It started when I was with the Random House folk at Supanova. They told me about a book trailer competition they're running for teenagers. It wasn't yet up - and when it is up, they will be giving some firm conditions, which are necessary because they'll be putting it up on-line. It has to be copyright-free material. Obviously, I suspect, there will be limitations even on such things as filming your young brother or sister, because of regulations about that (I saw the ladies taking a photo of a costumed con attendee for the RH blog, but not her small daughter). The copyright-free web site they gave me turned out to be copyright-free but not money-free. You have to pay for use of images from the site. While trying to work out if I could maybe put in a school subscription for the purpose, and because the information is STILL not up on the web site (something on YouTube, but not all the information), I surfed for genuinely free sites, but the few I found were limited in what they had.
I realised that I could use some public domain images and music, although the students might not find that of much interest, but I did have to have a sample - and I thought that perhaps we could have a book trailer competition for Children's Book Week, with a lunchtime festival. The trailers wouldn't go on-line, but we could show them at lunchtime and maybe burn a DVD for the library, to show next year's students. That way, we could use what we want and have fun.
As I haven't yet worked out the mysteries of iMovie, apart from dumping existing films on it, and I go back to work tomorrow, I have spent most of my post-Swancon time today putting together a basic PowerPoint book trailer for Wolfborn. It's very crude, but I've learned some things by experimenting and will learn more as soon as I can get someone to sit with me and explain.
Meanwhile, my class can have a huge laugh at my expense and go do something much better, once they work out which book they'd like to use. It's a nice way of making them think about a book they like - and one girl in my class was asking if she could do an animated piece for her assignment last time (too late, alas, or I'd know just how good she is).
I actually found a picture of a wolf howling under TWO moons (there are three in my world, but maybe the third isn't up yet), a Breton castle, some Arthur Rackham fairies (public domain), a dark forest, a bas-relief of Cernunnos, a wolfhound and a - hopefully - public domain portrait of Attila the Hun to go with the "Ruthless villains!" slide.
I'd like to come up with something a bit speedier than the score I used in the end, but I managed to get the right timing for the second half of "The Ring Goes South" from the FOTR score and it kind of worked. There was a nice dramatic flourish during the "Wild Hunt" slide.
Awful as it is, I'm kind of proud at having given it a go. It's an achievement, doing something I haven't tried before (well, PowerPoints, yes, but not with a story, music and theme).
Because of copyright I can't put it up on-line, but if anyone wants to have a look and a giggle, ask me privately and I'll see if i can share the file with you.