The Bright Agency (Children's Illustration blog)

Inside The Making of the “Bob and Flo” Book Trailer

Rebecca Ashdown trailer lead

It’s undeniable that book trailers have seen increasing popularity as of late, and we’ve noticed there’s a certain art behind crafting a trailer that’s entertaining and enticing. When we saw that Bright’s own Rebecca Ashdown created a trailer for her title, Bob and Flo: Hide and Seek, we were eager to chat with her about her experience and technique in creating one.

Bob and Flo Play Hide and Seek is out May 3, 2016 in the US from HMH Books for Young Readers.

What has been your previous experience creating book trailers? Or with any sort of animation work in general?

I used to head up a media department at Bloomsbury. I’d been working for a hair and beauty magazine as designer/illustrator, and it became clear that many of the London salons needed media content too–promo videos, TV ads, idents, etc. Hence my role was created. I built a team around me and we produced everything from scratch. It was a huge learning curve but massively rewarding. I found I really enjoyed working in After Effects and ended up specialising in motion graphics for several years.

What prompted you to create a trailer for Bob and Flo Play Hide and Seek?

Bob and Flo always looked to me like they should move, so I’ve always had that intention for them. Cut-out really lends itself perfectly to animation.

Who did you look to for assistance and feedback?

I had to brush up on the technical side (Adobe After Effects) as I hadn’t used the software for ages. I sent the main structure to the publisher and the Bright team who both gave me tips and feedback. I always trust my children to give advice on these matters too!

What tips or advice would you have for someone who’s interested in creating a book trailer but might be intimidated by the process?

First, really pin down the essence of what you’re trying to communicate. Storyboarding the idea helps. It’s worth googling book trailers on YouTube for ideas. I love this one from Mo Willems – it’s not an animation but it really made me want to get the book! I used Adobe AE to create my trailer but there are lots of freebie packages/apps for creating simple animations. You can also find lots of free sound archives and be inventive with the music. Don’t worry about not having all the right gear either. I roped my my kids in to do the voices, used a musical box for the sound and all the art files came straight from the artwork I’d already created for the Bob and Flo books. It didn’t take more than a day in all. If you still don’t have any idea where to start maybe you know someone who does. People love trading with illustrators!


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