Writers! Do It Yourself Dept: Happiest Book Trailer Evah!


TVWriter™’s good pal, Valerie Alexander has written a charming and helpful, um, self-help book called Happiness…As A Second Language, which we newly happified minions here at TVWriter™ highly recommend.

She also has written one hell of an inspiring promo video. And directed it, and shot it, and produced it.  As our Big Boss Man, LB put it in his YouTube comment:

Whoa. Watching this video made me so damn happy! And I owe it all to you and, I guess, your book too. I’d buy it, but now I don’t need it anymore. Thanks, Valerie!

Oh, that zany, crazy Brody. And here’s what Ms. Alexander says about the experience of, you know, creating her creation:

Quick note — I shot that entire thing on my iPhone. I did most of the camerawork, except when I’m on camera, then it was just a friend. Didn’t get a DP or anything. All natural light, etc.

I’m in a unique position as a screenwriter in that I have a LOT of friends who are actors (although the waitress was our regular waitress at the Blue Dog, and that was her first time ever being on film), but your local theater company will have people dying to be in a video. For full disclosure, I’ve directed 49 commercials and PSAs, so it’s a little easier for me to shoot things on the fly and have faith something will be usable, but the video you watched was nothing that anyone couldn’t do with an iPhone, iMovie, a webcam and some online tutorials in how to use them all. In fact, I know people who shoot AND EDIT on their iPhones alone.

I did have an editor cut it for me (and a second editor help with some further cutting to get it down to 3 minutes), but that’s because I’m too lazy to spend 10 hours doing what I know someone with skills can do in 2.

The sound was terrible, which would have killed me on a commercial shoot, but the idea behind this allowed it to look (and sound) DIY, so I got over my deep, abiding hatred for bad sound production (it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me).

Seriously, if you have an idea for a video to promote your book, nothing should be stopping you from tossing it together, showing it to a few friends (who will be honest with you), and if it works, putting it on the Internet EVERYWHERE. You can also put it on your author page on Amazon — all for free. What’s the downside? Just do it.

We agree with everything Valerie says (hey, she’s a bud, remember?), but the last paragraph above really resonates. When you watch this video you’ll be amazed by how truly entertaining it is. And, we hope, you’ll also be inspired to get your own work out there, in whatever form you can, ASAP.

Enough cheerleading. Sit back and watch this:

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