A featured look at the making of the Towers of Midnight book trailer.

by Jason Denzel

Introduction



I had the unique honor of filming the first officially-endorsed Wheel of Time video. It was an amazing experience; one I've been wanting to share with the fans of the series. From the very beginning of this project it's been my intent to document as much of this as I could. Now, after six months, I'm able to give you an in-depth look at the making of this book trailer.

If you haven't seen it yet, you can view the video here on our website.

Here are the topics I'll be sharing with you:


How it Began


This all began last March (2010) when Tor Books asked me if I'd be interested in producing some video interviews of Harriet and Brandon Sanderson talking about the next Wheel of Time book. They had hired a video production company to produce videos like that for the release of The Gathering Storm and had great success. The folks at Tor knew I was an independent filmmaker, so they thought it would be a great idea to offer me the job. I was flattered that they thought of me. But I had other ideas.

There's a rising trend in the publishing industry these days to release 'book trailers' for novels. Typically these are brief promotional videos consisting of a descriptive Voice-Over mixed with related imagery. You can do a search on YouTube to get an idea of what they usually look like. My idea was to do something like that, but using live-action actors, costumes, sets, visual FX, etc. I knew the budget for something like this wouldn't be huge, but I knew I could pull it off if I had the right idea and the right people involved.

I should admit that I was empowered by the fact that I'd recently seen a few other well-made book trailers online. One example was the book trailer for Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It made me think, I could do something like that. And while the final output of our projects ended up being pretty different in terms of look and length, the general size and scope of the idea was approximately the same.



So if somebody could make a short live-action video about Abraham Lincoln slaying vampires, then I could do one featuring WoT characters!

I replied back to Tor and pitched them the idea of doing a live-action book trailer. They told me, "Sounds great. Whatever you want to do." Bless them.

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