A video trailer requires many more images than a book cover. I’d need an image for each frame as well as a soundtrack. So in my script I noted where the audio line would come and, and then, beside each line of text, the kind of image that would best illustrate that segment. This is how the script looked after I added general image descriptions and indicated where the audio line would come in:
Audio: rolling thunder
1. Wind of the Spirit [cover background scene]
2. The American Patriot Series Book 3 [black background]
3. by J. M. Hochstetler [black background]
Audio: sound effects and/or music
4. A spy for General Washington [portrait of Washington]
5. Elizabeth Howard is drawn into the very maw of war [portrait of beautiful young woman]
6. Where disaster all but ends the American rebellion [RevWar battle scene]
7. Yet her heart is fixed on Jonathan Carleton [portrait of handsome man]
8. missing more than a year after he disappeared into the wilderness. [forest]
9. Now the Shawnee war chief White Eagle, [cropped cover]
10. Carleton is caught in a bitter war of his own [Native American image]
11. against white settlers encroaching on Shawnee lands [Indian battle scene]
12. the tender love of the beautiful widow Blue Sky [beautiful Native American woman]
13. and the schemes of the vengeful shaman Wolfslayer [Native American man]
14. Can Elizabeth’s love bridge the miles that separate them [distant vista]
15. and the savage bonds that threaten to tear him forever from her arms? [Native Americans]
16. The nation’s epic struggle for freedom continues . . . [black background]
17. Book cover
I had the full image of the background for the book cover for the first frame and easily constructed frames 2 and 3 directly in Movie Maker. An online search yielded the portrait of Washington I wanted on the Metropolitan Museum of Art Web site, with permission to use it for private non-commercial and educational purposes. Then in searching my old standby, istockphoto, for Revolutionary War images, I found a video clip of reenactors enacting a battle that would work perfectly for frame #6.
For the time being, a photo of Philip Winchester in his Crusoe persona at left that I copied off NBC’s Crusoe Web site stood in for Carleton very nicely in frame #7. His features are a bit more rugged than I envision Carleton’s, but he’s amazingly close, plus he’s dressed in a costume that is close enough even though it’s probably a decade off. The cropped Wind of the Spirit cover focusing on the Native American image went into frame #9. I also found a haunting image of misty woods that worked perfectly for frame #8 and a vista taken in upper New York state that beautifully supplied #14.
In addition to images for Elizabeth and Carleton, that left the Native American images I would need for frames 10, 11, 12, 13, and 15. I wasn’t very confident that I could find exactly what I needed, and I was (unhappily) prepared to make compromises if necessary.
Thankfully it occurred to me to do a search on Native American stock photos. I had no idea whether there were any sites that specialized in those, but I hit the jackpot immediately with Native Stock, which offers a wide range of images searchable by tribe. What a treasure trove! I’m sure I’ll mine this site again for future projects. Among the Shawnee images I found several of members of the Shawnee nation dressed in historic costume for a production about Tecumseh. It was even set in Ohio! They were perfect for my purposes, and I was pretty excited!!
Ultimately, my greatest challenge turned out to be finding images for my hero and heroine. The script required images for both Elizabeth and Carleton, but finding authentic-looking stand-ins for these two characters turned out to be hair-pullingly frustrating, made worse because I’d already found the rest of the images I needed and had them in place. And they looked great! I finally began to think I’d never be able to complete this video!
I’ll talk more about the hunt tomorrow.
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