilities, and even cinematography. And, I’d get free access to the school’s high quality equipment. Voila, the collaboration between high school teacher, Jim Filkins, high school senior, Julia Otwell, and true crime author, me, was born.

“Here’s the final cut of the book trailer the three of us created together. The process was indeed a creative challenge, but one I enjoyed. I’m used to working alone, and sharing ideas was, in a word, electric. Will it entice readers? See what you think.”

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: