25 Jun [Portfolio Piece] Trust Me, I’m Lying: Book Trailer Video By Ryan Holiday
I love books. It’s part of my job to improve myself, read and learn more.
Our company, Simplifilm, owes a lot to dedicated reading. Without having read, read, and read more, I wouldn’t be capable of what we’ve done at Simplifilm. That isn’t a surprise, before I was a diligent and dedicated reader, I was failing and flailing, and in the normal “freelancer boom-broke” cycle. Simplifilm is a company that is starting – just starting – to really matter.
Books are the key.
The source of a lot of the early books was Ryan Holiday. For absolutely free, he’s maintained a reading list that spans the Internet to the Classics. It’s one of the best things, anywhere, on the Internet. If you read that, you’ll be a better, more capable, more congruent human. I’ve followed Ryan over the years, and his Blog’s been a remarkable thing.
He announced that he was doing a book, so I had to step up.
I don’t know if “book trailers” are a viable, long term business line, but as a fan, I didn’t want to take a chance that Ryan would get a bad one. A bad book trailer is absolutely worse than no book trailer. If the video is second rate, the book is probably third rate. The trailer
There are so many bad ones out there, I’ve seen exactly thre good ones (Brian Solis, Tim Ferris, and Nancy Durante). I know that my partner, Jason, is absolutely world class, and we’d be able to team up and make a good trailer.
If it’s not epic, it’s anti-marketing. We were swinging for the fences with this one. Check it out, and read on for “how it worked.”
Who Made the Trust Me I’m Lying Book Trailer?
Ryan Holiday’s book trailer was very much a team effort.
Simplifilm assembled a “crack” team to make this happen. First, I gave three ideas to Ryan to develop around. I suggested a visual representation of one of the many ideas in the book, and we settled in on his media-manipulation idea of links in a chain (you watched the trailer, you get the gist.)
After that, he worked with Ben Bartley to make a script. We iterated a few times to get away from our normal App trailers, and came up with a decent script. But it needed a voice, an epic, “sand and glue” voice.
There was no voice on the planet that would do a better job than Copyblogger Media’s Robert Bruce. I talked to Brian, who was one of the Charter customers of Simplifilm. Robert is a voice over artist as well as an accomplished copywriter. He was able to both help the script have another layer of polish, and then strike the exact right tone in the narrative.
We got the artwork from Erin Tyler on the media monster she made as well as the awesome, beautiful cover that she made.
Then it was off to Jason Moore, my partner and animator for the animation. He always enters a “production cave” where he maintains radio silence for 1-2 days. This time, because of the high stakes nature of the trailer (we couldn’t fail, especially if we want to see if trailers can help). He took a lot longer to get the “feel,” and took the work that we’d given him and made it into what several people have told me “is the best book trailer they’ve ever seen.” Ryan Holiday gave this wide latitude to make whatever we wanted to.
In any case, we’re going to consider doing more trailers in the future. If the book is right, and you are shooting for the stars, feel free to get a Quote. Pricing starts in the very low five figures. A bad book trailer is much cheaper, but it’s absolutely worse than no book trailer.