I've compiled a list of more book trailers I enjoyed.
The director of this trailer, Jamieson Fry, is quickly making a name for himself in the realm of book trailers. He has filmed trailers for authors including Dan Chaon, Mary Roach, and Bruce Machart, and his work stands out among other trailers because of its high production quality and dreamy, imaginative visuals, which feel particularly fitting for the medium. Fry has worked on four different trailers for T.C. Boyle; this one is for The Women, which chronicles the romantic relationships Frank Lloyd Wright had over the course of his life. While beautifully shot with a heart-wrenching song by an artist who sounds oddly similar to Florence and the Machine, the trailer loses a bit of steam because it’s not until two minutes into it that we discover this is about Wright. If this reveal (done through a newspaper headline) came a little sooner, the trailer could stand more on its own. It does, however, do an excellent job of painting the allure, glamour, and drama of Wright’s era.
It feels fitting that this trailer for Ellroy’s third installment in the USA Underworld trilogy is done in a standard movie-trailer format, as several of his novels (L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia) have been adapted into screen hits. This book, similarly, is a fictional crime story partially set in Los Angeles in the years 1968-1972. The trailer elicits the neo-noir feeling of prior adaptations (a rotary phone being wiretapped, a Los Angeles cityscape, blood pouring down over a newspaper headline). In doing so, it brings to life the aesthetic in Ellroy’s writing and helps to cultivate interest among those who are less familiar with Ellroy than they are with his titles. Released back in 2009, the trailer has a production quality that was far ahead of its time. Unfortunately, for that reason, it also went largely unseen. Had it been released today, it might have had a different response.
This bizarre trailer feels like an experimental cartoon from MTV in the 1990s. Marcus’s dystopian novel, The Flame Alphabet, is about a world in which the speech of children is lethal to adults. We only come to understand this after about two minutes of comic book-style cartoon and voiceover showing men in hazmat suits and what appears to be a burnt cake with a glowing bulb of garlic on top of it (that’s obviously not what it is). This trailer could benefit from some clarity, especially given that the storyline is unusual and needs some additional context to pique interest, but it’s so creatively done that it still deserves praise.
Credit goes to Shirin Najafi