Booktrailer’d

What’s your favorite book trailer ever? Don’t have one? Yeah that’s not surprising. As an art form it’s nearly brand new, and very wide open. For instance, unlike a film or TV trailer,canada goose womens there is not footage to work with, usually no budget, and no conventions yet.


An unusual take for promoting a book, this one uses no voiceover and few words beyond the title and author. This trailer has a beautifully elegant restraint, and yet I bet a close viewing would reveal a detailed outline of the narrative.

Four more approaches in decreasing subtlety (including Pynchon and Sea Monsters) after the jump.


This one opts for found footage with fragments of text read from the book: a good strategy when you have zero budget and good sentences at ones disposal. My critique is that it gives no sense of the rollicking hilarity or sweeping plot of this book (which is awesome.)

The voiceover — maybe it’s the intro, maybe it was written for the trailer — introduces the narrative, and the narrator (the closest to film trailers’ convention of “in a world…” premise exposition). It’s read by the author, the great recluse Pynchon (probably accounting for why this video has 100x the page views of most book trailers), over footage shot of SoCal at dusk (the menace of sillohetted palms is a favorite of mine) to get a sense of the mood of the book.


Another option is to reenact a portion of the book. As this trailer shows, canada goose mens jacket the campiness inherent in this approach makes it primarily appropriate for comedy/satire.


It’s important when cutting a trailer to know one’s audience. This book, which I’ve been looking forward to reading, I am a little hesitant of now. Its trailer has clearly been produced internet-provocateur style for a JibJab-addled generation, but it sort of makes me nauseous and makes me question how seriously I can take the text. The same voiceover text, but read over Ken-Burns effect’d Frontline stills would have felt so different.

In the mood for more? The preeminent blog of the emergent form (and where I found the lovely Nocturne trailer) is Bookscreening.

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