At the Countdown Corner….

One of the best ways to promote a picture book is by creating a book trailer. Post it on Youtube, on your blog or website, and distribute the link selectively via email. Check out the one for Stephen Savage’s latest book, Where’s Walrus?

I asked Stephen about its creation.

Stephen Savage: We worked with music video director David Franklin of Artisanal Television. He did the storyboards, camera work and editing. I was driver, caterer, animator and supporting actor.

Book cover of "Where's Walrus?"

Book cover

A still from the WHERE'S WALRUS book trailer

A still from the WHERE'S WALRUS book trailer

David did a great job. He knew we wanted something a little different from the standard “pan and scan” or animated trailer in which the book is summarized for the viewer. David came up with a narrative separate from WHERE’S WALRUS, though it dovetails nicely with the story in the book.

Another still from the WHERE'S WALRUS book trailer

Another still from the WHERE'S WALRUS book trailer

Making it was a ball. We shot it on a beautiful fall day in November, starting at the end and working backwards.

Filming the book trailer for WHERE'S WALRUS in Central Park

Filming in Central Park

We began the day in the children’s reading room of the New York Public Library (thanks to Betsy Bird) and ended up at my studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

At the NYPL Reading Room

At the NYPL Reading Room

All of the street scenes were shot in mid-town Manhattan. Animation and post-production took another 2 weeks using Final Cut Pro, After Effects, and Illustrator.

At the studio

At the studio

Joy Chu: Who was the editor on WALRUS? And art director/designer?

Stephen Savage: David Saylor is my editor/art director. He works with Brian Selznick, Jon J. Muth and Mary GrandPre.

We designed the book together… and I did the lettering on the cover.

Book cover of "Where's Walrus?"

Joy Chu: The book has garnered terrific reviews. This one provides a tidy description of the visuals:

“The trim illustrations are digitally created, with the smooth regularity and crisp clarity common to that medium, but there’s a generous helping of Little Golden Book retro style that gives a period flavor to the escapade. The palette, carefully limited in each spread, sports muted shades of aqua and navy in addition to its predominant gray, but the creamy white of the matte pages ensures that the spreads stay bright and sunny. The shapes balance sturdy rectangles with the rounder shapes of people and Walrus, with Walrus’ odd-critter-out status visually emphasized by the droll Fisher-Price sameness of the humans among whom he’s attempting to secrete himself. The read-it-yourself wordlessness, visual humor, and sheer absurdity of a walrus’ urban adventures will surely appeal to youngsters with a taste for the incongruously silly.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books


3 responses to “At the Countdown Corner….

  1. Denise Harbison

    What a fun trailer!
    I see how a teacher could use this in a classroom–both to interest kids in the book and to encourage them to create their own.

  2. Clean design, definitely retro, perfect way to market to the parent.

  3. Very nicely done!! Thank you for sharing it, although that is what it is for.

    Lori McElrath-Eslick

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