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Stop-Motion Book Trailers

*Click on images to view trailers*

The last time we did a roundup of book trailers it was 2010. Exciting times were ahead: book trailers were the shiny new thing on the horizon (although they made their initial debut sometime around 2002) and full of promise, offering readers a new vehicle for experiencing a story. Curiously enough, we learned, it was also the first year of the Moby Awards for Book Trailers, which celebrates the best and worst amongst book trailers.

For marketers, authors and publishers it was an equally galvanizing time — here was a potentially book-boosting resource and they could finally tap into aspects of the digital world to promote awareness and sales of books that most people would be reading in their off-line time. That is until the ubiquity of the iPad arrived, and with it triggered the mindset that book trailers could become as fundamental to the publishing industry as movie trailers are to the film industry. Many questioned (and still do!) whether book trailers were simply a fashionable fad or the future. We’re here to report back that while the jury’s still out, it’s leaning towards the future.

Once creativity was thrown into the mix book trailers got their ‘oomph’ and really took off, in some cases emerging as solid short films. Though they oscillate between a mix of high and low budget, author interviews, funny videos, stellar animations, poetic journeys, and a whole lot of hideous promos that hint at a straight-off-the-shelf packaged trailer, we’ve managed to discover an electrifying assortment of seriously eye-popping and innovative treats we’d watch even if they had nothing to do with a book. So much so that we’ve decided to split this up into two separate posts and dedicate this Top 5 entirely to stop-motion animated book trailers!  Not only because we have a weakness for top-notch stop-motion work, but because lest we not forget, book trailers can turn into potent pieces with animation thrown in the mix.


1. Going West

Animated by Andersen M Studio and produced by BBDO for the New Zealand Book Council, this is a trailer you need to watch twice; the first time to fully appreciate the dramatic narration and the second to grasp all the visually-stunning work. The intricate papercraft stop-motion animation reigns supreme and truly brings the book’s story about two friends to life. No wonder this high-budget trailer for one of New Zealand’s most distinguished novelists, Maurice Gee, won a Moby Award for best big house trailer two years ago.

2. The Beaufort Diaries

The tagline: “when you’re a dying breed in Hollywood, it’s tough to go with the flow.”


An official 2011 selection of The Tribeca Film Festival and SXSW, author T Cooper wrote and produced this highly entertaining short trailer based on his graphic novel of the same name. Directed by Alex Petrowsky and animated by Drew Jordan, the crafty stop-motion animation mixed with live action is only matched by the superb voiceover lent to the polar bear caught up in Hollywood’s scene by Hollywood’s very own David Duchovny. Perfect.


3. Payback

This stop-motion animation for Frank Schirrmacher’s book is in German, but don’t let that stop you – it’s all about the visuals in this trailer. What caught our eye here is all the exceptional handmade paper props Bat Raik created before animating every single frame analog. The behind the scenes photos should make you appreciate this piece even more.


4. How Did You Get This Number?

Milk Products Media put together this whimsical stop-motion animation for Sloane Crosley’s new collection of essays, giving life to her musings on twentysomething life in New York City with paper puppets and a host of other crafty tricks. If the trippy trailer is any indication, you know it’s going to be a funny, globe-trotting journey of sharp wit and sophistication. Favorite clip comes in at :22, where the top pin of a soda can is cleverly transformed into a telephone!


5. A Kiss from Tokyo

Directed by Kevin Dart and Stéphane Coëdel, there’s no doubt from the very first frame that you’re in for a seductive tale set in the vintage style of old James Bond spy movies. The trailer fits like a glove and every part is extremely tastefully done — from the great direction (including film editing techniques of the 60s) to the authentic illustration style of the era to the perfectly matching music composed by Cyrille Marchesseau. This one’s a winner.

Order the book here.

By @k_yudin

Katy worked at Submarine Channel as an editor, social media manager and digital producer. She's now contributing as a freelancer from her home in NYC. Katy is a new media thinker and film junkie with a passion for digital storytelling.


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