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Video Book Trailer Project

Page history last edited by Hilary Behrman 12 years, 7 months ago


Student Created Book Trailer Project by Hilary Behrman


“Would you even think of watching a movie before viewing the trailer first? Here at Digital Book Talk ™, we feel the same about the books you read. Why settle for reading previews, when now you can watch them, just like a movie trailer.”DBT


What is a Book Trailer?

A book trailer is a short video that serves as a commercial for a book, the same way a movie trailer serves as a commercial for a movie. The main purpose of a book trailer is to “hook” the audience, i.e. to entice them to read the book. Your book trailer should  provide the audience with a general idea of what the novel is about without giving away too much. 


Project Description:

Students will be required to create multimedia book trailer based on a book from their 8th grade English class. Students will explore the idea of a book trailer through examples and class discussions with the school media specialist, their English teacher, and their media arts teacher.


You may be accustomed to writing book reviews for English class. A book trailer is different from a review in that it’s purpose is not to criticize the novel in any way or to highlight any of its weaker aspects; instead, it’s meant to make the novel seem absolutely irresistible!


There are many different approaches to creating a book trailer, all of which require some careful analysis of the book. Consider the following literary approaches as you create your trailer. You may certainly include elements from all or several of these approaches if you wish. In your trailer, you may want to use actors, props, images, music, voiceover, etc. or any combination of these.


Pick a Literary Approach for your Book Trailer:



     Give the audience some intriguing information about the plot of the novel, perhaps leaving off with a cliffhanger. If you summarize part of the plot, be careful not to give away too much. If the novel is very complicated, don’t worry about including all elements of the story; instead, just choose one aspect that you think will draw the audience in.



      Conflict is related to plot. Is there a central conflict in the book novel that you might bring to life in your trailer? Some examples of conflict might be: Character vs. character, character vs. him/herself, character vs. nature, character vs. society, society vs. society, etc.



     Is the novel suspenseful? Is it dark and brooding? Is it light and romantic? Brainstorm techniques that might capture this tone, such as lighting, voiceover, scenery, music, etc.



     Chose one character from the novel (not necessarily the main character) and give the audience a sense of who that person is. This is a great approach, especially if the character is particularly nasty, funny, or sympathetic, or if you have a good actor in mind (maybe yourself!). Make the audience members want to know more about the character, so that they’ll read the book. You may want to use dialogue or narration from the novel here, and you may want to chose more than one character to develop.



     Does the novel have a strong theme, such as friendship, redemption, guilt, or family relationships? Consider choosing a theme as the central idea of your trailer, perhaps recreating scenes from the novel that illustrate that theme.



     Is the setting of the novel important? Is there any way you can recreate it or capture it? If the novel is set in the South during the Civil War, for instance, you certainly want to make that clear in your trailer, perhaps through accents, dialogue, costumes, and scenery. Music can also help to establish the setting. Try to find a song that might have been popular during the time period in which your books is set.For inspiration, watch a large sample of book trailers and movie trailers. Remember to begin and end your trailer with a bang. Make it as interesting as possible, so that the audience will not want to miss any of it and will definitely want to read the book. At some point—and perhaps more than once—remember to advertise the title and author of the novel. It’s also a good idea to display the cover of the book. Have fun!


Computer Production:

Students will use iMovie for editing video and images, in combination with Garageband for editing music and voice recording to create their Book Trailer.



Please answer the following questions in as much detail as possible. If necessary provide examples.

1) What book did you create a book trailer for?

2) What is the point of a book trailer?

3) What literary approach did you take in order to execute your trailer? For example, plot, conflict, tone, character, theme, and setting. (one or more could be used)

4) Describe your trailer in detail.

5) What computer skills did you learn while creating this trailer? Name specific tools you used.

6) Provide an example of how technology supported an idea that you wanted to express in the trailer.

6) What web resources did you use the most?

7) Did you enjoy creating a book trailer? Why

9) What grade do you think you deserve?

10) Do you think Book Trailers are, or will grow to become as effective as movie trailers, why or why not?


8th Grade Student Examples: 

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Web Examples:

Must Love Dragons by Stephanie Row

Megiddos Shadow by Arther Slade

The Vision by Heather Graham

The House of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery

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