Thursday, 13 October 2016

Who is Fitzy Fox by Amelia Trompf: The making of a book trailer

Hi Folks and welcome to the Who Is Fitzy Fox Blog tour.
I am so delighted to bring this to you in reading land, as this book has been delighting us for a few weeks now.

We highly recommend it for ages 4-8, especially with Christmas coming up. Fitzy Fox's search for his identity, takes him through some truly wonderful places in Melbourne and beyond, and we absolutely loved reading it. The illustrations were so fantastic we want them in print form. Amelia and Jennifer have stopped by to give us the skinny on how they made their wonderful book trailer.

Until next time folks, enjoy.

The Making of a Book Trailer


Who is Fitzy Fox? is a newly released debut picture book written by Amelia Trompf and illustrated by Jennifer Bruce. When Amelia started researching ways to help promote her book, she discovered the wonderful world of book trailers and decided she would like one for her book! Here Amelia and Simon Cottee (the book trailer’s animator) talk about how the book trailer came into being.

Amelia, can you tell us how about your book trailer first came about?

With the release of my debut picture book Who is Fitzy Fox? being imminent, I have been frantically trying to do a crash course in picture book marketing and for me, one very pleasant discovery was the existence of book trailers. Of course I knew about movie trailers but not book trailers!
I decided that I would have a go at creating one for Who is Fitzy Fox? so I started searching the Internet for ideas. 
I did an online video-making course and put together a fairly simply slideshow video with a few whizz (but definitely amateur) bang animations. I then started to think about the soundtrack. Sitting in my son’s toddler music class listening to the teacher, Erynne Binns, soothing the crazy little folk at the end of the class by beautifully singing The Lion Sleeps Tonight, I suddenly though how brilliant it would be if she could write a song for the trailer. She produced a song way beyond my expectations that added another dimension and perspective to the story. I was thrilled; I love it when creative people get inspired and take a project to a different level.

After I heard the song, however, I was in a quandary. The song Erynne had written was too beautiful for my simple little slideshow video and trying to get the slides to fit the timing of the song was doing my head in. So I started asking around for anyone who could make simple animations. I considered online animators who are very cheap but didn’t want to send the illustrations to someone overseas that I didn’t know. Then one night as I lay awake listening to the snores of my husband, I suddenly remembered that he had a cousin who was an animator in Canada. I had only met my husband’s cousin once when he was a teenager and conscious that my project was very small, I was a little tentative about asking him but thankfully he agreed. I sent him the video I had already made to give him some ideas but just like Erynne, he created something way beyond my expectations and again added his own perspective.

Simon, can you tell us a bit about the creative process of making a book trailer? 
G'day Guys! My names Simon Cottee and I put together the animated trailer for the beautiful book Who is Fitzy Fox?. Here is a brief rundown of the creative process that went into it.
First, Amelia provided me with her story and the beautiful illustrations along with the song What Floats for You by Erynn Brinns. The trailer came together easily because of Erynn's song! It has a great underlying rhythm to it, so I found the editing just needed to hit that rhythm and it would feel good. I'll admit I came to that conclusion much later than I should of, as on reflection it's so obvious (a good learning moment for me)!

The fact that Jennifer's illustrations had such character and colour to them also made my job really easy. I sourced her original HD artwork for most of the trailer and modified them here and there to create some movement (painting out characters and separating them from the backgrounds) and in a few cases used them as a reference to create some new more "animated" movements. To animate this I used a digital animation software called TVPaint where I drew frame by frame with a Wacom tablet into the computer. I compiled it all together in the software called After Effects, which I also used to make some multiplane camera moves, which create a bit of depth. So the trailer is basically a montage of moments from the story, as I attempted to give a general feel for the book, but also not give too much away.
It was one of those rare projects where it all came together without a struggle and left me feeling relaxed and calm. What a pleasure!

Besides writing, Amelia Trompf teaches part-time and spends the rest of the time with her young son who luckily loves reading as much as she does. They spend many hours at the local libraries reading books together. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for Amelia’s son to discover mummy wrote a picture book on the library shelf next time they go!

Jennifer Bruce grew up in Dunblane in Scotland. She loved reading and drawing when she was young and particularly liked drawing animals. After finishing school, she went to Art College and then worked as a jeweller and a creative skills instructor in a hospital as well as a drawing tutor. Who is Fitzy Fox? is the first book Jennifer has illustrated and she had great fun creating the character of Fitzy Fox and drawing the places in Melbourne and London that he visits.

Title: Who is Fitzy Fox?
Publisher: Little Steps Publishing
Author: Amelia Trompf
Illustrator: Jennifer Bruce
Available: Now