YA Lit Book Trailer: Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith

Now presenting: my first ever book trailer! Above you will find my book trailer, recommending Jeff Smith’s Out From Boneville for teen audiences. It features stop motion animation, as well as watercolour and ink artwork based closely on images from Jeff Smith’s Bone series.

During the weeks preceding its due date, my trailer script went through many drafts. Originally I had included a paragraph on reviews of the book (such as Time Magazine, who compared the series to Lord of the Rings), and awards it had won. However, in the end I decided that my recommendation and demonstration of the story should be able to speak for itself. I want teens to chose The Bone Series because the love offbeat fantasy stories and they want to find out what happens with the dragon, and whether Bone ever confesses his love for Thorn. I decided to focus my attention on accurately portraying the story, and creating a cool piece of artwork.

I am lucky enough to have a very enthusiastic and talented artist as a partner. He and I drew and painted three backgrounds from the story. Based closely on the artwork from Bone, my partner recreated many of the characters. I created a stop-motion style animation by manipulating the scanned images in Photoshop, and playing them in quick succession in Windows Movie Maker (0.1 or 0.2 seconds per image). Since I chose to portray many scenes, this process did take a few hours. However, simpler book trailers could be created using this technique in a much shorter timeframe, to the same visual effect.

I know many adults and young adults who find the Bone Series riveting. However, I can see how the series may also appeal to older children, due to the youthful illustrations, the silly tone, and the imaginative elements. Depending on the library the Bone Series can be found in the adult, teen, or children’s graphic novel section…and sometimes all three. At the London Public Library it is kept in the Teen Annex. Personally, I think the teen section is the most appropriate space for the series – a story that merges illustrations that appeal to youth and a plot elements that appeals to adults.

I designed my book trailer to highlight the appeal factors as they relate specifically to teenagers. I decided to directly address the fact that the image of the main character is particularly childish, in order to calm the potential concerns of teen viewers. My trailer names several appeal factors: swift plot line, clever artwork, delightful humor, offbeat tone, fantasy elements, and “monstrous” topics that give the story a sense of importance and relevance. Additionally, I chose to represent 3 main driving forces of the plot – the love storyline, the political storyline, and the fantasy/adventure storyline. The main goal of my trailer was to demonstrate the compelling nature of the multidimensional storyline. Jeff Smith’s Bone series really is an extremely entertaining literary work, and a unique example of a graphic novel that spans multiple genres.

I also created a concise BookTalk infosheet to accompany the book trailer, available as a dowloadable PDF file below.
YA BookTalk – Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith

I was glad to have the opportunity to recommend one of my favourite graphic novels series for this project. Let me know what you think!

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