As both a Christian and a lover of fantasy, I can’t resist a good redemption story:
Before we start analyzing this trailer, let’s recap. In every trailer, I’m looking for:
- An introduction to the plot,
- An introduction to the main character,
- Maybe a hint of some of the other characters,
- A reason to care, and
- Absolutely no plagiarism or copyright violations.
A trailer gets bonus points only if it satisfies the requirements above, including the following:
- Creativity as expressed in the trailer itself,
- Appealing visuals,
- Appealing sounds,
- A captivating theme, or
- Anything else that makes me want to dole out bonus points.
Clearly, this trailer satisfies the basic requirements specified above. It introduces the main character and hints at the other characters. It reports on the mission they are given and by whom it is given. We’re not entirely sure what the stakes are, but the hope of redemption is reason enough to care for those of us who like that sort of thing. Finally, everything seems original and nothing was blatantly stolen.
The only thing missing is the link or access point for more information. This clearly didn’t make my list, but it should have. If viewers don’t know where to go, then how are they supposed to act on the message you’ve just given them? It’s easy to forget, but it’s important enough to remember. When marketing, you should always tell viewers or readers what you’d like them to do next, whether it’s visiting a webpage or buying a book.
Finally, the bonus points: 1) The music was more appealing than the visuals, especially the anxious-making sound at the end. 2) I found the theme captivating. 3) And, even better, it does not look like a romance novel trying to pass itself off as a fantasy, like a certain vampire vs. werewolf book we all know and many of us love.
The reason why this trailer gets a mention as a good example is something even more basic than all of this. Simply put, it’s within the reach of the indie writer. If you budget for a good trailer (and most of you should), then this trailer and its effects are within your reach. We’re not talking about a blockbuster budget here. We’re talking about a few pieces of art and a voice over and someone who can put it all together so it plays nice and smooth. You may have some of these skills yourself, but whether you do or not, this kind of trailer is within the reach of a reasonable budget for the publication and launch of a novel.