Let’s say you don’t know a thing about making a video. You don’t have a fancy camera. You don’t know any actors. You couldn’t light a shot if your life depended on it. Heck, you’re a writer–the whole visual medium thing should be left to the James Camerons of the world, anyway, amirite?
I can’t say any of these things are true of author Brenda A. Ferber. But they very well might be; therefore, what she has done with the trailer for her middle-grade novel Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinaire is something to be admired. She took a copy of her book and a consumer-grade camera, went down to the local playground, and had a number of girl readers recount the book’s plot as well as their favorite parts. That’s it.
Production value? Zilcho. Sound quality? Below par. But you know what? It works. The earnest enthusiasm of the girls reminds you of why these books are written (and sold, and read) in the first place. These are the same kind of girls who would figure into Ferber’s plot, and they are–I am now convinced–the book’s best advocates.
Verdict: Score one for the underdog. If you’ve got a grade-school girl heading off to summer camp and you watch this trailer and still don’t buy a copy of the book, you are insane and I don’t want to talk to you.