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Book to film

In this image-obsessed age, promoting books with moving pictures is a tricky but intriguing idea, and as the CBC Arts website reminds us, a couple of Canadian players are leading the way. CBC writer Andre Mayer looks at the film-style trailers that HarperCollins Canada has been creating for new titles over the past few months — close to a dozen in all, including Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers and Gautam Malkani’s Londonstani. (Harper has the trailers up on its own website and has also been sending them on to litblogs.) And Mayer is impressed with what he’s seen: “Never before have I felt such a visceral urge to read a book,” he writes after viewing the Londonstani short.

Mayer’s piece also looks at Judith Keenan’s BookShorts initiative, which creates three-minute short films based on novels or non-fiction books, and at an American company, VidLit, which has been producing book trailers of its own for a couple of years. Mayer points in particular to a VidLit-created trailer for David Rakoff’s Don’t Get Too Comfortable: “While Rakoff’s narrative is inherently droll, the video also features animations of what the author would look like with the doctor’s proposed changes.”

Related links:
Click here for the CBC Arts story on book trailers
Click here to view HarperCollins Canada’s trailers
Click here for the BookShorts website
Click here for the VidLit website