Is there a future Stephen Spielberg or Sam Mendes busting to get out of you? Might you be holding the Oscar for the Best Film in ten years’ time? Do you live, dream and breathe film making? If you have answered ‘yes’ to all of these questions then we have a competition to tickle all your film-making taste buds.
To celebrate the publication of Carolyn Jess-Cooke’s novel The Boy Who Could See Demons we are asking you to create a 60 to 120 second film trailer which we can use to promote this exciting new book in the run-up to its publication in May 2012. It should have a certain punch and energy that will capture the tone of the story which is about a little boy who claims he can see demons. The winner will see his or her trailer used right across the internet to help build awareness and anticipation around the new novel. They will also win £100’s worth of books too!
BACKGROUND TO THE STORY
Set in present-day Belfast, The Boy Who Could See Demons is told from the viewpoints of Alex, a 10- year-old boy whose suicidal mother is being treated for depression, and Alex's psychiatrist, Anya. Still bearing the scars of her own daughter's battle with schizophrenia, Anya fears for Alex's mental health and attempts to convince him that Ruen doesn't exist. But as she runs out of medical proof for many of Alex's claims, she is faced with a question: does Alex suffer from schizophrenia, or can he really see demons?
Alex is the main character. He is 10 years old, white, with brown hair and blue eyes and is usually dressed in an oversized brown suit. Anya is a 43-year-old female, dark-haired and usually dressed in a suit. Ruen has various appearances: as an old man in a brown tweed suit, as a shadowy monster, and as a boy like Alex but with dark holes for eyes.
Remember you don't necessarily need actors – it can be an animation, or you can rely on visuals other than acted-out scenes. If you do have acted-out scenes, however, it's worth noting that much of the action of the book takes place in a hospital, in interview rooms with child's toys in the background, in Alex’s down-trodden home, on city streets, and on-stage as Alex performs in Hamlet.
The trailer should open and close with the book jacket and the following text must be included:
The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke
My name is Alex.
I'm 10 years old, I like onions on toast, and I can balance on the back legs of my chair for 14 minutes.
I can also see demons.
My best friend is one.
He's called Ruen.
He likes Mozart, table tennis, and bread and butter pudding.
My mum is sick. Ruen says he can help her.
Only, Ruen wants me to do something really bad.
He wants me to kill someone.
We are also including the music that Carolyn composed for the book and is playing (she is very talented you know!) so you can download it. Because of copyright laws we ask that you either use this or something you yourself have composed. Of course you don’t have to include any background music at all if you don’t want to.
You might find the following links useful when considering how to go about it:
The trick with a book trailer is to remember that the most important thing is to create a sense of what the book is like, which is captured more by tone and atmosphere than relaying the story. Notice that the book trailers for When God was a Rabbit and 'I diari dell'angelo custode' (the Italian version of Carolyn's first novel, The Guardian Angel's Journal) have no dialogue, but rather rely on music, visuals and text excerpts to generate a certain buzz about the books and express their essence. The important thing in this book is the question of whether Ruen is real: shadows and darkness might evoke his presence (as far as Alex in concerned).
SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!
We really hope that you are feeling inspired. The book jacket, the music and the first chapter (to give you more of a feel for the story) can be downloaded here. And when you have completed your trailer simply upload it on to Carolyn's Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Carolyn-Jess-Cooke-Author/158347617540515
GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY FILMING!
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