Greetings, all children’s book readers and creators! I just finished this video trailer for my Fall 2008 picture book, Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile Story.
This is the second one I’ve made, this time with a musical soundtrack. Incompetech has quite a bit of nice royalty-free music available to download for a low, optional fee. A search under the term “humorous” turned up several pieces that sounded suitably bouncy.
After making a quick storyboard for the trailer, and listening to various tunes over and over, one seemed perfect (Royal Banana). I cut it down to under a minute using Audacity, since the voice narration would be about that long. (For more about the software used, refer to this previous post.) The voice is mine, tweaked up higher in pitch and speed, each section of speech split into a separate chunk to allow it to be moved around on the timeline in iMovie. You could keep the voiceover in one long sound clip, but then you're stuck with the timing as recorded.
I ran into a glitch this time... for some reason on both YouTube and Blogger, the trailer had ugly black bars on the sides. No idea why, did nothing different in iMovie. To fix it, I re-exported the video from iMovie with a custom size of 320w X 240h at best quality, with a frame rate of 8 (best) and with a key frame setting of 10, uploaded the video again, and now it looks fine. This article probably has too much information about optimizing video for the web, but for those who like that sort of thing, read up. The black bars also seemed to have something to do with the size of the viewer object in GoLive (which is the web software I use to update my web site.) I ended up manually tweaking it to get rid of the black bars. It's always something with computers!
To gauge how much time it took to make this trailer, I kept an approximate log:
Make a rough storyboard: 30 minutes
Audition, choose, and adjust music: 1 hour+
Record voiceovers and sound effects/tweak in Audacity, cut into clips, place in iMovie: 3 hours+
Prepare and place images, troubleshoot video: 4 hours+