PERCY JACKSON BOOK TRAILER PROCESS
I recorded most of the video with the Panasonic HC-VX981 4K camcorder, normally recording on 1080p at 60 fps. I sometimes used the Focal 20-08-46 tripod for steady shots, and used a Precision PD-LED35 for lighting. For final editing, I used Adobe Premiere Elements 18 on a Dell Latitude E5430, and Audacity for audio effects. I recorded voiceover with a Logitech MH518 headset.
The first scenes we shot were the underwater scenes. This is the only time we didn’t use the camcorder to record. We used a GoPro Hero 4 and a monopod to keep it steady. We shot the close up of Percy’s face next to a water jet that was creating lots of bubbles because the little particles made it more cinematic. The second underwater shot was a plain medium shot.
Next, we shot the school scenes. In the first classroom scene we used the tripod, and we had someone stand just outside of the frame with a light. The first shot was a little farther back to show the setting, and the close up on Grover was to add intensity. We recorded a scene in the library without a tripod, but with the light. We borrowed a wheelchair from the nurse for Chiron (the teacher) to sit in. There was a giant window behind the camera that provided clean natural light on the subjects. Later the film edited to make it less stale and a little more dynamic. It started out with a wide, unedited shot, and then cut to a medium shot, then when Chiron says “yes,” the video was zoom in to add some motion and drama. That evening we recorded Luke’s silhouette standing alone. We waited until just after sunset to record. That way Luke was dark, but the sky was still lit an eerie, cloudy blue.
We also recorded film in a forest behind Samuel Bodine’s house. We shot the running scenes freehanded and backpedaling. One shot of Grover running was taken stationary and panned to follow him as he ran by. In the flag scene we shot right at sunset to get the gorgeous orange glow in the background. The scene was later edited to slow down the moment that Percy grabbed the flag to 25% percent. The close ups of Percy and Grover yelling for each other was done freehanded. .We also borrowed a real sword to use for some shots of it clanging against a tree. The last thing we recorded was the scene where Percy is running in the dark. We used a LED light to brighten Percy, and inserted a roar sound later that makes him turn around and run back for his mom. The moment he starts to run back it’s slowed to 20% and even slower in the last few moments.
The final scene were the credits. We took the book cover image, blurred it, darkened it, and put it in the background. Then we took the book image and faded it in as the background was slowly zooming in. After a few seconds the book moved to the side and the credits were shown.
Final thoughts: We didn’t use text during the trailer because it takes away from the action and drama. When studying popular trailers we found that nearly none contained text for the viewer to read. To hold the viewer’s attention we only used voiceover. The voiceover was edited with some reversed reverb and slight echo to make it more dynamic. The entire video was cropped by 15% at the top and bottom to make it more cinematic. We color graded most of the video to have a matching warm color throughout. The music is copyright free and composed by Edner Guney. It’s called “The Victory of War.”
Link for book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8a1RbaCjIc